Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lobel: I Finally Care About the NBA… For All The Wrong Reasons

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

It is totally embarrassing, but I must admit what got me back to having at least some interest in the NBA. 

Of course, Larry Bird is not walking through that door, Donald Sterling is!

What a $#!+ storm! 

There were some others that preceded him, like Al Campanis, Cosell, and too many others who don’t reveal who they really are until they speak.


It is a sad day for the NBA to grab the headlines and get the attention they are commanding at the moment. So what, if any, good can come of this? Doc Rivers has been masterful in his handling of the Sterling episode. And yes, the new NBA commissioner has a last name of Silver, though he has been anything but “quick” to act. And, yes, this will become known in NBA history as the Sterling/Silver showdown. 

Of course Donnie boy should be bounced. We all know and agree on that, but he could derail the coup by Magic Johnson if he continues to walk through that door. There was a moment on Sunday when I tried to escape the story about the Clippers and their owner. Some PGA golf on CBS was just the trick, but when I tuned in and saw the leader board, I thought it wasn’t even worthy of the Golf Channel, or Al Jezeera America for that matter. Who were these people playing on network television?

Only their immediate families might know. Then again, they might not!  The one moment or story that had any “happy energy” was the fact that the winning kid was from South Korea. A nation that must be beyond grief for the losses in the recent ferry disaster received, as the winner himself put it, “happy energy.”  

Send some to the NBA. 

These are two sports with major television financial packages and sponsor driven income that are in serious trouble. Yes, for different reasons, but all you have to do is compare them to the NFL and it’s game over. While the NFL has put itself on track to overexposure, if that’s possible, the cash and ratings are still there now. 

There are couple of other things that need mentioning. The  Bruins may not get by Montreal, but if they don’t, it’ll be because they beat themselves, and they haven’t shown any signs of doing that at all. Yes they do look like a more complete, deeper and more mature team than the one that beat Vancouver for their last cup.  

Everyone around here is rooting for them, especially the Red Sox. Getting the Bruins to go deep is like  getting another starting pitcher and a shortstop because when hockey season finally ends, and the NFL and NBA drafts are over and done, it’s sports spotlight for the local 9.

And really, the NFL is so popular it can have a separate TV show to announce the upcoming schedule? Really? 

I will finish with a piece of common knowledge that has kinda been lost in the whole marathon rebirth and the spectacular day it was. MEB, the male winner, is an acronym for  ME (and) Boston.

I had to throw that cheap line in, but there has never, ever been anything cheap or less than unbelievable about the iconic duo of Rick and Dick Hoyt. It was their last Boston. 

When people ask me who was the greatest athlete I ever saw or covered in my 30-plus years on the air, how could I not say Dick Hoyt? There have been some great performers in all the sports, and many who would win many, many popularity contests, and that is all good and worth high praise. 

How could you not pick Dick Hoyt?  

There is a lesson here, Donald Sterling, but I suspect you are way beyond any interest in these kinds of lessons. Well, congratulations Donnie boy. You were personally responsible for bring this one viewer back to the NBA. At least until your sad tale ends and your sorry ass goes away.

No comments :