Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big Game in November? You Bet


It's never too early in the season for a big game, right? So in that vein, the Bulls' game tonight in Cleveland should be considered massive, or at least big-boned. Why? Well, it'd sure be nice if the Bulls could establish themselves in the Central Division with a road win against a fellow contender. You know, make a statement early.

With everyone in the Central playing roughly .500 ball in the early, early going, there is no reason why the Bulls shouldn't, or couldn't, distance themselves from the pack early.

The biggest problem with last years Bulls team was consistency, or lack thereof. One night they looked great, the next they looked like Jerry Krause was still stalking the halls of the United Center. (Eeewww, shivers.) So far, this season hasn't looked much different. The Bulls have sandwiched two impressive wins around an embarrassing blowout loss to Orlando and a loss to Sacramento in a game they led virtually the entire way before Chris Duhon, quite literally, threw it away. I would hate to sit through another season of such maddening inconsistency. Hopefully, a win tonight in Cleveland can set the Bulls on a straight and narrow path of success that they refrain from veering from.

Speaking of the Cavs, what was LeBron James thinking when he walked off the court with 13 seconds still remaining the other night in a loss to Atlanta? Not too classy. I suppose in the grand scheme of things this isn't a huge deal. I suppose it's just another case of a spoiled athlete acting the fool - and LeBron certainly is no Randy Moss, who was universally bashed for doing something similar - but it is further proof that LeBron is not, nor will he ever be, in Michael Jordan's stratosphere. MJ would have never quit on a game. Never.

And further in the "NBA Has Many Rockheads" Department: Rasheed Wallace recently compared the NBA's new anti-whining rules to slavery. To wit:

"I know they're going to have to do something about this crazy zero tolerance law," Wallace said. "That's retarded. In my mind, it's kind of like a slave and master or father and son. You've got your little son and (you say) don't say nothing back to me -- and to me, that's totally wrong. It ain't like that in any other sport.

"(Referees) don't already like me and all this zero-tolerance law does is give (officials) who already have a beef with players to go out and toss them."


As soon as this rule change was announced I figured it was only a matter of time before somebody cried racism. So, so predictable. Nevermind that the NBA might simply want to stamp out an ugly part of its game, an ugly part that all fans, of all races, find extremely annoying. Nevermind that NBA games will be that much more enjoyable when we're no longer forced to watch grown men act like little girls whose dolls have gone missing. Nevermind that the NBA might simply want to put a better face on its product, which, of course, is always the smart thing to do.

No, it's much easier to simply cry racism while continuing to act foolish. The NBA can't do anything these days (age limit, dress code, etc.) without being labeled racist. It's ridiculous.

Maybe someone should tell 'Sheed that his childish act got tired and old a long, long time ago. Nobody wants to see it, and thus the rule. This isn't difficult.

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