6:37: They just showed a promo for the NBA Cares program, a successful and generous charity program by all accounts, so forgive me as I make this joke: The clip included Shawn Marion cutting the ribbon for a new reading and learning center in Arizona. That's right, the same Shawn Marion who left UNLV after three years and never graduated. Come on, that's a little funny. You have to admit.
6:42: Uh-oh ... ABC's using that roaming "Blair Witch" camera at midcourt that everyone hates. It's a great idea if you want all your viewers to either (A) feel like they're on a cruise without Dramamine, or (B) end up like Colin Hay. Seriously, did you ever hear anyone say, "You know what, the standard midcourt camera isn't doing it for me anymore, I wish we had something closer and much more wobbly and disorienting"?
7:02: Who hasn't washed his hair for the longest time -- Anderson Varejao or Manny Ramirez? I'd have to go with Manny. I don't think he's taken a shower since 2002. And that's debatable.
7:03: I'm not kidding, the Blair Witch Cam just made me have to close my eyes and shake my head the same way someone does when they've just been accidentally elbowed. This is going to lead to one of those class-action lawsuits like in "The Jerk," isn't it?
7:11: Ginobili sinks an end-of-the-half 3. Our halftime score: Spurs 40, Cavs 35. Honestly, I don't know what to make of that half. The Spurs looked rusty, the Cavs looked mildly overmatched and LeBron looked frazzled. That's all I can tell you. Hey, here's the beginning of Michele Tafoya's halftime interview with Parker:
Michele: "You had an easy time getting into the paint until LeBron started to guard you. How much of a difference does he make defensively?"
Tony: "Well, he's a little bit bigger, uh, more athletic, obviously. So he's got a better chance to block my shot."
(Again, it's so great to have sideline reporters there. What would we do without them? If you're scoring at home, we just learned that LeBron is bigger and more athletic than Larry Hughes.)
7:26: Enjoyable halftime piece about the Popovich/Duncan relationship. I still think they're related. Nobody can talk me out of this.
7:38: You know a Finals might suck when the announcers are spending an inordinate amount of time praising the defense of both teams.
7:39: Hey, LeBron's on the board with a layup! That ended a 29-minute drought. Even Eric Snow was getting embarrassed.
7:53: Our first ridiculously wuss-tastic flagrant foul of the night: Gooden getting whistled on a breakaway foul where he kindasorta cuffed Ginobili's neck, who then reacted like he was being gunned down by a firing squad. We're about 20 years away from this game becoming a noncontact sport like women's lacrosse. I'm telling you.
8:01: Whoops, it looks like the NBA and ABC didn't get my order: I specifically said, "Gimme the NBA Finals and hold the David Blaine."
8:05: More comedy from Van Gundy: During a story about how Varejao didn't speak any English when he joined the NBA, then learned the language with help from Zydrunas Ilgauskas -- and by the way, this has all the makings of a great sitcom -- Van Gundy interjects, "And you know the first word he learned? Flop!" Send the writing Emmy to Bruce Vilanch's house right now.
8:11: Well, ABC is premiering a reality show in which Shaq tries to get six kids with weight problems to get in shape. And you know what? That's too easy. Any joke is too easy for that one. I'm abstaining. There's a 0.0 degree of difficulty.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
From the Sports Guy's running diary of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers: