Everyone and their cross-eyed Uncle (including those of us who don’t follow the NBA on a consistent basis) has heard by now of the controversy surrounding tonight’s game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies. Due to the postseason seedings used in the NBA the Clippers, currently seeded sixth in the Western Conference, would actually benefit from losing to the fifth-seeded Grizzlies. By losing, they retain their current seeding and would play the Denver Nuggets (a team that currently claims a poorer record than the Clippers) rather than the Dallas Mavericks. The hot button question seems to be whether or not the Clippers would be justified to throw the game against Memphis and/or if it’s ever justified to throw a game.

No. Not “no, the Clippers should throw the game” but rather “no, this is not the question that should be asked.” Not by any stretch of the imagination. Sportswriters, fans, and especially those in the League (both on and off the court) should have more pressing questions that the NBA’s front office should be addressing. They are, in order:

  1. How can a seeding system be in place that would allow such a scenario to even arise?
  2. Why aren’t there talks of some form of re-alignment, even if it’s only shuffling a few teams here and there, when there’s only FOUR TEAMS in the entire Eastern Conference with winning records?
  3. For that matter, why IS the Eastern Conference so clearly (and consistently) weaker than the Western Conference?
  4. Why are the series in EVERY ROUND, including the opening round in the play-offs, best-of-seven?
  5. In light of all these problems, why was whether or not guys wear a button-down shirt for the ride from the hotel to the arena the hot button issue at the beginning of the season?
  6. Should the Clippers intentionally throw tonight’s game against the Grizzlies?

My answers:

  1. Because the NBA apparently doesn’t think of these things.
  2. Because then West Coast fans will start crying about an East Coast bias like they do in every sport.
  3. The competition is so dismal in each division of the Eastern Conference that none of them play with any sense of urgency
  4. I don’t know, but I can’t care too much about a postseason that seems to last three freaking years
  5. The NBA is run by old white men
  6. While in an ideal world competitive spirit would never allow such a thing to happen, the Clippers cannot be faulted for taking advantage of a really bad system.

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Supposedly the Texans may not have plans to draft Reggie Bush (SportsIllustrated.CNN.com). Thus far the Texans have not contacted anyone from Bush’s camp about a potential draft and more importantly a subsequent contract, while they have been talking to DE Mario Williams. It’s all a moot point, because what the Texans need to do right now is solidify their market, and the best way to do that is to draft hometown boy Vince Young. However, that doesn’t look very likely.

And speaking of bonehead draft choices, the Jets are supposedly considering drafting Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler over Matt Leinart. Given the history of horrible decisions made in the draft, Jets fans can’t be TOO surprised at this nugget of information.

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Barry Bonds is at 5/26 with a .192 average, two doubles, no triples, no homers, and a single RBI. It’s one thing that it’s so early in the season, but it now seems physically impossible for Bonds to hit pitches low and away. It’s getting to the point where pitchers aren’t afraid to throw to him anymore. Forget breaking Aaron’s record…at this point, he may not even pass Ruth. My personal opinion is that he won’t even last until the end of the season, due to (as I’ve stated before) the physical, psychological, and legal issues that are mounting like a Catholic’s waistline at the beginning of January.

But screw Bonds, because there’s much more entertainment to be had in Major League Baseball, such as Jim Leyland losing his shit (DetNews.com) only two plus weeks into the regular season.

Oh, and Oakland may already be quietly shopping Barry Zito to the New York market. I think either team would work out for Zito, but I’m pulling for the Yankees. I’m not convinced Zito’s going to post less than a 4.00 ERA this season, but anything that might possibly get Steinbrenner to finally consider giving Jaret Wright the old heave-ho will will do at this point.

More later…

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  1. April 19, 2006 at 3:02 am

    Barry Bonds as a rookie had the body of Dave Chappelle.

    • April 19, 2006 at 3:46 am

      Forget rookie year, he was gangly right up until the mid-90s.

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