Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sports are so unpredictable; or, How Dare da Bulls screw up by winning!

I didn’t watch the Chicago Bulls as they began their playoff stretch Sunday against the Boston Celtics, but I did stumble onto some of the pre-game ritual that focused heavily on the fact that Celtics player Isaiah Thomas had a sister who was killed during the weekend in an automobile accident.
Spouting off too quickly?

We got to see the closeup of his game shoes that had her name written on them as a tribute and the moment of silence by the fans, along with the sight of Thomas sobbing. It was supposed to be the motivating factor that would inspire the Celtics to go out and win this game for their teammate in mourning.

DURING THE TNT pre-game broadcast, analyst Charles Barkley came right out and proclaimed the Chicago Bulls to be “losers” Sunday night, and likely of this entire round of playoffs. They have no chance!

The Celtics would just have too many reasons to win, and not just because theoretically they’re a better team.

Now I don’t know if this belongs on the list of ridiculous things Charles Barkley has said during his time as a professional basketball player and post-player career hanging around the game. Heck, it’s not even the dumbest thing he said Sunday – what with his remarks that another player would spend that night in a gay bar.

But let’s look at the actual on-court results for a second.

CHICAGO BULLS 106-Boston Celtics 102.

It’s almost like that moment from the film “Brian’s Song,” when the Chicago Bears learn that teammate Brian Piccolo was seriously ill and they take it upon themselves to say they’ll give Piccolo the game ball.
Didn't get the desired Sunday tribute

Only to cut to the next scene where the Piccolo character belittles his teammates for going out and losing the game! So much for the tribute to and sister Chyna.

Either that, or we can blame the Bulls for screwing up what would have been a touching sporting moment. Or at least something that the sporting fan mentality would want to perceive of as being touching.

SINCE ALL TOO often, that mentality does have a knack of making something out of what the rest of the world would consider nothing.

Now I’m not particularly following the Bulls as they try to work their way through what theoretically could be a couple of months of playoffs leading up to the National Basketball Association championship, to be played in June.
I'll bet MJ could tell us tales about Barkley

I realize this first round against Boston could be THE END for Chicago. The Bulls of the 21st Century are nowhere near the domineering team they were in the final decade of the 20th Century.

In fact, managing to win the game that Charles Barkley said they were supposed to lose and had no business even thinking of being competitive in could wind up being the highlight of the 2016-17 season.

THERE ARE STILL up to six more games to be played in this round of the playoffs, and it is totally possible Boston will rebound. In fact, it probably is likely they will rebound, and people will “little note nor long remember” what was said by Barkley.

To steal a thought from one A. Lincoln and his most famed of speeches he made that day in Gettysburg, Penn.
"You're supposed to win the game!"

That we will get to see for ourselves when the Bulls take to the court again Tuesday night for another game against Boston before traveling back to the United Center for Game Three against those mighty Celtics.

All of which strikes me as a bit much attention for a sport that should have had the decency to wrap itself up in March, since playing for an NBA championship in June is almost as obscene as the baseball World Series in November.


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