LOS ANGELES, May 29, 2018 — As America honored its fallen soldiers, the Memorial Day weekend featured plenty of sports. The Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 both offered compelling storylines. Months after Dale Earnhardt Jr. called it a racing career, Danica Patrick did the same. The National Hockey League -NHL- Stanley Cup Final began in epic fashion. The Washington Capitals shucked off years of playoff frustration to make it to the championship series for only the second time in their history.
Alex Ovechkin Check-In
Alex Ovechkin is playing in his first NHL Final. As for a shocker, the Las Vegas Golden Knights had never existed before this season. The expansion team shocked the sports world in making it to the NHL Final. The pregame hype looked like something out of Caesar’s Palace. The closest thing Washington can do for an exciting Game 3 pregame is to have naked drunken congressmen recreate the Battle of Gettysburg. Game 1 more than lived up its pregame hype, with the Golden Knights winning a 6-4 thriller.
The National Basketball Association is determined to remain boring.
For the four billionth straight year, The Cleveland LeBron Jameses will take on the Golden State Steph Currys. Technically, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will face off for the fourth straight year.
This was the year basketball finally had a chance to be interesting. The Cavs and Warriors both had to go on the road for Game 7 of their respective conference finals. ‘
The 82 game regular season chase to rock up home court throughout the playoffs could finally have meaning.
The Cavs and warriors both fell behind badly to start their respective games.
Then reality set in. The Cavaliers crushed the Boston Celtics and the Warriors stomped the Houston Rockets. Why even bother having a regular season?
Once again, the same two inevitable teams will play each other in a predetermined contest.
Cleveland – 2015 -16
In 2015, it was enjoyable to see the sad sack warriors come out of nowhere to become champions. In 2016 it was heartwarming to see James deliver a title to championship-starved Cleveland. These were both feel-good stories. Now the fatigue has set in.
In the 1980s, only two teams combined to win eight of 10 championships. That was tolerable because the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics hated each other. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were fierce rivals. In the 1990s, Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six titles. Jordan hated everybody. Any player who did not sing his praises became an invented enemy disrespecting him.
Today’s basketball players are all friends. James and Curry socialize together. They film political videos together (Bird, Magic and Jordan stayed far away from politics).
They even discuss joining forces on the same team together to form the superteam of superteams.
For the sake of the NBA, this must not happen. Superteams are what is killing the NBA. Bird or Magic would never think of playing together. Jordan did not want harmony. He desired unconditional surrender.
Ever since James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh formed a Miami Heat superteam, the NBA has gotten worse. Rather than try and defeat the Warriors, the entire Western Conference just tries to join them.
In the National Football League, only once have two teams have ever played in the Super Bowl two consecutive years. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills in 1992 and 1993.
In Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 and 1978 World series. Before that, one has to go back to the 1950s to find a World Series rematch. The Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers split a pair in 1955 and 1956, while the Yankees and Milwaukee Braves split their MLB series in 1957 and 1958.
In the NHL, rematches are also very rare. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins in 1977 and 1978. The New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers both reached the final round in 1983 and 1984, splitting those series. The same happened with the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008 and 2009, with a split.
In the NBA, the same teams are in the finals. Again…and again…and again. Whoever wins the 2018 championship, one thing is clear. The National Basketball Association has become boring.