^
Keep Westword Free
4
| Sports |

Imagining the Nuggets starring in the NBA's nightmare

"NBA & Nike Lose if Denver Nuggets & Orlando Magic Advance to NBA Finals," an article at MarketingShift.com, begins like so: "Everybody loves a conspiracy theory, including fans of the National Basketball Association. Since the Tim Donaghy refree scandal,commisioner David Stern can't be thrilled with the complaints from former players such as Charles Barkley, accusing the league [of] officiating with a bias toward the Cavs and Lakers for a Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James matchup in the NBA Finals." Not only would a Kobe-LeBron pairing spell ratings gold, but it'd also sell plenty of shoes -- and as the piece's author points out, Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard "believes the new Nike MVPs series, featuring talking puppets of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, are an indication that the shoe giant has counted its eggs before they've hatched."

Oh, man, have they. Orlando's overtime win against the Cavs last night all but guarantees that James won't be competing in this year's finals, and the Nuggets can go a long way toward sidelining Bryant by winning in L.A. tonight. But they'll have a tough time doing so if the refs continue to punish anyone who actually tries to guard Kobe, as opposed to letting him strike a series of poster-ready poses on the way to the basket.

I'm not talking about the league's decision to hang Dahntay Jones with a flagrant foul for tripping Bryant in Monday's contest -- because anyone looking at the replay objectively knows that's exactly what he did. More worrisome is the tendency of officials to ticket any Nug who so much as invades Kobe's personal space, let alone lays a finger on him. Bryant has spent an inordinate amount of this series whining about being roughed up. But the truth is, he's been handed an enormous number of trips to the stripe on gifts that no one other than LeBron would have been given.

Once again, the refs can go a long way toward deciding who wins or loses tonight. If they want to contradict the conspiracy theories alluded to above, they need to blow their whistles a lot more judiciously than they have in much of the series to date. And now, let's all say a silent prayer that Steve Javie isn't the man in stripes...

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.