As most pro basketball fans on planet Earth know, the Golden State Warriors have a shot at history on Wednesday night. They've already equaled the 72 win season put up by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls and have one game to go. Against Memphis. After a full two days rest. At home. Chances are good they'll win it.
As most people in the solar system and beyond know, Wednesday will also feature the final game of one Kobe Bean Bryant. Chances are good KBB and the Lakers will lose it.
This year's Warriors are the best team in the NBA, with the San Antonio Spurs not too far behind.
This year's Lakers are their worst team in history, and only the absolutely pitiful Philadelphia 76ers have kept them out of the league basement.
Yet the debate rages. Which would one rather watch on TV?
The Warriors likely doing something never accomplished before, or Kobe's final game?
This is not even remotely a close call for any objective hoops fan. OF COURSE ITS THE WARRIORS.
They may or may not repeat as champions when the playoffs are done, but no one would seriously doubt they'll see an elite team running up and down the floor is their quest for history.
On the other hand, the Lakers, and Kobe himself are limping to the finish line. After 81 games, the Lakers find themselves a mind-boggling FIFTY SIX games behind. Did I mention they're terrible? It's almost inconceivable a once proud franchise could be so bad. Showtime has become blowtime. Who in their right mind would want to watch these clowns play?
As if they needed another hindrance, Bryant himself has been an albatross around the Lakers' neck for the last two years. It became obvious several years ago that Kobe Bean was on the decline -- quickly. Not only was his productivity falling off, he couldn't even stay healthy.
Yet incredibly, the Lakers signed him to a 2- year contract worth $48 million. What have they got for all that money in return? An obviously washed up player last year -- even worse this year -- and Kobe's ultra-hyped "farewell tour". Plus, the above-mentioned thud into the bottom of the deep well of the Western Conference. Fifty six games behind? Likely fifty seven in a couple more days? Really? Is there even oxygen at such a depth?
Idle thought: This is not to say Kobe Bean is trying to milk his last go-round for all it's worth -- but what gives with all the body bandages and ice packs they slap on him when he comes out of a game? Is he an aging basketball player or the Michelin Man? One can note that the miles of ace bandages and tons of ice are gone shortly after any game when Kobe holds his usual smug post-game press conference with the fawning reporters. In that way, he's like Tiger Woods. Long washed up, but the media still hangs on his every word. As if it even matters. It doesn't, or at least shouldn't.
Like Eldrick, Kobe had his day, and now it's (almost - mercifully) over. Actually, neither have been remotely relevant in their sports in recent years, other than the hype they continue to generate. In a way, it's like politics in an election year. The media hordes will create their own heroes -- and villains -- while over-analyzing (with their merry band of "experts") every little thing. And many of the gullible masses continue to eat it up. It's like they don't have a mind of their own and need to be told who their heroes should be. The truly sad thing is -- they'll believe it and vote/root accordingly. A sorry testament indeed.
But come Wednesday, it's a no-brainer. Why would any rational person want to watch Kobe Bryant limp into retirement with the equally sad-sack Lakers when they could check out the Warriors possibly making history?
Then again, one could always tune in to Jeopardy to learn a few tidbits and dial up a decent movie afterwards.
Final idle thought: Speaking of game shows, can that be right? Vanna White of Wheel of Fortune fame is making $8 million a year? And she doesn't even turn over letters anymore? By her own admission, a computer has long controlled the "board" to light up correctly called letters. VW has even stated she's happy they keep her around for basically doing nothing. Talk about a great gig. She's got to travel the world many times over free, wear the finest designer clothes, be pampered like British royalty, and now a 60ish stick woman that was never that good looking in the first place is making 8 large a year for doing nothing except riding in limos back and forth to a non-job? Wow. Only in America. Is this a great country or what?