Archive for April 30th, 2009

Here’s Ron Artest on TNT last night, auditioning for Jamie Foxx’s role in The Soloist:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’m getting the impression that Ron thinks Brandon Roy is the best player he’s played against. I’m not sure why. Better than Kobe. Better than Lebron. Maybe not as good as some guy he grew up with in Queensbridge who’s now in jail, though.

I’m not a psycho-pharmacologist. Is this what happens when you’re on meds? Or when you go off of them?

Also, Craig Sager, you best watch your ass, laughing in Ron’s face before tossing it back to the studio. What’s that expression bears use? Don’t poke the Ron-Ron?

Hat-tip to Ball Don’t Lie.

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Go gentle into that good night, boys.

Go gentle into that good night, boys.

After all the accompanying anger and frustration during this season (and the last couple), the predominant emotion I feel at the end of it all is sadness. I’m sad and tired (kind of like Sheed).

There are several reasons its over, some complex, some as simple as guys getting old and windows closing. But the reason that this era came to a close at this exact moment in time, the reason it had to end now, is due to something intangible that no is talking about: Regret. This team can no longer support itself under the crushing weight of its own regret.

The Darko Milicic debacle. The Malice at the Palace. The failure to repeat as Champs after getting so close. The messy divorce from Larry Brown. Flaming out against the Heat in 2006. Losing to a lesser team in the Cavs in 2007. The weight from all this regret was too much for their collective shoulders. There’s no way to live all that down.

Remember when the Pistons were the team that never gave up? When their record in games when other teams were trying to close them out was impeccable? For the last couple seasons, they’ve been the team that doesn’t bother to show up to close-out games. They folded early in game 6 in Cleveland a couple years ago. They gave up in a winnable Game 6 of the Boston series last year, a game in which they held the lead in the fourth quarter. I remember watching and feeling like they were rolling over right before my eyes. And this year they didn’t even bother to show up for an entire playoff series. When a team starts giving up, there’s no road to return. It’s over.

It was a great run while it lasted. Pistons fans should be grateful. For a while there we had a very likable team, with no egos, that played hard, and played ‘the right way’ and it was a beautiful thing to behold. But the biggest holdover from this era will be the missed opportunities, the close calls and the regret. They should have accomplished more. Instead, their 2004 title will stand as an aberration, which isn’t to say that they didn’t earn it or deserve it – they did. But it is the exception to the rule that you need superstars to win an NBA title. If the Pistons had won more than one championship, they could’ve called that rule into question. Now, all we’re left to do is enjoy our asterisk. That’s not a slam – it’s a great, big, shining asterisk, one a fan can point to with pride.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be talking about what’s next. But for now, let’s mourn and think of better days.


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