but i like goldfish

March 7, 2007 at 7:17 am | Posted in basketball, brian, fespn | 4 Comments

i’m no basketball historian, but there seems to be a kind of mantra about the differences between the two conferences in the nba spoken by so-called professional nba writers/commentators since the beginning of the century: the west is the best; the east is the least. giving these so-called professionals some group-think credit, the western conference is the better conference in certain contexts. the west boasts the four teams with the best overall record (dallas, phoenix, san antonio and utah) as well as dominating head-to-head match-ups (detroit and cleveland are the only teams in the east with a winning record against teams from the west). so, whatever.

but this simplification of the differences between the conferences leads to a simplification in coverage. the implied message is that the west is the only conference worth covering. but the simplification continues. it’s not just the western conference as a whole, but the few teams at the top of the west that’s worth covering. so it’s all dallas, phoenix, san antonio and the lakers; in the east it’s either dwade or lebron. and everybody buys it. i guess it’s like that since we’re all so busy and we’re all about maximizing our time (that’s why people get blackberry’s, right?), if we watch sports we better be watching sports efficiently. in other words, we want to watch the best players on the best teams playing the other best players on the best teams and we don’t want to waste our time watching the eastern conference because espn tells us that they all suck (except for lebron since wade is probably done for the season). but how is espn defining the best teams and the best players? certaintly not by our criteria.

so what’s our criteria? wasn’t someone here developing a framework for picking favorite teams and/or players? nothing about winning more games or championships or scoring the most points or any other measure used by espn to determine quality were ever listed as reasons to like anything about sports on this blog. if you buy into this western conference bias then you’re missing most of the best players in the game. sure the suns are the best team to watch and iverson–the best basketball player ever–is now on the nuggets, but the east still has the washington wizards.

dusty had a get-together around christmas. in attendance were many of our friends, some i haven’t seen in months and/or years. on the tv, the suns/wizard’s game was playing where gilbert arenas scored a million points including that bank-three from like thirty feet out. and the wizards were wearing their alternate jerseys. everyone at the party except for aaron and i hated the wizards jerseys. but you all are totally wrong. those jersey’s are brilliant.  well maybe not brilliant but definitely important.  for some reason, there’s this (un)written rule in basketball that your shorts and shirts need to be the same color.  the wizards’ alternate jersey openly challenges this rule.  you could say that the wizards’ jersey is like the jackie robinson of basketball jerseys — the first nba basketball jersey to break an antiquated and illogical color rule.  but the analogy doesn’t hold up.


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  1. Wait. Are you talking about those gold ones? Those are probably the best sports uniforms ever. I realize you’re not supposed to say that about any uniform that’s not powder blue, but to hell with it!

  2. then who hated those uniforms besides fight? did dusty hate them?
    i’m glad you’re on my side. i’m hoping these uniforms will revolutionize nba uniforms even though the reason teams have alternate uniforms is simply to sell more uniforms.

  3. i just wrote a long response to this post that got lost somehow before it was posted.

    Main point — The east has followed a philosophy that is pretty well summed up by this comment:

    “if you buy into this western conference bias then you’re missing most of the best players in the game”

    only lebron has paid off for teams that followed this. cavs aren’t that good, but they’re getting rich.

    I’m not that interested in how many points arenas scores until his team can compete with dallas utah san antonio phoenix.

  4. i don’t remember what those uni’s looked like, or if i liked them or not.

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