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Friday, June 01, 2012

OT: NBA Monthly Thread, June 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: overwrought, acrimonious discussions about having where to put the site’s overwrought, acrimonious discussions.

Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:58 AM | 2704 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   801. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4150905)
No matter what happens in this ECF, the Eastern team is going to play the heels in the Finals, huh?
Yes, because both teams are villains.
   802. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4150907)
Will Win: Heat, unless Spoelstra forgets he's down 3-2 and decides to save Bosh for game 7. At this point I wouldn't put it past him, but unfortunately the more sentient Riley may text him and wake him up.

Rooting for: Celtics

Consolation Prize if Celtics lose: An easy Thunder win in the finals, and LeBron goes home once again to suck the thumb on his cold, ringless hand.

-----------------------------------

People Left Who I Don't Want to see Win a Ring:

1. Kevin Durant
2. Rajon Rondo
3. Dwyane Wade
4. Pat Riley
5. Serge Ibaka


Aren't you a little late for three of those?
   803. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4150916)
Repeating from previous page: request for NJ to explain why he dislikes Durant.
   804. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4150918)
Just a WAG, but I suspect that he (like me) doesn't want the faux-analytic trolls to use a Durant ring as "proof" that he is a True Champion while Lebron is a ringless thumb-sucker.
   805. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4150919)
I mean, there's heels and faces in both of those lists, NJ. You're all over the place. Pick a pre-determined storyline and stick with it. Thanks in advance.
   806. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4150924)
Aren't you a little late for three of those?

I thought it was clear I was referring to this year's festivities.

I don't dislike Durant as much as I dislike the force feeding of Kevin Durant The Aw Shucks Good Guy Who's Here To Save Us From the Evils of LeBron and Westbrook.
   807. jmurph Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4150928)
Just a WAG, but I suspect that he (like me) doesn't want the faux-analytic trolls to use a Durant ring as "proof" that he is a True Champion while Lebron is a ringless thumb-sucker.


Oh I'm definitely with you on that. The summer of The Decision when Durant was praised for "quietly signing an extension" as soon as he could I kept thinking- oh, that reminds me of how Lebron/Carmelo/Wade/Bosh did the exact same thing when they were restricted free agents. How unique.

On the other hand, Durant is incredibly fun to watch so I can't hold it against him.
   808. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4150934)
On the other hand, Durant is incredibly fun to watch so I can't hold it against him.


Yeah, that wins out for me. I also think most intelligent people can see that Durant+Westbrook+Harden+Ibaka+Perkins are winning these games and it's not just Durant.
   809. Booey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4150937)
I dislike the force feeding of Kevin Durant The Aw Shucks Good Guy Who's Here To Save Us From the Evils of LeBron and Westbrook.


???
   810. andrewberg Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4150940)
I dislike the force feeding of Kevin Durant The Aw Shucks Good Guy Who's Here To Save Us From the Evils of LeBron and Westbrook.


???


Don't you remember the 2011 playoffs where Durant was ready to ascend to the throne if only Westbrook would stop jacking up shots?
   811. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4150941)
I am of course as biased as can be on the issue, but I don't quite get all the Rondo hatred. I mean, he's cocky and arrogant and aloof and that'll rub folks the wrong way. I get that. But he passes like Kobe shoots: too much, to the point of hurting the team sometimes, but with undeniable brilliance.
   812. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4150943)
I don't dislike Durant as much as I dislike the force feeding of Kevin Durant The Aw Shucks Good Guy Who's Here To Save Us From the Evils of LeBron and Westbrook.

He should have caught a little flak for hugging his family before the game was over last night.

Oh I'm definitely with you on that. The summer of The Decision when Durant was praised for "quietly signing an extension" as soon as he could I kept thinking- oh, that reminds me of how Lebron/Carmelo/Wade/Bosh did the exact same thing when they were restricted free agents. How unique.

There's still a difference though. Durant (and Rose and Westbrook) all signed deals without ETOs, unlike the other group. As you can see, there's plenty of mouthbreathers who really place a lot of value on that.
   813. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4150946)
I am of course as biased as can be on the issue, but I don't quite get all the Rondo hatred. I mean, he's cocky and arrogant and aloof and that'll rub folks the wrong way. I get that. But he passes like Kobe shoots: too much, to the point of hurting the team sometimes, but with undeniable brilliance.

He's the Bryce Harper of the NBA, whose intensity brings out the worst in some people. He's my favorite player since Bird, and for a lot of the same reasons that go beyond the jersey.
   814. Booey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4150947)
Don't you remember the 2011 playoffs where Durant was ready to ascend to the throne if only Westbrook would stop jacking up shots?


