Well that was awkward. Last night, the much anticipated season opener of the Miami Heat’s version of a dream team took place, and in a word, sucked. Featuring an offense smooth as Seal’s face, the Heat stars took turns playing one on five and turning the ball over at a grotesque rate and firing up more bricks than the sphinx at the Temple of Ramses II. Over the course of the game, yours truly obviously had thoughts running through his mind. I mean, at one point, seven surefire future hall of famers were on the court. Marv Albert was announcing. Lebron had his 90 second Nike commercial taking up entire commercial breaks. Charles Barkley kept being hilarious as he always is. This game had more plotlines than “He’s Just Not That Into You” only it didn’t make you want to gouge out your eyes and ears halfway through (not like I’ve seen the movie before, multiple times, after 2am on HBO). Thankfully, Scarlett Johansson is in it. Otherwise, this next picture might have been something lame like a sphinx.
PLOTLINE #1: Lebron James
When millions of people watch for one hour as you awkwardly announce your free-agent decision in a made for TV special creatively called “The Decision,” you earn plotline #1 in my blog. Having harped on the merits of this publicity stunt for months, I won’t rehash how narcissistic/awesome it was, so I’ll just talk about Lebron’s opening night.
First off, Lebron just looks funny in a different uniform. Picture a hot girl deciding to cut her hair really short, and you have how odd Lebron looked. Sure, we’ll eventually overlook the aesthetic change and get back to realizing how pretty the girl really is, especially how she’s able to pull off short hair, but for a while there’s that awkward phase. He may have scored 31 points, but Lebron also had eight turnovers to just three assists. While on the court, his team outscored the Celtics by one. Which is far better than Chris Bosh’s -17 and Dwyane Wade’s -18, but still. After night one with the Miami Heat, Lebron is best equated to the Sinead O’Connor buzz cut.
PLOTLINE #2: The Old Big Three
With the NBA being the only sport that refuses to think of a different nickname for a group of three really good players being on one team, the Heat are now the team with “The Big Three.” That makes the Celtics the team with “The Old Big Three.” Even though Rajon Rondo has become arguably the Celtics most important player, The Old Big Three still includes just Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and KG. With the combined age of Betty White in ten years, these guys still know how to play. Pierce took just seven shots, yet he scored 19 points. Ray Allen led the team with 20 points, and five three-pointers, including the backbreaker to put the Celts up by six with 30 seconds left. KG held Bosh to just eight points, while registering a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double. Meanwhile, Rondo facilitated 17 assists to all his old buddies. After one game, the new-look Heat may have the sizzle, but the old Celtics are the steak.
PLOTLINE #3: Shaq
He’s too big to share a plotline. Both literally and figuratively. The oldest man in the NBA, with more nicknames than New York City, took less money this off season just to play for the Celtics. What they also got is one of the best personalities in all of sports. Any time a guy records a summer TV series where he challenges other athletes in their sports of dominance, just because he’s so popular that a network can actually make money off that concept, you know he’s awesome. I just spent the past six minutes trying to think of a comparison to this. The best I could do is to have Jennifer Aniston on “The Bachelorette” and have two guys stay on the show long enough to realize she has an advanced form of Halitosis (bad breath) which makes her mouth smell like a porta-potty at a state fair in Kentucky (Because, honestly, at this point that’s the only plausible explanation for how she’s still single). Amidst all this awesomeness, the newest statue in Harvard Square can still kind of play basketball. He had nine points and seven rebounds in the opener, so he’s useful to at least clobber small dudes going in the paint.
PLOTLINE #4: Marv Albert
The most famous, recognizable basketball announcer in the game has written the playbook on how to recover from one of the most embarrassing sex scandals of all-time. Known for amazing expressions like “He’s on FIRE”, “JORDAN, YES!” and “WITH THE FACIAL” (no I didn’t make that last one up), Marv avoided career catastrophe seamlessly. In case you’re fuzzy on the details, Marv was “accused” of forcing a woman into sodomy, along with assault in the form of biting the woman’s back. Via my most reliable source, Wikipedia: “A 42-year-old woman… accused Albert of throwing her on a bed at the Ritz Carlton, biting her on the back 15 times, sodomizing her, and forcing her to perform oral sex on him. She also claimed that he would force her to “face sit” him for periods of up to 45 minutes.” I know you’re first question and the answer is, yes: “She also claimed that he would force her to “face sit” him for periods of up to 45 minutes” is in fact the greatest sentence ever written on Wikipedia. I know you’re next question, and that answer is also, yes: 45 minutes of face-sitting must be at least 38 minutes too long before it becomes unhealthy. After all that, the dude is still announcing the most important basketball games in the NBA. You have to respect this fact of how good an announcer he is.
In the end, the Celtics prevailed 88-80 in a game best compared to one of those really loud farts that never carries a smell with it. Sure, we all jumped, or in this case, watched, but the final buzzer only made us question what all the fuss was about. The Celtics played their classic “get a big lead then blow it by the fourth quarter, only to hit clutch shots and finish the game with a win.” Lebron’s team played their usual “Lebron is on the court, so I’m not sure whether I should ever take a shot, but we don’t run an offense, so maybe when I get the ball I can do it?” So we were left with nothing but answers, which isn’t a bad thing since this was only game one. Plus, the next night, the Celtics went out and lost to the Lebron-less Cavaliers, and the Heat won by 10 on the road. With both teams tied in the standings at 1-1, this whole blog post has been rendered pointless. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to deal with it because it took me a while to write and I’m not deleting it. Hopefully you laughed once.
In case you didn’t, here’s Danneel Harris, of One Tree Hill fame. Not that I’ve ever seen her on there…