NBA 2018 SEASON WRAP-UP
This entire 2017-2018 NBA season finally culminated with Monday night’s NBA Awards. I had, on purpose, not written about the Championship this year because it was way too painful for me; I just wanted the whole topic to go away. And then I still didn’t have it in me to write about the Draft, even though I usually do. And it was a really fun, happy one this year.
So, of course, I wasn’t planning to discuss these awards, either. When the television presentation was instituted last year, I thought it was kind-of dumb to hand the awards out in a show format, rather than throughout the Finals. I don’t think I even watched it last year.
But, as a major basketball fan, I was really curious who would win each award, even though the guys on Inside The NBA sort-of let us know the answers as the play-offs went on. They had no official idea, but I assume the voters (the sportswriters and the public) either already felt the same way as those guys, or got influenced by their choices. So, just as by the time we get around to the Oscars each year, there are no mysteries left, that’s sort-of how it is with the NBA Awards, as well.
But I always like to see how sportsmen speak. Some are shocks, both ways. For example, I’ve been watching, and admiring, Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez wow us with his altheltic prowess for a couple of years now, but only recently found-out that…he doesn’t speak English!!! I had assumed that he’d sound like he’s from the Bronx! And occasionally, I’m pleasantly surprised that a player speaks really well, such as Jamal Crawford. (You’ll read more about him in a minute.)
So, I embarked on watching the second annual NBA Awards expecting not too much. But, after the dreadful opening monologue from very uncomfortable, unfunny host Anthony Anderson, the whole thing warmed up. No one was especially amusing, and the chatter from the mainly celebrity presenters was pat and inane, (as usual for awards shows, no matter what the topic,) but the speeches were genuine and heartfelt. And I began to enjoy the show. It put me in such a good mood that I felt I could finally comment on this entire past NBA season, and then put it all to bed.
So, here are just a few thoughts on all these NBA events, in backwards chronological order:
THE NBA AWARDS
It was good to see that the majority of guests, men and women, all dressed appropriately.
Victor Oladipo’s speech (for winning Most Improved Player) was good.
Rudy Gobert appeared to be the most grateful winner (for Best Defensive Player.)
I love that Best Sixth Man, Lou Williams, ended his speech with, “ ’Preciate ya all.” And I believe him!
I could not wait to hear Coach of The Year Dwane Casey’s speech. Right after his team was ousted in the second round of the play-offs, the Toronto Raptors fired him! And now he won the award for coaching them to the top seed in the East for the first time ever. But his speech was perfect. Grateful and pointed at the same time. Good for him!
Actor Jesse Williams, who presented an award here, looked like a serial killer.
Jamal Crawford spoke the best, and gave a lovely acceptance speech for his repeat win as what I consider to be the most important award, Teammate of the Year. I wish that someone there had explained the meaning of it being the “Twyman Stokes Award,” though. (Look it up—but have tissues handy. I just teared-up just thinking about it!)
Poor Charles Barkley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can barely walk! That happens to a lot of former NBA players. (But it beats what the NFL guys go through, with all the brain injuries!)
It’s a few days later, and I’m still in shock that, when Charles Barkley was lovingly lauding him, Bill Russell gave him the finger! On-camera! How absolutely classless! But I applaud Charles for ignoring him, and proceeding with his presentation to the incredible Oscar Robertson for his Lifetime Achievement Award.
Because he played before I started paying attention, I never knew how much Oscar did for the game! What a great story he has.
Dikembe Mutombo’s speech (and supreme goodness in life) made me cry. He shows it’s not all thugs in the NBA.
I’m so glad the MVP James Harden loves his mother so much! Now if only she could make him shave that nauseating beard!!!
THE NBA DRAFT
First of all, I love that the Draft show once again came from my beloved Brooklyn!!! I watched the Barclays Center being built!
And I was so pleased that everybody involved looked pretty good.
I was thrilled that every single one of the draftees seemed nice, and grateful for this incredible opportunity. That’s not always the case with these young men. I just really hope that they all stay that way!
My two faves this time are very surprising, even to me, because…they’re white boys!!! For some reason, the young white guys usually don’t do much for me.