Yeah, but I figured that was all behind them now. I haven't heard much about it this season. Maybe it'll resurface if the Thunder lose in the Finals.
   815. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4150951)
I am of course as biased as can be on the issue, but I don't quite get all the Rondo hatred. I mean, he's cocky and arrogant and aloof and that'll rub folks the wrong way. I get that. But he passes like Kobe shoots: too much, to the point of hurting the team sometimes, but with undeniable brilliance.

I enjoy Rondo's passing ability/court vision, Chris Broussard's attempts to pronounce his name and Rondo's interviews.
   816. Jimmy P Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4150959)
I don't dislike Durant as much as I dislike the force feeding of Kevin Durant The Aw Shucks Good Guy Who's Here To Save Us From the Evils of LeBron and Westbrook.

Yeah, that's pretty annoying. Remember how Westbrook was holding them back? That story sure changes when the win games.

I'd like to see Durant win, but I hate that Clay Bennett succeeds if he does. I really dislike Clay Bennett.
   817. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4150962)
Consolation Prize if Celtics lose: An easy Thunder win in the finals, and LeBron goes home once again to suck the thumb on his cold, ringless hand.
Just a WAG, but I suspect that he (like me) doesn't want the faux-analytic trolls to use a Durant ring as "proof" that he is a True Champion while Lebron is a ringless thumb-sucker.
Berg's been on a pretty amazing run since the logos side thread.
   818. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4150967)
Hollinger and Lebatard are both on the Simmons podcast. I may have to grit my teeth and download it.
   819. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4150969)
Great piece in Deadspin today (I know, right?) about the problems with absolutism in the discourse about greatness in the NBA.
   820. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4150979)
It would be fun to turn NBA commenters loose on a Rock-Scissors-Paper tournament sometime:

ROCK IS UNSTOPPABLE.

I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW ROCK CHOKED AGAINST PAPER.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT HOW SCISSORS BEAT PAPER, YOU HAVE TO THINK SCISSORS IS IN THE CONVERSATION FOR ALL-TIME GREATEST.


From the piece in 819. Fantastic.
   821. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4150984)
Best aside:
(Bill Simmons ceaselessly scribbles on the walls of his room with magic markers, readjusting his Pyramid of Rock and Scissors and Paper.)
   822. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4151002)
[820] Awesome.

Rooting for: Heat
Will win: Heat

OKC's the weird team to me from a rooting standpoint. I like Durant and Ibaka and Harden is maybe my favorite player, but I dislike Westbrook and I really really really hate Kendrick Perkins and also Fisher.

By the way you know who seems like he would be a total ######### off the court? Mickael Pietrus. Strangely, I like him as a basketball player and find his 3 fingers in the air hilarious but I have this sense that he's just a total douche. (I might actually say the opposite about KG -- he actually seems like he'd be a fun guy off the court assuming his pathological competitiveness doesn't extend to things like hanging out at parties or in Vegas or wherever.)
   823. mike f 2 Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4151012)
On the other hand, Durant is incredibly fun to watch so I can't hold it against him.

For some reason I find the shoulder shimmy he does when shooting free throws incredibly annoying.
   824. Srul Itza Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4151014)
Will win: Celtics
Rooting for: An asteroid to strike the arena
   825. rr Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4151017)
whose intensity brings out the worst in some people


This is just your inner Celtic fanboy talking. People don't like Rondo because he is on the Celtics, he plays a little dirty sometimes, he comes off as arrogant sometimes (like the time he supposedly taunted Chris Paul for not having rings) and like Pierce and Garnett, he talks a lot. If Rondo played for the Bucks or the Jazz, he would just be known as what he is: an excellent player with a few holes in his game.

One thing that happens with teams like the current Celtics (and Lakers and Heat) is over- exposure. People see them so much that they get tired of the players' tics, narratives, mannerisms, and tactics, and eventually, given the emotions of the playoffs, they usually see these guys do something (not hustle, whine about a call, flop, throw an elbow) or hear them say something that they don't like. A good example is Ginobili and his flopping. Ginobili is very popular and well-respected, with good reason, but the flopping has become part of his image now.

The upside of the over-exposure is that people who appreciate the game can come to a greater appreciation for the talents and skills of players whom they don't like, and I think that has happened in this series to an extent with the current Celtics. We have seen a few comments to that effect in this thread, and I have seen a lot of it on the Lakers blog I hang out at. With Boston playing a team a lot of Lakers fans can't stand, and with the filter of seeing them play against "our guys" removed, I have seen some Lakers fans saying admiring things about Garnett's defense, Rondo's passing etc. They knew those guys had great talents in these areas before, but I think it can be harder to appreciate it when they are trying to beat your team.
   826. Srul Itza Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4151019)
Actually, "RHondo" would be better.


