Posted: Friday June 24, 2005 11:44AM; Updated: Friday June 24, 2005 3:03PM
Robert Horry is used to holding the NBA Finals trophy.
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
It's never fun to be sick and stuck in bed. It's even worse when your friends are either having fun on the River Walk in San Antonio or drinking it up like they were at various watering holes around the country. The only thing I have to console me is a seventh game of the NBA Finals on my television and laptop. So instead of watching the game alone, I'd thought I'd watch it with you all, or at least relive it with you guys in true blog style.
After panning a packed SBC Center in San Antonio, a hapless ABC camera crew left behind in Detroit pans a sold-out crowd watching the game on the big screens at the Palace in Auburn Hills. I've never quite understood this phenomenon. Why would anyone drive through traffic, deal with the hassle of arena parking and overpriced concession fare to watch a game on screens at an arena when you could get a better view at home? Fans cheering for their team in an "empty" arena are as crazy as people who get up and clap at the end of a movie at their local theatres, as if the actors, directors and producers who their cheers are meant for can hear them.
How many times will Greg Anthony be reminded that he lost the last NBA Finals Game 7? I'm sure he's mentally thanking John Starks every time it's brought up.
Tell me again why I'm supposed to care what Coach K. thinks about the NBA? Didn't this guy turn down a $30 million contract from the Lakers to stay at Duke? Furthermore, even if I did care, how would that make me care about his use of American Express card?
You have to love Bill Russell's story about wearing a black suit to every Game 7 he ever played in because he was acting as an undertaker. "I was going to bury the other team," he said. Now wouldn't that pregame attire be more intimidating than any throwback jersey?
Hopefully we will never again have to see these terrible Magic Johnson Fantastic 4 commercials after tonight. I love Magic but someone should tell him to stop wearing his Lakers jersey, even if it is XXXL and un-tucked. It's almost as sad as watching an out-of-shape Gene Simmons put on his old KISS face paint and costume.
How many advertisements is Grant Thompson of ESPN's Dream Job 2 fame doing these days? I've counted three so far. Ten bucks says he's making more money and getting more airtime than the Dream Job winner, David Holmes.
Oh great, another Rob Thomas NBA music video. I was afraid we weren't going to get one for old times' sake.
It's good to see Darko Milicic warming up for his extensive minutes on the bench.
Stuart Scott's impersonation of Rasheed Wallace sounds more like Redd Foxx.
How could Gregg Popovich and Larry Brown share laughs over dinner the night before Game 7 of the NBA Finals? And they didn't even talk about the upcoming contest? I'd love to hear what mundane things they were blabbing about on the eve of one of the biggest games of their coaching careers.
David Robinson says this game is going to be a "barn burner" but stops short of saying that it's for "all the marbles" and that both teams "will leave everything on the floor."
The Spurs play The Undertaker's old theme music from the WWF during the Pistons' opening introductions. Why? The Undertaker is a perfect 13-0 on wrestling's grandest stage, Wrestlemania, and I have to believe that his intimidating music is one of the reasons; so why use that to introduce the opposition? ABC almost switches to Auburn Hills p.a. announcer John Mason's introductions but switches back immediately when it realizes how stupid that would be considering the players are in San Antonio. Besides, aren't we all a little Mason-ed out at this point? I thought so.
How behind the times is San Antonio? The Spurs are introduced to 2 Unlimited 's Get Ready 4 This. C'mon, people ... that used to be a cool song back when it was OK to wear Zubaz pants and drink Crystal Pepsi.
Al Michaels is once again reminding us that there is no bigger moment in sports than a Game 7. I'm not sure if I agree with that. Isn't a Game 7 of the NBA, MLB and NHL playoffs as dramatic as every game of the NFL playoffs or the NCAA Tournament? The draw of any Game 7 is that the loser goes home, which already happens in the NFL and NCAA. But what makes the NFL and NCAA better is the uncertainty that comes with playing your opponent for the first in the playoffs as opposed to playing them for the seventh time? Don't get me wrong; Game 7s are big, but no bigger than a do-or-die NFL playoff or NCAA Tournament game.