But #3 pick, Luka Doncic, is not only an adorable and grateful and talented young man, but he’s gorgeous!!! (I just hope that he gets his teeth fixed really soon. And then he’ll be as good-looking as his beautiful mother, who I thought was his girlfriend!!! But he’s only nineteen, so that makes sense.)
And new Milwaukee Buck, Donte DiVencenzo, always makes me smile. He looks just like Poindexter in the old Barbie board game. And when asked what food he should tell his new Greek Freak teammate, Giannis Antetokounmpo, about, without blinking an eye, he answered, “My mother’s pasta.” OMG—I love that guy. And he’s a ginger, too, so my little mother would have adored him, as well.
Aside from all the guys giving good interviews, I must also laud Maria Taylor, the female who interviewed them. She did really well. I usually think these sports girls are awful, but she did not make it about her, at all.
THE 2018 NBA PLAY-OFFS
[Note: I wrote all these notes as the play-offs progressed, rather than at the end of it all.]
Brent Barry was the best commentator. With him, there’s no nonsense, he has a soothing voice, (as opposed to many of the grating ones on the other men,) and he offers lots of good sense info.
I’m in love with the Jazz duo of Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell!!!
The Jazz became my fave team, followed by the Sixers. [Note: We’ll see what happens next year. I may just go with the Bucks!]
I wept thinking that I might have just witnessed the last games of Dwayne Wade, Tony Parker, and mostly, Manu Ginobili. But it is sort-of nice to witness exciting new blood, such as rookies Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons.
Chris Weber always tells us what the players are “saying.” That cracks me up.
How sweet of Terry Rozier to think to tell sideline reporter Roz Gold-Onwude “Happy Birthday” at the end of their interview, right after his major win!!!
Jrue Holiday has the best voice! I can’t wait for him to be a broadcaster someday!
I love Jazz legend John Stockton’s assessment of rookie Donovan Mitchell: “A guy who seems impervious to youth.” Beautiful.
Sixers coach Brett Brown is an attractive man. He’s not my type at all, (as are only Hugh Jackman, James Bey, and, of course, Mr. X,) but I recognize his attractiveness.
I have the utmost respect for Steve Kerr, on every level of life, yet he doesn’t seem to mind working with a bunch of lowlife classless thugs and punks! (Read: Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia. Even Steph Curry misbehaved a bit during these play-offs!) I don’t get that. At all.
Victor Oladipo was excellent as a guest analyst on Inside The NBA!!! He was adorbs. (But perhaps he’s a bit too full of himself on his singing abilities, which are great for a ball player, but not so much for an actual singer.)
In Game 7 of the Conference Finals against LeBron and the Cavs, the Boston Celtics just got blown away mentally.
The Cavs are absolutely nothing without LeBron James! In that Game 7, he played all forty-eight minutes!!! (This was so cute—after the previous game, his young son asked him, “How do u make all those crazy shots?”) [Note: And from the looks of it, they may be even less next season; LeBron is most likely opting to go elsewhere. More on that topic at the end of this column.]
I was very impressed with how all the Celtics handled that post-devastating-loss press conference!
It’s amazing that LeBron made it this far without a team! (And we found-out later that he played the last three games of the Finals with a broken hand!!! Wow. What a man!)
ONE LAST THOUGHT ON LEBRON’S FUTURE
Unlike other sports writers, I won’t try to predict with absolute certainty where LeBron James is going to choose to land for next season, but that city will be lucky to have him. I’ve been saying all along that I think he’ll join the Los Angeles Lakers, and I still think so. I’ve never—I repeat never—been a Lakers fan, in all my years of loving this city itself. But if they get LeBron, especially if Kawhi Leonard comes here, too, I will have to finally become one. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do. Wait—maybe he’ll talk Kawhi into joining the Cavs, and then he can stay put!!! Wow, what a concept. I really think he’ll choose to do whatever his mother tells him to—they’re very close.
And if you want to see what I have to say about LeBron’s choice, all sports news, and actually everything, in a more timely fashion, please follow me on Twitter. @MajorCelebrity. I don’t tweet often, so you won’t be inundated by my bon mots, but you will get to see what I think of sporting events, awards shows, and life’s big moments as they happen. I can’t wait to share my thoughts on there with you all.