All the Piston's Men
Fiction is far more interesting than reality. That's what we do here at Free Darko, take two parts truth and sublime it with saturated hysteria to make it interesting to you, dear reader. Our Gallup polls show that we have an above average approval rating.
We must inject truth with hysteria, because the averageness of it has never been more apparent than in the past week. Take the revelation about Deep Throat. The new mystery is no longer his shrouded identity but his motivation - a peek into the human soul instead of a desperate search for it. A comedy fit for Lifetime television, not suitable for Spike TV.
Speculation abounds whether it was his bitterness as a passed over number 2 at the FBI that drove him, his affection for a Bob Woodward that he mentored and perhaps reminded him of himself as a young man, or a desire to relive the espionage he experienced in World War II. I'm sure the bio pic is in the works.
What is depressingly evident in these Deep Throat revelations is that the truth about the scandal was known throughout Washington and through an abundance of leaks. All it took was two above average reporters and a well placed connection in order to expose Nixon. Reflecting the "Who you know" symptons of our society at large. And now, as Woodward details the events, it is obvious that Redford made it far darker than it really was.
I do not mean to cut to the heart of the Watergate drama, just reveal that now that we know more, it loses so much of its edge, it appears more a sympton of a Washington gone complacent than excitedly evil. And if anyone thinks that the current regime is any more dark side, I eagerly point you to Barney Cam II (third from the top).
And there my friends is how these NBA Playoffs have unfolded. As much as Stephen A has tried to performance enhance them, they've been just bland bland bland so far. Good basketball no doubt, but boring storylines.
There was no drama in the West. No KG, Kobe/Shaq, Kobe/Rape. Just the clean, global efficiency of the Spurs. Even in defeat, the Suns were far too gracious. Stoudamire exploded on the court, not in the press room. That was certainly impressive, but part of me yearns for the dysfunctional past. And now the Suns are out just when the big wigs realized *gasp* that Nash may be a little like Gretzky.
In the East, the media has flip flopped on this series so very terribly. After Game 1, the Pistons had solved Wade and were poised for a sweep. After Game 2 & 3, Wade's brilliance seemed to be beyond containment. Game 4 brought a chorus of compliments to the team style of the Pistons. The transparent day-to-day grandstanding isn't suceeding in blowing up hype, just pathetically revealing how very little these experts really know.
Even Larry Brown's possible elopement has been glazed over. No one really cares. It's beyond predictable, the most recent symptom of a man who always considers the neighbor's lawn to be far greener. A Nomad with a carpet bag full of Xs and Os. These "health problems" are too hush hush to create real drama, only leading to speculation whether its the hip, prostate, a case of persistent heartburn or worse *shiver*, arthritis or cataracts. I have an ordinary friend who went to the Mayo Clinic - be damned if Coach has to.
The Piston's indifference to the situation just leads me to look at Larry and feel very sad - he has been eclipsed by both Van Gundys. Does he really matter?
The real and only storyline that remains interesting is Shaq's thigh. Game 3 showed that if he's fully healthy Miami disposes of Detroit in relative ease. Part of why I wish it for all NBA fans that the Heat wins the East. And that has a lot to do with Lindsey Hunter.
Bias aside given their status as my hometown team, the recipe is far richer for a compelling final series in Miami than if Detroit meets the Spurs. The drama of a Pistons/Spurs series will be contained to Empty Suits speculating about the matchups and the possible loss of Brown - nothing more. Dress it up all you want, but that's what you're going to get. Having watched the Pistons for four games, I am so very bored. Richard Hamilton's Mask is like adding a packet of curry flavor to bland ramen. Our icon, Darko, is relegated to the bench in order to maintain the static sterileness of the team. Temper tantrums aside, when a guy like Coach K repeatedly gets an American Express hard-on talking about you - you know you lack the recipe for real entertainment.
Take Miami though, and the story becomes far, far richer.
Does Shaq's thigh heal so he can battle Duncan?
Will Wade become more like 23 with each playoff game - meeting the pseudo-Spaniard Ginobili on each half court possession in a battle to determine who has the greater heart of a champion?
Will Eddie Jones make up for his sins of the past?
Will Alonzo Mourning become the poster boy for organ transplant?
I ask that we back ourselves up again on sheer stardom, that of Manu, Duncan, the Big Daddy and Flash, not on Pistons and Spurs corporate efficiency regaling in the deepness of each other's bench and Tayshaun Prince's long arms.
It all comes down to a thigh - one that is likely larger than any in history. It is with a nod to the variety of tastes, that I admit that what I wish may not be wished by the many. But trust me as your representative, that my vision is in the best interest of all.