Especially for his help defense.
   827. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4151020)
OT, but I wish every year was like this year where there was a Conference Finals game every day. I think that has undoubtedly added to the excitement. I take all of this back if it turns out that the ECF/WCF schedules normally line up this way.
   828. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4151026)
Fairly recently, someone posted a link (IIRC) to a site where they were graphing players "hotzones" and comparing them to other players. I can't seem to find it. Does anyone know where that is?

I was also wondering if anyone was familiar with any effort to track how much time individual players actually "control" the ball while on offense. Basically, a time of possession for individual players. Has anyone ever seen anything like that?
   829. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4151035)
Fairly recently, someone posted a link (IIRC) to a site where they were graphing players "hotzones" and comparing them to other players. I can't seem to find it. Does anyone know where that is?
http://courtvisionanalytics.com/
   830. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4151039)
Will win: Heat
Rooting for: Heat

Assuming the Heat do reach the Finals, I'm not sure who I'll root for. I like the Thunder (and especially Durant) more than the Heat, but I really want Lebron to win just to shut up the haters.
   831. rr Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4151040)
From ESPN Stats/Info:

One key for the Heat tonight will be attacking the rim. During this postseason, Miami has seen its percentage of field goal attempts inside five feet drop as the game goes on. In the first quarter, 33.1 percent of the Heat's attempts are within five feet, but that percentage dips to 25.6 in the fourth quarter.

In turn, Miami’s win percentage drops dramatically as it attempts more 3-pointers. In the last two seasons including playoffs, the Heat have won 53 percent of their games when attempting 20+ 3-point field goals, but have won 77 percent of their games when attempting fewer than 20.


   832. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4151059)
whose intensity brings out the worst in some people

This is just your inner Celtic fanboy talking. People don't like Rondo because he is on the Celtics, he plays a little dirty sometimes, he comes off as arrogant sometimes... and like Pierce and Garnett, he talks a lot.
This lets him off the hook too easily. Way too often, when a player starts acting stupid/mean/cruel, people will let them skate. "Oh, they're just intense. They're just so competitive. You just don't like them for laundry/stodginess reasons." "Intensity" has become the go-to spin for excusing behavior that would be completely unacceptable in any other arena in life. "Oh, but he's so different off the court/field/television." Yeah, okay, whatever. KG gets that kid-gloves treatment more than anyone.

When Rondo elicits a negative reaction from me, it's not because I can't grasp that he's so intense, it's because he's acting like a dick.
   833. Booey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4151070)
When Rondo elicits a negative reaction from me, it's not because I can't grasp that he's so intense, it's because he's acting like a dick.


And he's funny looking...
   834. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4151075)
[Rondo's] the Bryce Harper of the NBA, whose intensity brings out the worst in some people. He's my favorite player since Bird, and for a lot of the same reasons that go beyond the jersey.

This is just your inner Celtic fanboy talking. People don't like Rondo because he is on the Celtics, he plays a little dirty sometimes, he comes off as arrogant sometimes (like the time he supposedly taunted Chris Paul for not having rings) and like Pierce and Garnett, he talks a lot. If Rondo played for the Bucks or the Jazz, he would just be known as what he is: an excellent player with a few holes in his game.


Rondo's just like any extremely talented and (ahem) extroverted player in any sport: He's loved by his own fan base, respected by the more intelligent opposition fans, and hated by the yahoo members of the latter group. Hell, some of those morons even hated Bird, Jordan and Kareem. They'd invent all sorts of excuses (like the ones you've just mentioned) for their bile**, but would turn around on a dime if he became one of them.

One thing that happens with teams like the current Celtics (and Lakers and Heat) is over- exposure. People see them so much that they get tired of the players' tics, narratives, mannerisms, and tactics, and eventually, given the emotions of the playoffs, they usually see these guys do something (not hustle, whine about a call, flop, throw an elbow) or hear them say something that they don't like. A good example is Ginobili and his flopping. Ginobili is very popular and well-respected, with good reason, but the flopping has become part of his image now.

Well, it also doesn't help that he's got a face that looks like the east end of a bearded westbound mule.

But of course if he were a Celtic I'd love him. If I could learn to love Danny Ainge, I'm sure I could learn to love Ginobili. Just like every ####### Celtic hater would love Rondo if he joined their team, and if they deny it they're ####### liars.

