They cleared out your silo
Has anyone really stopped to think about what this Finals might end up meaning for those illustrious individuals involved? Shaq potentially done as a force of nature? Wade being the first off-guard ever to have his stock hurt by still being around this late? Riley desperately needing to engineer a high note to go out on? I know that it's easy claim that late career is late career, but there's also such a thing as "climactic" and its dreadful corrollary, "anti-climactic." Karl Malone was already dead when his Lakers failed; same goes for Payton now. Shaq and Riley, though, supposedly had it in them for another magisterial run, and not even of the odds-defying variety.
Anyone who doesn't think that this is Lakers/Pistons all over again is kidding themselves. Except this was supposed to be the final hurrah, making it all that more difficult to recover from with respect intact. Wade can put in some work and survive to go the Kobe route, but make no mistake, this is presumptive NBA royalty coming up bloated and humiliated.
Admittedly, this is a hard line, but it's consistent with the same harsh lens under which they thrived in the first place. And don't for a second pretend that there's not an equal and opposite at play in the way Playoffs legends get built—stay standing, and you might as well have eaten a whole table red-handed. Plus I'm not talking about the past, I'm judging them based on the here and now. So no rep, no track record, just the immediate outlook for some of the Association's primary attractions.
PS: Not saying you should want to bid on this, but FreeDarko ground rules require that I call your attention to this Kevin Willis 7" on ebay.
UPDATE: MJD with some absolutely essential reading for anyone who shares my peculiar loyalties.