This isn’t the first time this has happened, you know. There are numerous other instances of this phenomenon and this is just another to add to the list. It’s certainly nothing special.
…huh? What? I was talking about my writer’s block. Why? What did you think I was talking about?
In any event, as I was saying, this isn’t the first time this has happened to your dear Apologist. I’m almost certain I’ve mentioned this particular brand of writer’s block before. After watching a Bills season with so much promise turn into just another train wreck and a high-priced Sabres season circle the drain, it’s been increasingly difficult to find things to get excited about in the sports world.
Enter Blake Griffin.
Let me break this down for those of you who may be basketball impaired. Even the most passionate NBA basher has to admit this is one of the top 5 most entertaining and ferocious dunks you will ever see in your life. It was so awe-inspiring, most people couldn’t tell you who won that game. It was so embarrassing, Kendrick Perkins deleted his twitter account. It was so brutal, Kevin Durant had to speak out against it. When was the last time the star of a team (and a league, for that matter) had to make a media comment about an opposing players’ dunk? It didn’t matter that the game was only one ladder rung up from meaningless and that it in no way changes the fact that Oklahoma City is no worse than the third best team in the NBA. (They were so rattled by this moment, they turned around and beat the defending champs in their own building.) What matters is the excitement it created. It was only 2 points on the scoreboard, but it was so huge, that the leader of the opposing team had to publicly rip it to make sure it didn’t rattle his team.
But let’s back things up for a moment. Understand why this dunk is so amazing. The only play in a different sport I can think of that displays this kind of skill, speed and strength is… well… nothing.
Don’t get me wrong, almost all professional athletes are physical freaks compared to the rest of us. Still, I’m definitely biased towards the skill set of NBA athletes.
Disagree? Ok. Ponder this. An NBA regulation rim is 10 feet off the ground. At the highest point, Blake Griffin raises the ball AT LEAST 11 feet in the air. Oh, and then he slams it through the rim while his body is at least 2 feet away from it and there’s a 6’10”, 270 lb. man with a championship ring in his trophy case trying to stop the inevitable.
If you’re struggling with a reason to watch the NBA and the Poster Child doesn’t do it for you, then you should probably just stop paying attention to basketball.
That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of exciting reasons for fans to tune back in. This season’s field of competition appears to be one of the most wide-open in recent memory. In the Eastern Conference, 9 games separates 1st place from 10th. In the West, it’s 6 games between the best team in the conference and the team two rungs down from a playoff spot.
While the cream clearly is at the top (Miami, Chicago, OKC), there are a slew of good teams ready to make noise in the playoffs. LAC, Memphis, and Indiana (that’s right, I said Indiana) are just a handful of the teams that have a shot of disrupting a finals matchup that usually seems inevitable. And we’re still three months from the end of the regular season, so there’s still plenty of time for other teams to bubble up into the mix.
Last year showed us that nothing is decided on the stat sheet. Nobody in their right mind expected the Dallas Mavericks to have the run they had before, during or after the regular season. But they proved that the more talented team doesn’t mean the better team and you still have to play every game to the last minute. (BAM, my first cliché of the new year! Whatever, I’m keeping it.)
While the evidence has been cropping up for a while now, the new era of the NBA has officially begun this season. We have a glorious villain in the Miami Heat. We have serious challengers to their unearned throne. And we have a slew of young players, besides Blake, who are lifting teams out of the depths of depression and dysfunction. (Punch in “Kyrie Irving Cavaliers highlights” on YouTube and thank me later.)
What does that have to do with you? Well… nothing, necessarily. But this is my blog and I’ll write about whatever the FRIG I WANT, OK!?
Ahem. What I mean is, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, there’s a decent chance you put yourself through the 3-hour torture session that was the Sabres’ 1-0 shootout loss to the NY Rangers. Me? I was enjoying a lovely, carefree evening of basketball. Hell, I even watched the closing minutes of Nets vs Pistons. (Dear Deron Williams, please come to Brooklyn.) For you puckheads out there, that’s like watching a game between the Sabres & the Islanders, ZING! OCCUPY NASSAU!
The point is from the Lakers and Celtics taking a nosedive to the Timberwolves actually having a pulse, something special is brewing in the NBA this season. If I were you, I’d start paying attention.
Or just check SportsCenter for more Blake Griffin highlights.