**though I'm not saying you subscribe to them yourself

P.S. I actually don't have a damn thing against Ginobili. And I ain't really got anything against bearded westbound mules.
   835. rr Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4151084)
. They'd invent all sorts of excuses (like the ones you've just mentioned) for their bile**,


Those aren't "excuses"; those are just basic reasons people don't like him, which are, as you note, common to other players. But I don't think Rondo is disliked because people can't deal with his "intensity" and somehow lose perspective on him. One might say that about Garnett, I suppose, but Garnett has also done some specific things on the court (even when he was in street clothes during the 09 playoffs) that have turned some people off.
   836. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4151087)
Hell, some of those morons even hated Bird, Jordan and Kareem.


And LeBron and Kobe, too!
   837. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4151093)
Don't forget Barry Bonds.
   838. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4151096)
Just had to listen to a senior attorney tell me how LeBron needs to show he has heart tonight because Jordan, Kobe and Wade have/had it and thus far LeBron's lacked it. It was said in a very hushed, serious tone. I did my best to hide my annoyance.
   839. Booey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4151108)
Hell, some of those morons even hated Bird, Jordan and Kareem.

And LeBron and Kobe, too!



There are legitimate reasons to dislike each of those players - and every other player who ever played. You mentioned that the smart fans will respect great opposition and that's true, but they can respect their abilities while still hating them as people or players for whatever reasons they choose. It doesn't make them a moron. It's part of being a fan.
   840. rr Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4151115)
There are legitimate reasons


I agree that it is part of being a fan, but I disagree with using the term "legitimate" to describe those kinds of feelings--which is why I used "basic."
   841. Jimmy P Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4151117)
Jordan, Kobe and Wade have/had it and thus far LeBron's lacked it.

Wade plan on showing it this series? It took Lebron kicking him in the butt to show it against Indiana, and now he's back to not.
   842. Booey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4151121)
#840 - Depends on what you mean by "legitimate." If you're talking about their games, then yes, there are very few criticisms you could give of Jordan, Bird, Kareem, Kobe, LeBron, etc, that would qualify as legitimate. But if someone said "So and so is a great player, but I hate him cuz he plays dirty or cuz he's just a dick", isn't that a "legitimate" reason?
   843. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4151122)
Heat record in Boston in since getting Bosh and James: 1-7
   844. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4151125)
Hell, some of those morons even hated Bird, Jordan and Kareem.

And LeBron and Kobe, too!


I don't have a damn thing against Kobe (as a player, anyway), and if LeBron hadn't pulled that TwoFer bit with Bosh, I wouldn't have cared what team he wound up with. He was one of my favorite players in Cleveland, and I'd put him on my all-time all-star team.

---------------------------------------------------------

There are legitimate reasons to dislike each of those players - and every other player who ever played. You mentioned that the smart fans will respect great opposition and that's true, but they can respect their abilities while still hating them as people or players for whatever reasons they choose. It doesn't make them a moron. It's part of being a fan.

It doesn't make them morons IF they acknowledge that the basis for their hatred is mostly in the jersey. But if there's any non-Celtic fan out there who claims with a straight face that he wouldn't drop all the charges against Rondo if he wound up on that non-Celtics fan's favorite team, I'll only say that I predict a great future for him in the World Series of Poker.
   845. rr Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4151126)
that a "legitimate" reason


This is just a semantic argument, but not to me, no. I think most likes/dislikes of players, even if based off of specific incidents, are in the main visceral, since for the most part we don't really know what kinds of guys they are as people. Not all opinions are created equal. Also, I think it's harder than we realize to separate criticism of the players' games from feelings. Commonplaces like "He's great, but I hate him" don't really cover it. One could say, "I hated that play" but most people don't. They say they hate the guy.
   846. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4151127)
But if someone said "So and so is a great player, but I hate him cuz he plays dirty or cuz he's just a dick", isn't that a "legitimate" reason?

Sure, as long as he also says "I wouldn't want him on my team in exchange for our last man on the bench, and if he ever came here I'd treat him like a slumping A-Rod no matter how well he performed."
   847. Booey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4151134)
There's no one in the current NBA that I wouldn't cheer for if they were helping my team win, but I wouldn't necessarily stop disliking them either. I'd ignore my feelings for the greater good.

I agree that it's largely about laundry, but not entirely. There are certain players that even from a completely neutral standpoint are hard to like, and others that are hard not to like.

