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[Sportsline]The NBA's greatest rivalries of 2007-2008

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by Shaq2Yao, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. Shaq2Yao

    Shaq2Yao Member

    Mar 28, 2006
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    Ben at Work: The NBA's greatest rivalries of 2007-2008
    By Ben Heller

    Russell vs. Chamberlain! Celtics vs. Lakers! Shaq vs. Kobe! Artest vs. some dude with a plastic cup! Classic rivalries like these are what make the NBA so compelling. And the upcoming season should be no exception. So here's a quick primer on what are bound to be some of the greatest rivalries of the 2007-2008 season.

    Gilbert Arenas vs. The Internet

    Agent Zero's blog is easily one of the most entertaining sites on the World Wide Web. I appreciate that he likes sharing stories about late-night paintball games with teammates and complaining about how his rating isn't high enough in NBA Live 08.

    But if you're an NBA GM considering giving Arenas a max contract next summer, it might concern you that instead of worrying about how the Wizards will get past the first round of the playoffs, Gilbert's writing 2,300-word posts about the difference between "cheating" and "glitches" in Halo 3. Something tells me Michael Jordan was never concerned with beating The Legend of Zelda. And if he was, he wouldn't have written a seven-page essay about it.

    Yi Jianlian vs. Bratwurst

    If you spent the past few years of your life being fed by the Chinese government, chances are you wouldn't want to have to eat at Arnold's Drive-In either. But Yi has indeed moved to the land of dairy and Lambeau, with the challenge of winning over fans he never wanted to play for in the first place.

    All Yi has to do is think of his time with the Bucks as like being in college. It's four years of making friends and eating bad food in the Midwest, and then he's free to get a well-paying job in a large city with enough Chinese people for his liking.

    Corey Maggette vs. The Bank

    When Elton Brand went down with his Achilles' tendon injury, who do you think got aroused first, Corey Maggette or his accountant? With Brand scheduled to miss a chunk of the season, the oft-injured and/or doghoused Maggette will spend most of the season as the No. 1 option for the Clippers. And just in time to hit the market next summer.

    The Other Nine Celtics vs. Mediocrity

    The New Big Three. The PGA Tour. The Ceatles. Whatever you call Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, it won't be "NBA Champions" with the supporting cast they've got right now.

    Rajon Rondo (shooting), Tony Allen (new knee) Kendrick Perkins (coordination), Eddie House (point guarditry), Glen Davis (junk food) and Brian Scalabrine (basketball) each have glaring flaws. K.G. might be an intense competitor, but there's nothing he can do to turn Leon Powe into Horace Grant.

    The Knicks vs. Isiah Thomas

    No need to get into Isiah's track record as GM. Or coach. Or boss. Or ladies man. But last week he told the press that Dan Dickau was "going to be a good player on our team when he's healthy." (See 10/15 Practice.) This will prove to be difficult, considering Dickau was released in September and is now playing for the Clippers.

    In other words, Theo Epstein knows who'll be playing for the Red Sox in 2018, and Isiah doesn't know who's on his roster today. But Zach Randolph hasn't been arrested yet, so at least Knicks fans have that inevitability to look forward to.

    Gerald Wallace and Josh Smith vs. Playing in Obscurity

    One of the most enjoyable sporting events I've watched this year was an innocuous late March matchup between the not-as-bad-as-you'd-think Charlotte Bobcats and the definitely-as-bad-as-you'd-think Atlanta Hawks.

    Actually, forget the teams. It was really a matchup of the insanely entertaining Gerald Wallace and the equally spectacular Josh Smith. The game was won by the Bobcats, but that hardly mattered. Wallace (31 points, nine rebounds, four blocks, four steals, three assists) and Smith (25 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks, four assists) spent the entire game flying back and forth, trying to out-electrify each other.

    In other words, if you think the NBA is boring, try watching a Bobcats-Hawks game. And yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds.

