One series went six games, the other went seven, and each left their own indelible mark in the sports history books. A tale of two seasons that when juxtaposed, will arguably be remembered more for who the runners-up were than the champs themselves.
A quick recap of what just happened before we preview what’s to come.
NBA Playoffs- the Mavericks finally get their title and redemption from ‘06 when they lost in the Finals to the Heat. But every hi-five and cheer for the Mavs—who suddenly became “Americas Team” although their only star, Dirk Nowitzki, who is European, was battling three natives—felt like a slight at the expense of the Heat. What we’ll remember when looking back on this year: No mater how many championships Lebron wins in his career, none will ever feel as purely satisfying as this one did for Dirk. Ever.
NHL Playoffs-RIOT! RIOT! The blue-collar Boston Bruins travel 2,000+ miles to beat a more talented team in the Vancouver Canucks at home in a game 7 and trigger doomsday in downtown Vancouver. We still won’t remember how to pronounce any of the player’s last names, but we’ll surely remember that picture of the guy stealing second base in the middle of the street during the riot. It’s the 2011 version of Noah Calhoun! How romantic! Good luck fellas with the “kiss first and ask questions later” model for picking up girls. Make sure you bring a change of shirt for that 7&7 you’re about to be wearing, and some bronzer for that Coach knockoff that’s headed straight for your temple. What we’ll remember when looking back on this: Thank God Canada won the Gold in the 2010 Winter Olympics, otherwise I’m not sure if Vancouver would even exist anymore.
The NBA draft is tonight and we have a few players from our regional colleges that have a chance to be selected:
Iman Shumpert, Guard, Ga Tech- Could be a combo guard in the NBA; possess requisite size and toughness (averaged 6 rebounds/game as a guard); was always best player in Tech’s backcourt, so increased competition will help nudge him to develop a better jump shot.
Trey Thompkins, Forward, Georgia- Was thought to potentially play himself into being a lottery pick this year, but he depreciated in value. Has never been in great shape ( had 15.5% body fat at the NBA Combine); does not lack in skills, good face up jump shooter, quick hips and feet, and excellent touch around the rim. Needs increase in physical toughness to contribute on next level.
Travis Leslie, Guard/Forward, Georgia- A+ athlete, maybe the best in the draft. Will be drafted on pure upside as we’ve only seen flashes of what type of player he could become. Needs to fall in love with the game in order to offer more than just flashing drives from the wing and Youtube sensation dunks.