And yes, of course I'd want Rondo on my team over Harris/Tinsley/Watson.
   848. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4151135)
Rondo's just like any extremely talented and (ahem) extroverted player in any sport


It's funny; as Rondoology has been the hobby of any dedicated C's fan for a few years now, "extroverted" (I know you were being euphemistic) is exactly the opposite of what I think he is. Rondo is a guy who seems very much in his own head, and like a guy that only wants/needs a small circle of friends. I think he draws a barrier at the locker room door, and doesn't really care what non-teammates think about him. I think he's often a dick not because he wants to be a dick (though he totally is trying to be one occasionally) but because he is going to be honest or amuse himself rather than cater to anyone else. He has a thing similar to KG going on, where his teammates rave about him as a teammate (Keyon Dooling had a good quote recently about how he'd go down a dark alley with, or preferably behind, Rondo because of his leadership), while other players respect him seemingly from a distance. He's definitely arrogant, but even more than that he just doesn't seem to care what you think, positive or negative, if you don't suit up with him.
   849. If on a winter's night a baserunner Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4151139)
Rondo can certainly be a dick, but if you're going to try to tell me he's worse that Isiah Thomas, Jordan, or Kobe, well, we'll have to agree to disagree.
   850. baudib Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4151142)
Most great players are eminently hateable. I'm pretty shocked that there's anyone who watches sports and doesn't get this. Sure, people cheered Jordan in enemy arenas, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who hated him. Kareem and Bird were really hard to like if you're neutral to the Lakers and Celtics, and very few people are neutral about those teams to begin with.
   851. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4151143)
It's funny; as Rondoology has been the hobby of any dedicated C's fan for a few years now, "extroverted" (I know you were being euphemistic) is exactly the opposite of what I think he is. Rondo is a guy who seems very much in his own head, and like a guy that only wants/needs a small circle of friends.
I think this is exactly true. Moreover, he seems to be a guy who actively wants to get under the skin of his opponents the way Reggie Miller used to love doing. Between that and random acts of face-punching and people-throwing in the past, he is exactly the kind of player his fans will bust out the "intensity" excuse for while everyone else hates him. Methinks he likes it that way.
   852. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4151144)
It doesn't make them morons IF they acknowledge that the basis for their hatred is mostly in the jersey. But if there's any non-Celtic fan out there who claims with a straight face that he wouldn't drop all the charges against Rondo if he wound up on that non-Celtics fan's favorite team, I'll only say that I predict a great future for him in the World Series of Poker.

I don't like Rondo and I don't want him on the Bulls.

I have a very tough relationship with Joakim Noah for this very reason, but at least he's not a dirty player or a dick; he's just an obnoxious buffoon and a preening jackass on the court. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather not have to root for him at all, even though I enjoy his basketball contributions to the Bulls.

All of my comments relate only to the player on the court; I couldn't care less what Rondo or Noah are like off the court. Both are, by all accounts, very friendly and enjoyable people in their day to day lives and that has nothing to do with my opinion or enjoyment (or lack thereof) of them as basketball players.
   853. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4151145)
There's no one in the current NBA that I wouldn't cheer for if they were helping my team win, but I wouldn't necessarily stop disliking them either. I'd ignore my feelings for the greater good.

I agree that it's largely about laundry, but not entirely. There are certain players that even from a completely neutral standpoint are hard to like, and others that are hard not to like.


I agree with that, but at least for me the laundry tops it all. I cheer on A-Rod even though he'd never get my HoF vote, and if I were a Jints fan I'd have rooted for Mr. BigHead himself. I'd like to think that I'd have more principles than that, but of course I'd be a liar if I were to pretend that I did.

Of course the real test for me would be if LeBron were now to go to the Celtics. I guess the only way I'd resolve it would be to cheer him as long as he had that jersey on, and as long as the game was going on. But I'd still be steamed about that ESPN farce.
   854. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4151147)
Rondo can certainly be a dick, but if you're going to try to tell me he's worse that Isiah Thomas, Jordan, or Kobe, well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

Strawman.

I'm sick of people (and not necessarily you in this post, this is just a jumping off point) telling me I should like Rondo. That objectively I'm wrong for disliking him or that it's only because I hate the Celtics. There's even an unspoken implication that he's somehow more likeable or his faults are more forgivable because he's on the Celtics in some of these comments I see (including the post from the other night comparing him to great artists). This may not be unique to Boston fans, but it sure has been perfected by them over the years (e.g. Manny).
   855. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4151148)
Rooting for laundry is a big part of it, but it provably goes beyond that. Pierce, Rondo, and Garnett are easily hateable. And I can say that while still respecting their ability, and can certainly understand rooting for them if they are on a team you like.