    Kobe vs. His Locker

    Last week, Kobe's empty locker became a national story. Was he traded? Was he refusing to report to the team? Was he busy changing his number again? No, no and no. Turns out he just wanted some clean underpants. And perhaps he can lend them to all the beat writers who get a little too excited at the thought of a Kobe trade going down.

    Chris Andersen vs. the DEA

    The Birdman's two-year suspension for violating the league's drug policy will be over at midseason, and the Caucasian Dennis Rodman will be free to lend his skills to the contender of his choice.

    But that's not all. Anderson spent the past few years working to become a more complete player -- instead of a player completed by something on the following list: methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, heroin, codeine, morphine or PCP. Yikes.

    Anderson should have just taken steroids. For that you get a mere 10-game suspension. Instead, the guy happened to make a bad choice at a party one night and had to sit out two whole years.

    So let's recap. Take steroids, you miss 10 games. Get charged with a felony, you miss seven games. Do recreational drugs, you miss 164 games. Once he's back, Anderson's going to go after every loose ball as if David Stern's face is printed on it. Look out.

    Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony vs. White People

    Crusty old NBA fans don't like how the NBA is being taken over by "the hip-hop." And few players draw their ire like A.I. and 'Melo. They're covered in tattoos, hang out with nogoodniks and are always in the press for what seems like the wrong reasons.

    The decrepit NBA columnists of this world want nothing more than this pairing to fail, to prove that new school basketball "thugs" don't win titles. A big year for the Nuggets would be one large, diamond-encrusted, platinum middle finger toward this ye-olde-days snobbery.

    Greg Oden vs. Kevin Durant

    But not for the reasons we hoped. Instead, every time Durant pours in 30 points, or makes a highlight play, or simply helps the Sonics win, Oden won't be able to do anything about it. Instead, he'll be stuck on the bench watching LaMarcus Aldridge steal his minutes, points and rebounds.

    Looking forward to 10,000 "Where would the Blazers be with Durant?" articles this year? I'm sure Greg Oden's not. Welcome to the NBA, savior.

    Jason Kidd vs. The Party in his Pants

    The Nets have a happily paid Vince Carter and Nenad Kristic and Richard Jefferson fully healthy. Now if Jason Kidd can stop groping random ladies in bars, perhaps they can make another run to the Finals.

    The Chicago Bulls vs. The Fourth Quarter

    In the Bulls' four playoff losses to the Pistons last year, they scored more than 16 points in the fourth quarter just once -- and they lost that game by 21 points. So of course it made total sense to draft goofy non-scoring threat Joakim Noah instead of trying to trade for someone aside from erratic Ben Gordon who can hit a shot when it counts.

    Dirk Nowitzki vs. The Playoffs

    One year the Mavs lose in the Finals to Dwyane Wade and the Magical Mystery Foul Tour, the next they lose in the first round to the eighth-seeded Warriors. Are they deflated? Energized? Unimproved? Pay achutung. It's going to be interesting.

    Stephen Jackson vs. Stephen Jackson

    Without Jackson, there's a good chance the Warriors wouldn't have beaten the Mavs last spring. And they will be without Jackson for the first seven games of the year as he serves a suspension for firing a gun into the air outside a strip club.

    That's precisely what you get for rolling the dice on a crazy person. If Milton Bradley hadn't torn his ACL while arguing, there's no way the Rockies would be in the World Series right now. And the Warriors are in the same position as the Padres. When Jackson's playing well, they're a much better team. Then he brings a gun to a strip club (which seems rather uncomfortable, BTW), and the team is back to Square 1.

    Andre Kirilenko vs. Jerry Sloan

    While they weren't completely humiliated by the Spurs in last year's playoffs, the Jazz didn't exactly pose a threat to the eventual champs. If they want that to change, they need the multitalented Kirilenko to stop whining about his role and start playing like the do-it-all force he was a few years ago. I mean, the guy's married to a Russian pop star who allows him to dabble in the NBA groupie of his choice once a year. What's he got to complain about?

