I am going to do something that we don’t often do on this website, and that is stick up for the “little guy”. Yeah that’s right, I am talking about you Raptors. Sports is becoming a little too mainstream, headed by the drastic movement of the NBA, where the best players are flocking to the teams that will put them on ESPN the most. No wonder the Raptors have an inferiority complex about the Heat, Lakers, Knicks, etc. They have to throw down on some poor white guy just to make ESPN’s honorable mentions list. Granted, Toronto has been known to home players that are ready for their careers to die, but is that any reason to write them off? They got this glimmer of hope that Steve Nash, a Canadian from “Our Home and Native Land!” would depart from the Suns in order to save their decrepit franchise, but alas he went to L.A. But can you blame him? Would you rather play with Linas Kleiza and Andrea Bargnani or Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard? Yes I had to google their roster, and the obvious choice is the latter!
Long story short, ESPN is ruining the competitive nature of the NBA, and not just the NBA, sports as a whole. The Nets were smart, nobody wanted to play for the “New Jersey Nets”, but they move just a few miles down the road, call themselves the “Brooklyn Nets” and now all of a sudden players can’t wait to be a free agent so they can join Derron Williams and company. Don’t get me wrong, I love that the best players run to the best franchises, because I am a Kobe, errr Lakers fan. But its bad enough that they get the best players, they have to take the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on players. The Heat started the motion, when 3 perennial all-stars, you know who you are, joined forces to lead the Heat to the NBA Finals in their first year, only to win it the next. Ray Allen joins the quest this year, and they are far ahead of the pack in the chase for their repeat. But teams like the Raptors (sorry to keep picking on you guys), Jazz, and Bobcats have to result to the NBA draft to hopefully find their Lebron James-like savior to drag them out of the pits of hell in order to assemble a winning season. In all honesty, no superstar in the NBA is going to take their talents to a small market organization, they have to draft their talent against their free will. I mean, c’mon, Ricky Rubio is Spanish and even he knows the T-Wolves blow! He never wanted to play there in the first place.
But lately it seems as even the drafts are contributing to this mainstream, storyline hysteria. Think about it. Who was the first pick of the NFL Draft? Andrew Luck, supposedly the best NFL QB prospect since Peyton Manning. And where does he get drafted? Why Indianapolis of course, to serve as Manning’s official replacement. Then the 2nd pick was Mr. Robert Griffin III, and he goes to the Washington Redskins, a historic franchise in the NFL, not to mention in our nation’s capital. Back to the NBA for a second, Perry Jones was one of the highly sought after lottery picks, he starts to fall, and for some reason all these crappy teams take crappy players and he falls all the way to the Thunder. The THUNDER!!! Who lost to the Heat in the NBA Finals the year prior. Seriously, if I didn’t know any better I’d say the whole thing is rigged. It’s a conspiracy I tell you!
Jokes aside, I feel bad for those teams, which is why I love me a good Cinderella story. In the end, you just have to hope that teams like the Grizzlies give you a glimmer of hope for the little guy. The Grizzlies have the best record in the NBA and nobody is giving them a chance to win it all, hmm I wonder why? Seriously, can we go back to the days where the best players in the league have their own team, where they turn mediocre players into contributors, and the team has to ride the coattails of their all-stars all the way to the playoffs. Wouldn’t that be exciting? No? Damn, tough crowd. The competitveness of the NBA is gone, lets start a motion to save the other sports at least. Because of the lack of competition, there are only 4 teams that I can see legitimately winning the NBA Finals, the Lakers (if they get their act together), Knicks, Thunder, and (far ahead) the Heat. You give me those 4, you take the field, and I bet I win. Any takers?
Tyler Hobbs can be followed on Twitter @TylerHobbs5