Ray Allen on the other hand, nobody can hate him, right?
   856. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4151150)
Pretty evenly split. I might have counted wrong, but I see 10 people who say the Heat win, 10 who think the Celtics. As for rooting interest, it's 9-8 in favor of the Celtics, with 3 preferring some sort of disaster. I started rooting for the Heat, and will never root for the Celtics, but I'm leaning in the third direction right now.
   857. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4151151)
Most great players are eminently hateable. I'm pretty shocked that there's anyone who watches sports and doesn't get this. Sure, people cheered Jordan in enemy arenas, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who hated him. Kareem and Bird were really hard to like if you're neutral to the Lakers and Celtics, and very few people are neutral about those teams to begin with.

I honestly think that this is true mostly on a superficial level. IMO a lot of many great players' offputting tendencies stem from a very human reaction against being in a bubble 24/7. I doubt if I've made more than one permanent enemy in my life (and I'm proud to have achieved that status with that person), but if every time I walked ten feet out the door I were assaulted by fans and media asking me the same goddam questions without any letup**, I'm not sure my natural cheerfulness would survive too many seasons.

And some people are just better in small groups of trusted friends than in public. Does that make them bad people? Not necessarily, at least not to me.

**"How did it FEEL when you left that tying run on base?" "What's your relationship now with Madonna?"
   858. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4151154)
Will Win: Celtics
Rooting for: Heat -- want LBJ to break through whatever this thing holding him back is.

Rondo isn't in the same class as Danny Ainge as a detestable Celtic. ML Carr with his waving towel and Kevin McHale with his whining and demands that the ballboy throw him a towel so he could dry off before his (generally unearned) free throws were also worse. Much worse. The mid-80s Celtics were about as detestable as they come. Even Walton got into that douchey towel waving. This era's version is nowhere near as bad.

   859. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4151155)
I respect him as an all time great player, but I could never root for Kobe. Nor could I root for someone like Brett Myers (I can't think of a known wife beater in the NBA off the top of my head). Most other players that I "hate" I freely admit it's mostly the uniform they wear and would love them if they helped one of my favorite teams win.

More pertinent to this discussion, I actually like Rondo quite a bit. I find Garnett, Pierce, and Wade far easier to hate, though that may not be much of a compliment to Rondo...
   860. JJ1986 Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4151156)
I can't think of a known wife beater in the NBA off the top of my head


Kidd.
   861. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4151157)
Rooting for laundry is a big part of it, but it provably goes beyond that. Pierce, Rondo, and Garnett are easily hateable. And I can say that while still respecting their ability, and can certainly understand rooting for them if they are on a team you like.

I guess so, but that likely means that you'll just as "objectively" hate almost any great player on a opposing team without a disposition like David Robinson or Tim Duncan. Whatever you may think about Pierce, Rondo, Garnett, Jordan, Bird, or Kareem, the only thing that distinguishes them from hundreds of other NBA players is (a) their talent, and (b) their neverending exposure on national TV, which in large part is due to their talent. There are probably players on Sacramento or Cleveland or Charlotte who are every bit as intense or "obnoxious" as the three you single out above, but if you see them in action maybe never or once a year in a no-meaning game, you're not really giving them a chance to display the full extent of their charm.
   862. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4151158)
Rondo isn't in the same class as Danny Ainge as a detestable Celtic. ML Carr with his waving towel and Kevin McHale with his whining and demands that the ballboy throw him a towel so he could dry off before his (generally unearned) free throws were also worse. Much worse. The mid-80s Celtics were about as detestable as they come. Even Walton got into that douchey towel waving. This era's version is nowhere near as bad.

I love it. So I guess you rooted for the taciturn Kareem, who never EVER whined about a foul call. And then there was the lovely guard who famously played clubhouse lawyer and got his coach fired.

Oh, and I'm sure you started a petition to get the mild mannered Jack Nicholson evicted from the Forum.
   863. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4151159)
I respect him as an all time great player, but I could never root for Kobe.

IMO that's the one legitimate exception to the laundry rule: Players with a history of gratuitous violence towards women. That sort of hatred I can totally understand.
   864. JJ1986 Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4151169)
IMO that's the one legitimate exception to the laundry rule:


Exception #2: the player in question is one Carmelo Anthony.
   865. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4151174)
Whatever you may think about Pierce, Rondo, Garnett, Jordan, Bird, or Kareem, the only thing that distinguishes them from hundreds of other NBA players is (a) their talent, and (b) their neverending exposure on national TV, which in large part is due to their talent.