    LeBron James vs. The NBA

    Last year LeBron took the Cavs to the Finals all by himself, so it's gonna be fun to see what he's got in store for us this year.

    The Phoenix Suns vs. The San Antonio Spurs

    Last year's playoff series was spoiled by Team Stern's ridiculous leave-the-bench rule, and you can bet the Suns have been waiting for a rematch ever since. With Steve Nash not getting any younger or healthier, and Shawn Marion on his way out the door, this could be their last shot at getting past the Spurs. Too bad we have to wait seven months to watch it go down.

    The Spurs vs. America

    They say Tim Duncan has no personality, Manu Ginobli is a flopping, call-hunting sissy, Tony Parker is married to the most insufferable, media-grubbing celebrity on the planet, and Bruce Bowen takes more cheap shots than Bill O'Reilly.

    Well, too bad. The Spurs are the champs. They have won three titles in the past five years and they'll be gunning for a fourth come June. You may dislike them, but can't you shake them, so you better learn to love them. Or at the very least, love to hate them. Because unlike Eva Longoria's career, the Spurs aren't going away anytime soon.
  2. francisfan4l1f3

    Jun 13, 2002
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  3. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

    Jul 30, 2007
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    The Utah Jazz vs. Excessive Butt-Grease
  4. WhoMikeJames

    WhoMikeJames Contributing Member

    Jun 28, 2005
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    anyone find the vs white people kind of racist? just because they are white doesn't mean they hate hip hop culture
  5. foodworld

    foodworld Member

    Jun 16, 2002
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    That article was kind of lame, in my opinion.
  6. kikimama

    kikimama Member

    Jun 29, 2006
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    TMac vs The Point Forward
  7. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

    Feb 15, 1999
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    Not at all.
  8. Marsarinian

    Marsarinian Contributing Member

    Apr 21, 2006
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    How about Francis versus the rotation?

    MR. MEOWGI Contributing Member

    Jul 2, 2002
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    I hate hip hop culture.
  10. vcchlw

    vcchlw Contributing Member

    Jun 26, 2002
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    I don't hate the Spurs as much as some of the posters do, but this is really entertaining. :p
  11. nyquil82

    nyquil82 Contributing Member

    Oct 30, 2002
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    yeah, sometimes its obvious when your article is made by several interns.
  12. jo mama

    jo mama Contributing Member

    Jul 9, 2002
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    two beatles references in one basketball article!
  13. AggieDentist

    AggieDentist Member

    Jul 4, 2006
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    like it.
  14. Lemarc

    Lemarc Member

    Nov 29, 2002
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    Spread the LOVE, not the HATE
  15. dback816

    dback816 Member

    Oct 21, 2003
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    nonsense !

    we all know that it's not racist to stereotype white people at all! in fact, people will just think you're a comedian if you say anything ! :rolleyes:

    seriously though, i don't think it's a big deal about what he said but he still sound like an idiot for phrasing it that way.
  16. deekay209

    deekay209 Contributing Member

    Jun 29, 2007
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    If Isiah Thomas did say that, that just adds on to my not liking of him. He's really destroying the Knicks.
  17. BroadwayBelm

    BroadwayBelm Member

    Feb 8, 2007
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    David Stern vs. Thugs.
  18. BroadwayBelm

    BroadwayBelm Member

    Feb 8, 2007
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    referees and players alike.
  19. Yetti

    Yetti Contributing Member

    May 20, 2002
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    It doesn't matter what color they are!!
    Keep the HIP HOP and Street People well away from the Yetti Family especially all my little Yettis!!!
    We are giants with tattered brown hair all over our bodies, bad breath and an ugly grin, underneath it all we have dark skin with white, yellow and brown streaks.
    We refuse all the Basketball Contracts that get placed upon our paws.
    We just refuse to play the game which is moving away from the BIG BIG man's game! Wish we had braids though, every time we try to get them done the barber runs away till we leave his shop:D :p
  20. finalsbound

    finalsbound Contributing Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Likes Received:
    me freakin' too.

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