Bye Bye Basketball

by The New Republic Staff | June 15, 2007

The NBA season came to a disappointing end last night as the Spurs swept the Cavaliers in the worst finals match-up of (at least) the last two decades. Television ratings for the first three games of the series were way down, and surely the same was true of Game 4. Eva Longoria's fiancée won the MVP award (deservedly, although one would think his life is good enough as is), and the Cavs can spend the next three months wondering how they made it this far with only one good player. The answer is that the Eastern Conference has been pathetic for a decade now, and Bill Simmons's plea to change the way playoff teams are seeded seems entirely sensible (as Simmons generously notes, the idea actually came from Bay Area sports genius Bob Fitzgerald). Still, this should be an interesting off-season, with the Lakers potentially trading for Jermaine O'Neal, and the Suns and Mavericks hopefully looking to make some sort of move that would enable them to beat the Spurs. We can only hope that David Stern gets plenty of heat over the next few months for hastening the Suns' exit from the second-round, but truth be told I think it's unlikely they were going to beat San Antonio. Tim Duncan's team over the past nine seasons has been playing at a level not seen since the Bulls lost Michael Jordan, and Duncan himself is the best player of the last twenty years if you exclude MJ and a certain center from Houston. Finally, looking towards next year (and assuming your favorite team isn't going to win it all), everyone should be hoping for Steve Nash to win a ring, and little else. --Isaac Chotiner

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