Sunday, June 19, 2016

The NBA Finals Storyline, or FFS, Media


In another 24 hours or so, we'll have the result of the Game Seven finale of the least entertaining long Finals in NBA history, and the end to several different bullsquat meta narratives. Among them:

> That the Warriors have somehow "turned heel", as if basketball teams are WWE characters, and as if the Cavs don't employ a half-dozen wildly regrettable human beings, along with being owned by the largest man-baby this side of the Republican nominee for President,

> That LeBron James is unstoppable and clutch and unspeakably macho, because being 2-4 in the Finals is just good enough for us to forget anything in the pursuit of a meta-narrative

> How Andrew Bogut is now seemingly the Most Important Warrior and the team can't possibly overcome his absence, which somehow lets Festus Ezeli off the hook for going strongly backwards in the past 12 months

> Steve Kerr's devolution into Mean Crotchety Spoiled Coach, because no NBA coach works the refs when his superstar who is never in foul trouble gets ejected on three consecutive blown calls late

> How Stephen Curry's wife having a negative reaction on Twitter is somehow a thing that anyone should really give a fig about, or gives us some big insight into Stephen's True Character

> That losing your patience with an officiating crew that was in the magical middle ground between breathtaking incompetent and actively biased is some kind of character flaw

> How all of this allows us to call Curry overrated, because we are contractually required to call someone overrated, regardless of whether or not he's actually compensating for injury

> That Andre Iguodala's back spasms, combined with Bogut's injury and Green's obvious reluctance to play at full intensity given the way the refs were calling Game Six, had no impact on James' second straight heroic performance

> And that, finally, we should all feel bad for ever considering these Warriors to be the equal or better of the Jordan Bulls, because it hasn't all been sweetness and light for them in the playoffs.

To which I have just one question... would it be OK for all of you aspiring screenwriters to, you know, pay attention to the actual games instead, rather than the fever dreams you are having while trying to connect sport to the crap movies that you like?

There was never, at any point, an inevitability about a repeat Warrior championship. There is never an inevitability about any basketball championship, because all it takes to derail any team is a turned ankle or a busted knee. But there's really not an inevitability around a team that's built on a previously injury-prone point guard, jump shots that would be a terrible idea for every other team in the world, and ball movement that usually evaporates when defensive pressure cranks up to playoff levels.

I get that humans need to tell stories about facts, and treat these stories as facts. I get that Bill Simmons and ESPN has permanently ruined sports. And finally, I get that this series, with its games without drama and its constant blowout action, lends itself to spectacularly long times to come up with crap theories as to why things are the way they are.

But can't we just, you know, wait until the series is over to stop watching the games?

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