Tim Duncan is missing a couple of "chippies" down low right in front of the basket, which can't be a good sign for the Spurs. By the way, is tonight really a make-or-break game in Duncan's career as some have mentioned? Let's say the Spurs lose in OT; are we supposed to look at Duncan as any less of a player or as some sort of failure? Besides having maybe another decade in this league to add to his career achievements, Duncan has already won two Finals and two league MVPs. I think his place in NBA history is pretty secure regardless of tonight's outcome.
Speaking of recognition, Robert Horry deserves some kind of award or place in the Hall of Fame for his postseason contributions. If Lynn Swann can get into the NFL Hall of Fame based on his Super Bowl performances there has to be a place for "Big Shot Bob" based on his game-winning shots in the playoffs.
Those Phil Jackson Toyota commercials are pretty funny, even if they did use the same costume on Jax as Sports Illustrated did back in 1999 for the NBA Preview Issue.
I can't figure out whether Manu Ginobili is a role player or Duncan's sidekick. There's a difference. For example, Kobe was Shaq's sidekick, while guys like Horry and Derek Fisher were role players. The way Ginobli has played since he lead Argentina to the gold in last summer's Olympic games makes me think he's more Duncan's wingman than simply a role player, even though he's come off the bench at times this season and even during the playoffs.
Kid Rock is in the house, wearing a classy white hat and white Detroit shirt. Something tells me no one's going to be hassling him for rooting for the other team.
Stuart Scott reports that Chauncey Billups watches every Finals game on replay at 3 a.m. on ESPN that night. Segue to a promo for the repeat of tonight's game on ESPN at 3 a.m. Cross-promoting reporting, you gotta love it.
I'll never understand why announcers need to be shown during the game. I know what they look like. I'll see them before the game, at the half and after the game, but while play is going on cameras should be showing me the players and the coaches. Looking at Al Michaels and Hubie Brown jab about the game as the ball is being in-bounded does nothing for me.
What is that little replica Larry O'Brien trophy doing next to the real one in front of the studio desk?
Does anyone listen Bill Walton anymore? Does he even listen to himself? His advice to the teams at the half? Change their uniforms and put on new ones to freshen up. What?!?
Less than 10 minutes left in the third and the score is 39-39. Anyone who has the under has to be breathing easy.
The Pistons take a comfy 48-39 lead after a 9-0 run, but the NBA is as runny as a baby's nose so you know the Spurs will come back. Sure enough, the Spurs storm back and take a 57-55 lead after an 18-7 run.
Why don't people talk about Duncan's adventures at the free throw line the same way they do Shaq's?
Finally, an NBA Finals that lives up to the hype. Seven games is coming down to one quarter, with the game tied at 57-57.
Rick Barry is a proud papa even if it looks like he's up in the cheap seats as a member of the media.
Always Be our Champs, Always Broadcasting Champions ... can fans stop kissing up to the network so they can get their crappy signs on the air?
That move Ginobli made when he sliced through an entire defense and slammed it home needs a nickname, kind of like Tim Hardaway's "Killer Crossover."
Is anyone surprised when Horry makes a big shot? It would be a surprise if he didn't.
OK, I guess we can all agree that Ginobli is more than a role player. No one wants it more than this guy right now. Talk about a year to remember; a gold medal, a wedding and an NBA title to top it off.
We Are the Champions is playing, which is not original, but always respected. No one does big-game songs (Another One Bites the Dust, We Will Rock You) like Queen.
How long before we get a shot of Eva Longoria making out with Tony Parker?
Quote of the night from Ginobli: "I couldn't be any happier, I need another body to fill it."
C'mon, enough already, Horry is really the first player to win an NBA championship with three different teams. John Salley earned two rings with the Pistons and sat on the bench as Phil Jackson pulled him out of retirement and gave him a ring with the Bulls and another with another with the Lakers. Oh, you forgot that Salley won titles as a benchwarmer with the Bulls and Lakers? Exactly.
Do the San Antonio fans really need to boo Commissioner David Stern after he helped save the league from a lockout and is about to hand their Spurs the championship trophy for the third time in seven years?
That little Larry O'Brien trophy is now the MVP trophy? What a joke. Why would the NBA make the Finals MVP trophy a little replica championship trophy that looks like it should sit on some fan's desk rather than a player's trophy case? Let's hope this tradition begins and ends tonight.
Michele Tafoya asks Parker how to say "NBA Champions" in French. In case you were wondering it's Champion NBA. Interesting. On that note, it's time for me to call it a night.