NCIS re-runs stack up well against NBA playoffs!by J.W. Miller on 05/13/19
I consider myself an above-average sports fan, but for the life of me I can’t get excited about the NBA playoffs. When my friends ask me if I saw “the game” last night or the night before, I have to admit ignorance, and I don’t like to admit that I’m ignorant. Uneducated in a lot of things maybe, like the national debt, or just plain stupid in others, like reading six-foot downhill putts, but seldom ignorant.
I know there are brilliant performances going on out there from guys like Kawhi Leonard of the Raptors, James Harden of the Rockets or, ho-hum, Steph Curry of the Warriors. But, frankly my dear, I am far more content watching NCIS re-runs where the good guys always win than I am the NBA’s original programming. And I don’t know why that is.
Maybe it's because I don’t have a long-time NBA rooting interest, like I do with the Red Sox or Kentucky basketball. I liked the Celtics with Larry Bird, and Magic was fun to watch, but I didn’t go into the bathroom, put a towel over my head and cry if they lost. The Pelicans could have won me over, and they did in the early years when they were pretty good, but I soured on them and the NBA during the Anthony Davis shenanigans. Now I read that new GM David Griffin has not ruled out AD returning to the team, while stories from elsewhere tell us how well he would fit into the Celtics, the Knicks or even the Lakers. Scratch the last two teams, because any Davis package would have to include good young players, of which neither have an abundance.
Considering my former occupation as defender of the realm, maybe I shy away from a sport where agents have so much influence. AD signs with a new agent last September, and all hell breaks loose in New Orleans. The Saints get cheated out of a Super Bowl trip, the Sewer and Water Board implodes and the flood pumps stop working. When my darling daughter, the nurse, calls me heading for work at 6:30 Sunday morning because she is stuck in traffic caused by flooded streets, somebody is to blame. Sorry, NBA, you’re up!
Speaking of Anthony Davis, maybe I’m not watching the playoffs because no Kentucky players are prominent. Oh, Jamal Murray did his best to keep the Nuggets in contention (until he laid a 4-for-18 egg on Sunday), and Enes Kanter has given the Trailblazers a spark inside since he was inexplicably released at the trade deadline by the slapstick Knicks. But did you also notice the DNP line on the playoff teams?
Other than the Raptors’ Jodie Meeks, who is near the end of a good career, the Did Not Play team included the Nuggets’ Jarred Vanderbilt and Trey Lyles, as well as the Blazers’ Skal Labissiere. Do you know what those three have in common? They were all Kentucky one-and-dones who were not ready for the NBA. Another season of competitive college basketball would have helped them mature into, well maybe a Kawhi Leonard (two years of college) or Steph Curry (three years).
Every major school loses players who should stay an extra year or two but don’t. I know it is hard to convince a young man sitting on the bench, making seven figures, that he should have returned to college. Sadly, money is the root of all DNP lines. Still, I believe another year or two of playing enhances the player’s on-court skill while helping him improving physically and emotionally, and don’t tell me about injury risks. That’s why Lloyds of London is in business.
So will I watch any of the upcoming playoffs? Only if the game is up against an NCIS repeat that I have seen more than three times. And even then, there is always American Pickers.