I love the NBA playoffs… every year Laura and I watch the playoffs… every year our team, the Utah Jazz, get eliminated… and every year we root against the Lakers. One theory I’ve always had is that you can’t be a true blue Jazz fan if you don’t believe, at least somewhat, in a vast NBA CONSPIRACY THEORY led by longtime NBA commissioner David Stern. Now don’t get me wrong… I don’t think ugly old Dave is rigging games (although I know some people who fervently believe this)…. after all, David Stern does sort of look like a crime boss! NO… I don’t believe professional basketball is corrupt to the core… I just think that certain players and teams get preferential treatment. Which is all great if you’re a Laker fan… or if you loved watching Michael Jordan. It’s not so great if your a Utah Jazz fan!!! Yes Jordan pushed off Bryon Russell… and no I haven’t forgotten the day…. June 14, 1998!
So every year the NBA usually runs promotional ads during the playoffs. This year is no exception, the league is running a series of advertisements featuring highlights of classic and heroic plays from years past. The typical advertisement will show a star player making a move to the basket or hitting a difficult shot…. all done in SLOW MOTION… with some new age classical music reaching a cresendo in the background. Once the clip is finished… a tagline appears… “Where will amazing happen this year.” No doubt these ads are clever and even awe inspiring….
But I must say…. It’s AMAZING what you notice while watching IN SLOW MOTION. Specifically how common it is to get away with traveling… especially if you’re a STAR PLAYER on a BIG-MARKET team. Don’t believe me…. just take a look at the commercials below… all provided in SLOW MOTION for your viewing pleasure. In the first… you’ll see Magic Johnson hit an amazing hook shot over Kevin Mchale and Larry Bird… this clip is from the 1987 NBA Finals… and it is considering one of the greatest plays in NBA history. Just count how many steps Magic Johnson takes after the last dribble. In the second clip you’ll see current NBA star Dwayne Wade drive to the basket and make an incredible circus shot… I just can’t quite tell whether he takes three or four steps to the basket… not to mention the offensive charge… see for yourself. Just for good measure… and to inflict a little bit of pain upon myself… the third video is the infamous Jordan push-off… I still don’t know how referee Dick Bavetta… long known as one of the best refs in the league… developed acute glaucoma in the 2nd half of game 6 of the 1998 finals… but that’s a gripe for another day.
Maybe I’m being a bit particular… but I just find it funny the NBA is pushing these advertisements which feed into suspicion of many of its own fans. Or maybe I’m just that ticked off the Lakers are now up 2 games to none…. watching the Lakers win is like living a painful life in slow motion!