Every year in March, the nation huddles down, scrambles away from work, posts up in bars, and intakes massive amounts of bad basketball. That’s right, I’m talking about the NCAA tournament. Sure, it’s fun and exhilarating. Spring is just barely in the air; winter is receding into a bad memory. Sometimes the event coincides with St. Patrick’s Day, giving us a green-tinted haze through which to watch unpaid players clank shot after shot off an unforgiving rim.
I love March Madness just as much as you, don’t worry. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. But — hear me out — it pales in comparison to the NBA’s offering.
This last weekend (plus yesterday) gave us PLAYOFF GIANNIS:
GIANNIS IS TOUCHING THE GROUND AND THE RIM AT THE SAME TIME pic.twitter.com/72jCGlP869— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 15, 2017
It also gave us the return of almost-peak-Cavaliers:
kyrie crossed lance stephenson all the way back to charlotte pic.twitter.com/u1ebE3iaTW— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) April 18, 2017
[Note: I have mixed feelings about this. Obviously, a Kyrie Irving step-back haunts my waking and resting life, but yikes, that kid can ball. I’m sorry for bringing up harsh memories, but I can’t help but be amazed night in and night out by Kyrie’s game.]
Perhaps, most importantly, we have a new
NBA MVP, er, I mean Coach of the Year candidate. This was an all-time epic rant from Memphis Grizzlies’ coach David Fizdale.
“It’s unfortunate that I got a guy like Mike Conley who in whole career has zero technical fouls. He just cannot seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves. We don’t get the respect that these guys deserve because Mike Conley doesn’t go crazy. He has class, and he just plays the game, but I’m not gonna let them treat us that way. I know Pop has pedigree and I’m a young rookie but they’re not gonna ‘rook’ us. That’s unacceptable that was unprofessional. My guys dug in that game and earned to be in that game but they did not even give us a chance. Take that for data.”
“TAKE THAT FOR DATA! ”
[slams table and storms out of the room]
"They're not gonna rook us!" was also pretty good.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) April 18, 2017
Obviously, we have ourselves a new meme with which to play.
UPDATE: YESSSSSS! THIS:
The NCAA opening weekend featured drunkenness, bar hopping, and clanked shots by over-eager young’uns with a “wide” gap of skill levels. You’d be just as likely to turn around and see Lonzo Ball — future top three pick — hit a ridiculous shot from afar as you’d be to watch some no name dude miss a bunny layup with zero defenders around him.
The NBA’s opening weekend featured ridiculous drives to the hoop, a 37 point, 11 rebound performance from Kawhi Leonard, and a five block, dominant performance from the presumptive Defensive Player of the Year, Draymond Green:
We are all NBA die hards, so I realize this is not a super hot take. Of course the NBA’s opening weekend is a vastly superior product to the NCAA’s offering. But, at some point, the nation/world/universe is going to figure this out as well and we’ll see this weekend turn into a sort of national holiday.
The NBA is on a serious up-and-up course. It is the fastest growing sport in America, ticket sales have skyrocketed, jersey sales have skyrocketed. The Warriors’ popularity among younger fans has had a huge hand in this growth, but overall the league is in an amazing place right now.
I can’t wait to see how the next two months play out. Be sure to check out SB Nation’s interactive playoff bracket!
[Note: I saw someone say this exact same thing on twitter, but for the life of me can’t remember who it was. Whoever said this, obviously I agree with you and in no way, shape, or form am trying to plagiarize your idea. I was going to embed the tweet right at the top, give you full credit, but couldn’t find it.]