Motown Mo-Better

Congrats to the Detroit Pistons for winning the NBA championship. (I bet Doug Allen is out rioting somewhere. ) The series was a one-sided domination. This years Pistons are the best defensive team I have seen since the late 80s Pistons. What's great is their chemistry. For years, the conventional wisdom was that a team had to have three superstars to win it all. Lakers with Magic, Kareen, and Worthy. Bulls with Jordan, Pippen, Grant/Kokuc. Some teams began have recently won with two superstars. Spurs with Duncan and Robinson. This year's Detroit team has no bona-fide superstars. Yet, they made a team with Shaq and Kobe look foolish.

Congrats also to Larry Brown. He finally got his NBA title, making him a basketball legend by the virtue of winning one at both the college and pro levels. He is quite possibly the best coach in the league, having been a winner wherever he has gone, although he rarely gets the credit. Heck, even the Clippers made the playoffs under his ward. His best trait, though, is being able to relate to his players. Allen Iverson gives him credit for reigning in his talent and helping him focus on winning. Similarly, Rasheed Wallace had a reputation as a 'troublemaker' till he came to Detroit, but since has learned to control his temper and do what the team needs to win the championship.

The Lakers management have made some horrible personnel moves over the last few years. Besides Shaq and Kobe, they had a nucleus of young players that could have established them as the team of the future - Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, Anthony Peeler, Elden Campbell, and Cedric Ceballos. They slowly traded all those guys away and now they have a couple of over the hill veterans in Payton and Malone, and a bunch of marginal NBA players like Walton and Medvedenko. There is no way Slava should have been the go-to guy in the first quarter. That's pathetic.

As talented as Kobe is, the only way he'll be remembered as a legend along the lines of Jordan and Magic is if he learns how to make his teammates better. At this point in his career, when his team is down, he simply takes over the game, which often works. Yet, this series showed why that strategy comes up short against the best.

Richard Hamilton is the best player in the league at the lost art of moving without the ball, following in the footsteps of Reggie Miller and Larry Bird. If I was a high school coach, I would show footage of Hamilton to my team every week.

Other miscellaneous thoughts -

* Congrats to Joe Dumars for putting this team together. He was one of my favorites when he played. Anyone remember "Joe... Dooooooooooooooooooooooo-maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaars"?
* How big was Tayshaun Prince's block of Reggie Miller at the end of the game in the conference finals?
* I wonder what Kobe is thinking right now.
* Ben Wallace is a better Dennis Rodman.
* Was the Eastern Conference underrated?
* What were the odds of Chauncey Billups being the NBA finals MVP at the beginning of the season?

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Hello from party central! I

Hello from party central! I caught most of the 4th quarter from work. It really was a divine comedy. Old Zen master Phil couldn't pull a single spark out of the Lakers! I'd swear I could read Kobe's mind! 'What the hell happened to my life?' I really wish we could have seen Shaq after the game! Do you think he left anythig standing in the visiting team's locker room? :) Why, oh, why did Karl Malone go to that team? He should have retired the winner he was, what a waste! Also *thrilled* for Larry Brown! The Pacers should have, could have taken him all the way a few times, but. . .ah, well. First team in nba history to sweep 3 home games. Not bad at all!

Oh, and don't forget. . .

Oh, and don't forget. . . Larry Brown was quite the basketball player in his day, as well! :)