Actually, the thing that differentiates Rondo from hundreds of other NBA players is his history of dirty and dangerous plays against the team that I root for. I dislike James Posey and Jeff Foster in much the same way.
   866. rr Posted: June 07, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4151176)
Andy, SBB is a Knicks fan, and while he seems to have a lot of respect for Magic as a player, I suspect his comments about the 1980s Celtics had nothing to do with the Showtime Lakers. Many people obviously hate both teams.
   867. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 07, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4151181)
I totally disagree (at least in my case) with "of course you'd like him if he were on your team." I'm not a die-hard fan of any NBA team but I absolutely will not be rooting for Manny Ramirez when he's on the A's. I didn't hate Roger Clemens any less when he was with the Astros. I do agree that feelings intensify with media exposure (local or global), but if I had a favorite NBA team, I would absolutely not want KG on it. It'd matter less if he played for the Bucks (or when he did play for the T-Wolves) but I don't think it would really change my feelings about him (for instance I really dislike Brandon Jennings as well, I just don't think of him that often because his team is rarely on national TV.)
   868. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4151182)
The mid-80s Celtics were about as detestable as they come. Even Walton got into that douchey towel waving. This era's version is nowhere near as bad.
I think the difference is that the current Celtics aren't blowing smoke in your face while they wax poetic about how awesome they are while they stand on your neck.

I honestly don't think Celtic fans realize just how hated Auerbach's teams were outside of Boston. The guy would light up his victory cig in the middle of the damn game, and his teams would take on that F-U personality and rub opponents' noses in it when they won. I imagine it was as great for Cs fans as it was awful for everyone else, so if you thought it was the greatest thing ever, turn that around, and that's how everyone else felt about them.
   869. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 07, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4151186)
But, but, but they didn't have Bill Laimbeer! Or Rick Mahorn! How could you hate any team other than the Pistons?!?
   870. rr Posted: June 07, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4151192)
I would absolutely not want KG on it


That is certainly understandable, as this is a YMMV topic, but I strongly disagree with that. I want my teams to win, Garnett helps you win, and no one cares more about playing the game than he does.

I think I would have had trouble with Laimbeer on the Lakers, though, back in the day.
   871. baudib Posted: June 07, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4151196)
My top 10 most hated players would be a couple of the Detroit Bad Boys, Laimbeer and Mahorn (who I liked as a Sixer), Kareem and 6-7 Celtics.

Edit: and Tyronn Lue
   872. Fourth True Outcome Posted: June 07, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4151201)
I want my teams to win, Garnett helps you win, and no one cares more about playing the game than he does.


This. I'll never try to argue someone out of thinking that KG is a dick, but he's not a dirty player, and his dickishness stems entirely from his semi-frightening intensity. When he says things like how Chauncey Billups could have his legs, or that he would do something "drastic" for Doc Rivers, you know it's no exaggeration. He claps in Jose Calderon's face, is a bit of a bully, and says terrible things on-court, but it comes from the same place that makes every teammate rave about him. He seems to be about as extreme an example of the love-him-if-he's-yours/hate-him-if-he's-playing-yours guy possible.
   873. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: June 07, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4151230)
That is certainly understandable, as this is a YMMV topic, but I strongly disagree with that. I want my teams to win, Garnett helps you win, and no one cares more about playing the game than he does.


Winning is pretty meaningless to me if I don't feel some sort of kinship with the players -- that's why I root for the team after all, they represent me on the court. I would be ashamed of rooting for a team of ######## that win and wouldn't really feel like they represented me, so if they were to win I wouldn't really feel part of it. YMMV certainly, no argument there.
   874. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4151237)
Andy, SBB is a Knicks fan, and while he seems to have a lot of respect for Magic as a player, I suspect his comments about the 1980s Celtics had nothing to do with the Showtime Lakers. Many people obviously hate both teams.

That's funny, because objectively there's a lot more reason to loathe the Knicks of the Riley / Van Gundy era than there was to loathe the Showtime Lakers. I can't think of a single player on those 90's Knicks who wasn't obnoxious in his own special way. Ewing, Starks, Mason, Oakley, the whole nine yards. With Spike Lee thrown in for good measure. They were about as aesthetically pleasing as an alley mugging; at least the Bad Boy Pistons had Dumars as a 20% redemptive factor.

Of course the common factor of those two teams (not to mention Miami) was good old Big Chief Gucci Pucci, who's infinitely more loathsome than all of his players put together. I think that's something that everyone can agree on, even Showtime Lakers fans like yourself.

