Thursday, June 08, 2006

Let the Finals Begin

Now that one set of finals are over (in our house, that means high school final exams), the decks are cleared for a more pleasing set of finals--the NBA finals, which begin tonight. The Christian Science Monitor does
a nice piece on how the league has regained its groove, with a bevy of exciting young stars, naturally including Lebron James. Unfortunately, the piece contains one howler: it includes Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony among the young NBA stars who are role models for kids. I think the writer may have overlooked one important fact: the guy once financed an underground DVD, "Stop Snitching," which counsels wrongdoers, especially drug dealers, not to cooperate with police. ESPN Magazine recounts the whole dreary chapter here. This kind of thing may enhance his street cred with the worst elements of the hip-hop generation, but it hardly makes him a role model.

Thankfully, this clown won't be among those on the big stage tonight. But there will be another clown in the thick of things: Mavs owner and brat-boy billionaire Mark Cuban, who made his pile by selling his start-up, to Yahoo shortly before the tech bubble burst. His new-age franchise owner's tactics--bitterly waging war on the refs, micromanaging team operations and forever crying about the team's media coverage--are more than enough to convince me to root for the Miami Heat, if Shaq and Dwayne Wade weren't enough reason already.

And while you're at it, if you see my friend Jim Kukral, web guru extraordinaire, ask him about his non-brush brush with Cuban. It's a funny story.


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