Good news for NBA junkies: Leading up to the 2007-08 season, ESPN Classic asked me to pick games for a limited seven-week run on Wednesday nights. So, I steered away from staples like the Bird-Dominique shootout and the MJ Flu Game and picked seven games that slipped through the cracks over the past two decades. If you love the NBA, watch these games so the ratings are good, and they'll keep letting me pick more of them. No, seriously. Do it for me.
Here's the schedule:
Sept. 12: Cleveland at Boston, Game 3, 1992
... this was a great series and none of the games ever get shown -- you had the Garden on its last legs, Mark Price and Reggie Lewis at their peaks, and a number of entertaining guys on both teams. ...
Sept. 19: Seattle at Phoenix, Game 5, 1993
... anyone who thinks the NBA hasn't been diluted by expansion needs to check out the talent in this game: Barkley, KJ, Kemp, Payton, Majerle, Danny Ainge, Tom Chambers, Sam Perkins, Eddie Johnson, Ricky Pierce, Derrick McKey, Ced Ceballos, Nate McMillan, Dana Barros, Oliver Miller during his one skinny year, Richard Dumas during one of his drugs-free years ...
Sept. 26: Golden State at L.A. Lakers, Game 2, 1991
... check out a pre-ACL injury Tim Hardaway when he literally couldn't be guarded ... and especially, how unstoppable Magic was in this game. Remember, this was his 13th NBA season and nobody could guard him. How long could he have been great if not for the HIV diagnosis?
Oct. 3: Chicago at New York, Game 3, 1996
... Charles Oakley acts like a crazed bar bouncer in this game -- it's like his goal was to make Scottie Pippen cry. Meanwhile, MJ plays out of his mind and singlehandedly drags the Bulls into OT ... this was one of their three playoff defeats that year, but anyone who thinks LeBron James (or anyone else) compares to MJ in his prime needs to sit down and watch this game. ...
Oct. 10: Chicago at Detroit, Game 3, 1991
The Bulls break the Pistons to take a commanding 3-0 lead and control of the Eastern Conference for the rest of the decade. I haven't seen this game since it happened but remember it being inhumanly intense. These teams hated each other. Don't you miss the days when teams hated each other?
Oct. 17: Boston at Milwaukee, Game 4, 1986
... I haven't seen this game since it happened but specifically remember Bird ripping Milwaukee's hearts out with four 3s in the final quarter, including one last 3-pointer after the game had been decided just to make sure they were dead. ...
Oct. 24: Orlando at Chicago, Game 6, 1995
... this was the only time from 1991 to 1998 that MJ walked off the floor as a loser in a deciding playoff game ... although it happened with an asterisk because he was still in baseball shape, but still. ...
Friday, September 07, 2007
Sports Guy's NBA Classics
As one of the dozen or so NBA fans remaining in this country, this actually has me excited - the Sports Guy is picking games for ESPN Classic to air. I hope I can catch some of these games: