For anybody who doesn’t know me (and let’s be honest that’s basically everybody) you should know that I have an enormous, borderline unhealthy, man crush on sportswriter Bill Simmons. I have read his columns religiously since I was in high school, I asked for and received his encyclopedic Book Of Basketball for Christmas, and while my life’s proudest moment should probably be graduating from college, it has some stiff competition from the time that my first ever email to Bill Simmons made it into one of his mailbag columns. Now about this time you, the reader, may be asking yourself, “Bryan, why is any of this relevant in even the slightest sense?” Well I am really glad you asked that question, Reader who asks a question that allows me to lazily segue into my next point without actually using any decent writing! I bring up my man crush on Bill Simmons because, in one of his recent columns, Simmons described the upcoming inevitable NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat as “history-altering.” Simmons believes that this matchup will be teeming with storylines and that it could be the most interesting Finals matchup in some time.
As much as it pains me to say this, I could not disagree more. Because of five very simple reasons, I will not be tuning into the NBA Finals in 2013, and honestly you shouldn’t either. “But Bryan, what five reasons could you possibly have for NOT wanting to watch two of the best teams in the NBA face off in the Finals?” There’s my favorite reader again! You know, you should all try to be more like him or her. It would make my writing a lot easier. But you know what? Since at least one reader that I made up wants to know, I will grace all of you with my five reasons to do anything but watch basketball in the coming weeks.
1. The Miami Heat
Here’s the deal: the 2013 Miami Heat have zero likable players on their entire roster. Some of this may be guilt by association as several players used to be likable, but have become dislikeable since joining the Heat, or are similar to Dwyane Wade and only became dislikeable after the Heat started getting attention and the world realized what a dirty, dislikeable player Wade really is. But the point is, there are no players to root for on the Heat. Let’s just run through the guys who have actually been playing for the Heat in the playoffs:
- LeBron James: I’m gonna be honest, I’ve hated LeBron since before it was cool. I hated him when he was with Cleveland for a number of probably irrational reasons, which is ok because watching sports is all about hating people you’ve never met for no obvious reason. After Lebron stomped on the hearts of the inhabitants of Cleveland, Ohio and went to join his buddies in South Beach, it became cool to hate him. If you are somebody still looking for a reason to hate LeBron, look no further than the fact that the greatest basketball player in the world still finds it necessary to constantly flop while calling all of his competitors out for doing the same thing at a much lower rate. More on this rant later.
- Dwyane Wade: First of all, that’s not how you spell Dwayne, Dwyane. I know that’s not your fault, but I’m looking for reasons to hate you, so chalk that one up. On top of his poor name spelling, Wade is also a remarkably dirty player, which nobody really realized until LeBron came and the Heat started getting enough attention that we were all able to realize that Wade is kind of a punk. From breaking Kobe Bryant’s nose during an All Star game that nobody cares about, to getting in a shoving match with Lance Stephenson in the Eastern Conference Finals (seriously, why would a superstar player involve himself with the likes of Lance Stephenson?), Wade has time and again shown that, on the court, he’s really not a great guy.
- Chris Bosh: Well, he’s a power forward who has basically turned into a spot up shooter who never rebounds. And on the rare occasion that he does actually collect a missed shot, it is generally when no other players are around which doesn’t stop him from grabbing that ball with undeniable authority and letting out a roar that says, “I AM CHRIS BOSH AND YOU WILL NOT BE GETTING THIS REBOUND (mostly because you are already at the other end of the floor waiting for me to stop yelling and pass the damn ball).”
- Udonis Haslem: I’m gonna be honest, I don’t hate Haslem, but he plays with LeBron, so that’s good enough for me.
- Mario Chalmers: I hate the University of Kansas, of which Chalmers is an alumni, so again, good enough for me.
- Chris Andersen: Oh, where to start with Mr. Andersen? How about his tattoo-covered body? Oh and no, none of his tattoos are cool. Not even one. Or we could look at his past rampant drug use, which got him kicked out of the NBA for two entire seasons. Or even, if you want to get nitpicky, his appalling showing at the 2005 Slam Dunk Contest. Or maybe look at the fact that he’s only been on the Heat since February. Really, you just take your pick of reasons to hate Chris Anderson.
- Shane Battier: He went to Duke.
- Norris Cole: Remarkably cocky player despite the fact that he went to Cleveland State and is a backup to a mediocre point guard. Congratulations, I guess?
- Ray Allen: Probably the best shooter ever (until Steph Curry has played long enough to be considered the “best shooter ever”), but he’s now played for two of the most hated teams in the league in the Celtics and Heat, so sorry Ray, but you have become very hated yourself.
2. The San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are a very similar team to the Heat in that not a single player on their roster is a likable human being. On top of this (and also similarly to the Heat) they win too much (which gets annoying), flop incessantly, (we’ll cover this more later) and seem to get all of the calls always, all of the time.
The players for the Spurs can be grouped into two equally annoying categories:
- The Big Three
This consists of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, the three players who have spearheaded the Spurs dynasty for the last decade or so. Each of them has their own special, annoying characteristics that make them remarkably dislikeable. Duncan is the greatest power forward who has ever lived, but he’s so BORING. Oh neat, another 17 foot set bank shot. Awesome. That’s what we paid to see. Cool, he took seven and a half minutes to shoot a free throw. That’s fun. Everything he does is slow, methodical, and dull, and I hate it.
Parker is one of the more overrated players in the league, and was being deemed as a “definite MVP candidate” for most of the year by the talking heads on ESPN, despite not at all having an MVP-caliber season. The media’s love affair with Parker is insufferable. On top of this, he’s French. Ugh.
Ginobili was at one time and may still be my absolute least favorite player in the league. Similarly to Parker, the media has such an enormous crush on Ginobili that I’m surprised he can stand up under the weight. Even in his prime, he came off the bench and played against the opposing team’s 2nd string, making him look much better than he actually is. On top of it all, and worst of all, he is the worst flopper possibly in the history of basketball, due in part to the fact that he is foreign and all foreign players flop. It’s not a racist statement, it’s simply true.
- The Role Players
The Spurs are lauded every year for having an outstanding bench and guys who find their specific role and get really good at that role. Least likable among the plethora of obnoxious role players is Matt Bonner. Bonner is a 6’ 10” ginger who never goes anywhere near the rim. Instead, you will find Bonner spotting up for wide-open three pointers whenever he is on the floor because why on earth would anybody guard him? He’s Matt Freaking Bonner.
3. The Flopping. Ugh.
The Heat and the Spurs are possibly the two worst flopping teams in a league that becomes more plagued with flopping every season. For those of you rookie NBA watchers out there who have no idea what I’m talking about, flopping is the act of pretending that you have gotten fouled and hurtling yourself into the 3rd row if anybody breathes on you or gets too close. This can also lead to screaming at officials over completely blatant calls that the officials definitely got right. A perfect example of this would be this obvious double dribble by Tony Parker, followed by Parker going ballistic after the ref made possibly the easiest call he has made all season. Get pumped for that NBA fans. You get a whole series worth of flopping, complaining, negotiating, and Ginobili-ing.
The worst of the flopping will be done by the aforementioned LeBron James. This is not necessarily because he is the worst flopper, but don’t get me wrong, he’s pretty bad. Instead this is simply because HE DOESN’T EVER NEED TO FLOP. Look, I hate LeBron, but I can still say with absolute certainly that LeBron James is the greatest player on the planet, with absolutely no competition, and could someday be considered the greatest basketball player who has ever lived. He has no reason to ever flop or beg for calls. He is capable of scoring on any player in the game. He is also capable of keeping any player in the game from scoring. So why cheat if you’re already the absolute best?
Thanks to the talking heads at ESPN, you won’t ever have to watch a single minute of this horrendous flop fest known as the 2013 NBA Finals! Since the Finals contain the Miami Heat, who are in fact the only team in the NBA according to ESPN, and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who are the only players that don’t play for the Heat who exist in the NBA according to ESPN, the coverage of these Finals with be excessive, incessant, and oppressive. You will not be able to avoid analysis of each and every play of each and every game if you even approach any of the ESPN channels, so seriously, don’t waste your time watching the actual games. Just let the talking heads tell you exactly what happened, what should have happened, what they would have done, what you should do, and what is going to happen. You can thank them for all their expertise later.
5. The Officials
Even though baseball umpires have been getting a bad rap lately (and with good reason), NBA officials are still the worst officials in all of sports on a consistent basis. In a series that features two teams who always get all of the calls all of the time in every single situation, this can only end in either a free throw fest, or the sloppiest basketball you’ve ever seen. As the officials call no fouls as they frantically try to decide on each play which of their favorite teams they should go for as players and coaches from both teams endlessly whine and complain until finally, Joey Crawford snaps and murders every member of both teams with his bare hands. On second thought, this may actually be a really fun series to watch.
I guess when it comes down to it, I can’t force you to not watch what should be a truly awful series between two truly hateable teams to decide who is the champion of a terrible season of basketball. But, if you do end up sitting through it for whatever reason, and I end up being entirely correct on all counts, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
BoomPopMedia.com editor-in-chief Daniel Pope has some suggestions for five things you can do when you’re not watching the finals, should you choose to follow Bryan’s advice.