Nothing better than Walton cheering from the sidelines

by Andrew Kennedy

Well, I didn’t watch a lot of sports today, at least not any recent sports. It’s past midnight now and that means fair game for just about every classic NBA game I own so there’s really no telling where the night will go. I think I’m going to try and go daily with this blog from now on. As long as I keep it short and sweet and all about me, there’s no reason why I can’t keep the updates coming.

On the subject of classic NBA games, which is another way of saying “while we’re on the subject of my life”, I double-dipped somewhat last night and had a solid 45 minutes of YouTube researching as well.

I started off with the “Bird Steal” game in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals against Detroit. You really can’t go wrong there. Bird pours in an amazing performance numbers wise and also caps the game off with the great steal. But hands down, the best part of re-watching the game was Bill Walton’s reaction to the play (no surprise here and fast-forward to the 5:28 mark for the reaction).

I had just gotten a solid dose of Walton the night before via Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals in 1995 that featured a Rockets-Suns matchup. Walton was announcing and on top of his game as usual. It’s always a treat to pop in an old game, not knowing who’d be announcing and then get Walton.

Doug Collins was actually helping call the action in my “Bird Steal” game and then was also announcing in my second game I got in: Game 4 of the 2000 NBA Finals (I’m going link crazy right now), Lakers-Pacers. Who knew?

It’s always special watching Shaq in that 2000 season. He’s different than any other year. It’s pretty well-known that was the season he stayed in the best shape and it resulted in career numbers for him as he captured his first title. Not only did the Pacers not have any answer for him, every player was just plain scared when Shaq got near them. The game did go into overtime however and was a great finish. Kobe takes over while Robert Horry hits some cool, clutch shots in the extra period.

It always surprises me how competitive some NBA Finals were when you go back and watch. On memory, I feel like the Lakers beat Indiana by like 30 points every game in that series when in reality, the Pacers are an overtime loss away from evening the series at 2-2. The same goes for any NBA Finals the Nets lost in the 2000’s and when the Bulls beat Portland and Seattle. It just goes to show how much second place is forgotten.

Today, in terms of watching sports, I really only got to see Kentucky dominate some in the first half of their game (that’s what 3 straight hours of The Office will do to you). Then when I got home I checked my fantasy hoops team and was pleased as always by Kevin Durant and Chris Bosh’s performances.

Durant has really been out of his mind of late. Check his recent games in his game log. There is no reason for him not being considered as an MVP candidate right now. He’s got the Thunder to more wins already than they had last season and is the odds on favorite to lead the league in scoring and takes as much pride as anyone in the success of his teammates, evidence from his Twitter page. Right now, I’d only put LeBron and Kobe ahead of Durant in the MVP conversation with Dirk potentially a 3b.

One of the highlights of the day was Dan Patrick as usual. There down in Miami in an R.V. for the Super Bowl and doing the radio show outside. They have a couple of good videos (1 and 2) on the site from the day. They are basically revolutionizing sports radio and are the best at what they do.

Tonight feels like another classic NBA night unless I suddenly get the urge to go classic film with Goodfellas or something. But it’s Strat-o-Matic until then. Hopefully, I’ll be back tomorrow with some more sports rambling.