Do not adjust your TVs: That’s really me
Thunder fever has officially gone national.
Thursday afternoon, I am going to appear on Outside the Lines on ESPN. The daily sports-issues show is devoting its entire half hour to the new era of the NBA playoffs. There are new teams. There are new faces. There are new stars.
And the Thunder is front and center.
It’s a fascinating topic because for the first time in a long time, the Lakers, the Celtics and the Spurs are out of the playoffs before the conference finals. Those three teams have so dominated the past decade-plus, that it has been odd for many years to get to this point without all of them still alive.
This year, none of them are still playing.
That has opened the door to newer faces. Derrick Rose has replaced Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Co. in Boston. Kevin Durant has taken the place of Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Even Dirk Nowitzki has taken a place among the playoff stars. Sure, the Dallas sharpshooter isn’t a young pup, but he’s having a resurgence in his career. After Dallas lost in the 2006 NBA Finals, you almost thought his window of championship opportunity was closing. Not so.
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