The NBA: Where Amazing Happens. Which Network Airs the NHL?

, Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 1:46 PM Comments (1)

I do not have a problem with CI’s title “It’s Week 7 of the NHL and Alllllll’s Weeeeelllll!” aside from the annoyingly excessive amount of times the letters “l” and “e” appear. I like the NHL. In fact I would say that Ovie is my favorite athlete right now because of the joy and energy that he brings to the game. CI, you made one critical mistake…

Don’t ever take a shot at the NBA.

After listing off twelve names, most of which Americans cannot pronounce, he says “[t]hese names are the future of hockey… [t]hey are just as [sic] skilled and in some cases even more so than the Dwight Howards, LeBron Jameses [sic], and Chris Pauls of the world that compete for our attention.”

I have little doubt that these guys are talented. I watch a lot of Capitals hockey and Ovie and Semin are disgustingly good. They are amazing on the ice, but that does not mean you have to bring the NBA into the discussion. I’ve been riding with the Caps since Rod Langway hit the ice without a helmet, since Dale Hunter destroyed Pierre Turgeon, since Abe decided to let Scott Stevens go for a couple million dollars. I’ve been there—at the games and watching on the set—I love the sport.

The problem with his statement is that comparing the NHL’s players to the NBA’s player is like comparing the steak at IHOP to the filet at Ruth Christ. Comparing skills on the ice to skills on the hardwood does not make sense, and even if it did the NBA players win every time because they are competing for alpha dog status.

I might respect CI’s post more if he were not just back on the Bruins bandwagon. As a Boston sports fan CI forgot that hockey existed for the past three years and now that Bruins are 16-4-4 he decides that everyone needs to watch hockey again. It really is not his fault though—he is a Boston sports fan. It is emblematic of all things Boston: feel sorry for us we didn’t win the World Series this year because the ump allegedly blew the call when Drew checked his swing, everyone is supposed to love the Pats we have Tom Brady, we really have been supporting the Celtics since Bird retired even though we have never heard of Ron Mercer, Kevin Gamble, Eric Williams, and Dino Radja, and of course how can you think Dane Cook isn’t funny. Put on a pink Bruins hat CI.

The NBA has attained a level that most would say it has not reached since the mid-1990s. Accepting such a statement as true, while I disagree, I think all would agree that not only has it attained such level, it has exceeded it. Dwight Howard is the most dominant post player in the league since Shaq in his prime. While Chris Paul might not be Magic, he, Deron Williams, Steven Nash, and Chauncey Billups are all on the path to becoming top 50 all time NBA players. LeBron James (assuming he wins Championships) will be the greatest player to ever play in the Association. This does not even begin to factor in Mamba, Half-Man Half-Amazing, the Big Fundamental, Dirk, D-Wade, Melo, Bosh, B. Diddy, AI, and any number of other guys who would have dunked on the NBA stars of the mid-1990s.

Beyond the players, go back to last year’s playoffs and revisit the games particularly the Cavaliers/Celtics series. We are witnessing the beginning chapters of what could be the greatest career in NBA history every time LeBron steps onto the court. Hockey cannot say that. We know who Sidney Crosby is, and he is not smashing records like LeBron. The competitive balance across the league has never been stronger as Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, LA, Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit all have a legitimate chance to raise the banner next fall. I challenge CI to tell me who Detroit beat last year to raise the banner. When it comes to the Association, we know the names because we care, we know the names because we can pronounce them, and we know the names because NBA games do not have to compete with rodeos for air time.

Enthusiasm is fine, but never take a shot at the NBA.

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