Taiwan On Special – The Sports Guy – Don’t Be Hatin’

2010 March 8
by mockers

Caveat: I can’t do footnotes here so I have substituted parentheses. Sue me.

I just finished reading Bill The Sports Guy Simmons’ “The Book of Basketball” and I have two things to say:

1) I absolutley devoured it, loved it, and will probably read it again so I can pick up the parts that I missed when I was a bit sloshed.

2) I am wicked pissed.

I grew up in the Boston area but I was never really a basketball fan, so I never became a Celtics fan. I was a one sport dude – the NFL.

In 1984, at the tender age of 25, I moved to LA (LA in the mid-80’s, 25, and single. Let’s just say that fun was had and brain cells were killed). A good buddy of mine from college had also moved there and he was a basketball junkie. So I started paying attention to the NBA while we were out for after-work beers, and I just simply got hooked on the Lakers (Showtime), and by association (no pun intended) the NBA in general.

Those were the days. For a sporting event, you just could not beat the Lakers vs. the Celtics (or, really, the Lakers vs. anyone and the Celtics vs. anyone). And here’s the thing. At the time, the true Lakers fans did not hate the Celtics (except for Danny Ainge). We wanted to beat the crap out of them, but only because we respected them. Beating the Celtics was validation that you truly had a good team.

But the Pistons? We H-A-T-E-D them. Everyone did. Including people who did not even follow the NBA. I think there were extraterrestrials that hated them.

So anyway, Bill The Sports Guy Simmons writes this seven thousand page book and never once gives credit to the ’89 Lakers and the Magic/Byron backcourt. By 1989, Magic and Byron were in the ESP zone (get it?). They could pretty much do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. That does not make Byron Scott a Pyramid guy, but it does make him the perfect complementary guard for the Magic/Lakers backcourt.

To irritate Bill The Sports Guy Simmons, I will now give statistics to prove my point.

Regular season? Whoops, not so good here. But you gotta give Magic and Byron credit for dragging Kareem around for his final year. And the Lakers were cruising off of two championships, so they knew what it takes to get the championship. Cruise in the regular season, go full out for the playoffs. (They did just this, but I have to mention that one of the few things that irritate me about Magic is his “Winnin’ Time” slogan attempt. I mean, he tried, but it just didn’t work.)

Playoffs? Since 1984, there are only two teams that have gone undefeated in the Conference First Round, the Conference Semis, and the Conference Finals. The 2001 Lakers and the 1989 Lakers. The 2001 Lakers got props in Bill The Sports Guy’s book. The 1989 Lakers? No mention. Here are the pre-Finals records for Bill The Sports Guy Simmon’s Elite Ten (post-1983):

The ’91 Bulls: 11-1

The ’97 Bulls: 11-2

The ’01 Lakers: see above

The ’89 Pistons: 11-2 (Lost two games to the Bulls before MJ knew how to win. Two games. Yeah, what a juggernaut.)

The ’87 Lakers: 11-1

The ’96 Bulls: 11-1

The ’86 Celtics: 11-1 (Oh, the vaunted ’86 Celtics lost a game? To the Hawks? In the Conference Semis? Gimme a break.)

It just goes to show how hard it is to win 11 games in a row during the NBA playoffs. But the 1989 Lakers did it. And then, just before the ’89 Finals, Magic and Byron got hamstring injuries and could not play. Guess what happened after that. No Three-Peat. (By the way, I threw in the Three-Peat reference just to irritate Bill The Sports Guy Simmons.)

Outside of the stats, you just had to be there. We knew the Lakers were going to win. It was a given. A lock. Like knowing that the latest episode of “24” is going to end in a cliffhanger.

And then our backcourt got a hammy. Fuck the ’89 Pistons. Fuck Isiah and Rodman. And and extra-double-Fuck Bill Laimbeer.

Bill Simmons, you are the Bill Walton of NBA writing. Truly gifted (style, substance) but fatally flawed (Laker hatred). And stop sucking up to Isiah. With Magic and Byron healthy, the ’89 Pistons would have gone down in 4.

One Response leave one →
  1. 2010 March 8

    Bill Laimbeer’s elbow and Rick Mahorn’s hip would both like to have a meeting with you. Also, congratulations on becoming yet another Lakers bandwagon fan. You might not have good company but at least you have a lot of company. In related news, Joe Dumars is god. You sir are the Marv Albert of NBA writing, by which I mean you like to bite prostitutes.

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