---------------------------------------------------

I honestly don't think Celtic fans realize just how hated Auerbach's teams were outside of Boston. The guy would light up his victory cig in the middle of the damn game, and his teams would take on that F-U personality and rub opponents' noses in it when they won. I imagine it was as great for Cs fans as it was awful for everyone else, so if you thought it was the greatest thing ever, turn that around, and that's how everyone else felt about them.

In the 50's and 60's I was a Philly Warriors and Sixers fan, and I know what you're talking about. And you almost had to have seen Red in action as a working coach (as opposed to a GM) to fully appreciate his m.o. He baited refs like no other coach in history, mocked opponents openly, and then there was the cigar.

But most of all there was the winning. Without those 9 banners, he'd be just another long gone NBA coach, just another Al Cervi or Eddie Gottleib.
   875. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 07, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4151239)
Would it kill the league to have someone watch the games and determine what is and is not Tech worthy on replays? Jesus ####### Christ.
   876. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4151264)
LeBron certainly seems to have remembered, found and brought it tonight.
   877. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4151266)
James is unguardable out of the post. Even by his standards this is crazy.
   878. Famous Original Joe C Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4151269)
Uh-oh.
   879. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4151294)
LeBron is playing like a man possessed tonight. It may not be fair, but this is the guy people expect to see pretty much all the time.

The Heat are going to win this series, and we're going to get the dream matchup pretty much everyone wants to see.
   880. JJ1986 Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4151297)
Jesus.
   881. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4151304)
So, this halftime doesn't have the same feeling as last night's (when it seemed obvious that OKC was gonna come back). That said, I fully anticipate a change in the reffing. That non-call on Battier at the end of the half won't be repeated until Boston is fully back in the game.
   882. baudib Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4151305)
Jordan would have gone 14-for-14 and shrugged his shoulders.
   883. Spivey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4151306)
The one thing Miami has to be careful of is when LeBron goes apeshit like this they stop running an offense and then he's just having to hit long iso-jumpshots. Same thing happened last game and then he struggled in the second half.

All that said... that was one of the best performances I've ever seen in a half. A man on a mission.
   884. Squash Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4151308)
That said, I fully anticipate a change in the reffing. That non-call on Battier at the end of the half won't be repeated until Boston is fully back in the game.

Stern's going to have to make a decision - lock in the game 7, or make this game as exciting as possible.
   885. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4151312)
I didn't put that well. I don't mean the refs will get the Cs back in the game. I think they'll get back in the game and that the officiating will be a factor. I don't expect Rondo and the Cs to play as poorly as they did in the 1st half and Doc makes adjustments. The Cs played pretty terribly, LBJ shot lights-out (which he could sustain), but at least one of those is likely to change in Boston's favor.
   886. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4151314)
Rondo's creativity and finishing ability on layups is something else. And I swear it was just a year or two ago that Boston fans on BTF complained about his ability to finish even easy layups. Was that a different player or did he just improve a lot?
   887. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4151318)
I don't know the numbers, but I've seen Rondo miss layups, often b/c he doesn't seem to have a left hand.
   888. baudib Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4151324)
Rondo still misses layups and/or passes up layups to dish to someone for a 20-foot jumper.

   889. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4151326)
And, the first even things out foul of the half!
   890. Into the Void Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4151328)
That's a technical? At this point I don't think the NBA can get anymore wussy. Embarrassing.
   891. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4151329)
Nevermind! These refs just suck. Atrocious T, atrocious no-call on the Wade/Battier Maginot Line around the ball.
   892. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4151330)
Miami's gonna come back with Bosh soon.
   893. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4151332)
Pierce is killing Boston.
   894. Spivey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:23 PM (#4151337)
That was really lazy by LeBron.
   895. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4151338)
I hate the charge against Battier. It was the correct call, but I hope the NBA considers changing the rule. The defender made no play for the ball and didn't even draw contact until after Battier shot it.
   896. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4151339)
Was that glare just shot at Spoelstra? James is on fire.
   897. Spivey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4151340)
We are all witnesses. Seriously though, we're witnessing an alltime great performance.
   898. Spivey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4151341)
I hate the charge against Battier. It was the correct call, but I hope the NBA considers changing the rule. The defender made no play for the ball and didn't even draw contact until after Battier shot it.


I don't know that it was the right call. It very much looked to me like Pietrus slid under him after he had started his jump.
   899. JC in DC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4151342)
Agree on the charge call, Tom. That's a terrible call. I'm sick of those. Of course, I'm sick of them b/c Battier draws them all the time and is probably good for at least one before the night is over!
   900. Spivey Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4151345)
Mike Miller is not an NBA caliber athlete. And he sucks from 3 right now. Basically, he's worthless.
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