Pro basketball is not fun
By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director
This is a tough time for me as far as sports seasons go. I am not a great baseball fan. I love track but you don’t see a lot of that on TV and the weather especially this year has made going to track meets very hard to schedule. Therefore, the closest thing to my favorite sport of high school basketball and college basketball is pro basketball.
I dislike pro basketball! I think that the players are skilled, they play hard, especially at this time of the year, which means they are in the playoffs. But I think the game is so far away from the way you coach any other level that it takes most of the excitement away from watching.
The only exception is playoff basketball. Then the game gets easier to watch. Not fun to watch, but easier to watch. You feel as if the games really mean something and you do see a lot of great individual efforts.
This past Sunday afternoon the OKC Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies played the first game of their second round matchup. Memphis led most of the game, but the Thunder has maybe the second best player in the league in Kevin Durant.
Durant is a 6-10, 6-11, or 7 footer depending upon who the announcers are for the game, but he plays the game with the quickness and moves of a point guard. Put him on the block and even though he is not a true power forward or center he plays like one.
The Thunder also has five time NBA champion Derek Fisher. Fisher didn’t start the season with the Thunder but I am sure they are happy they picked him up when they did. Fisher provided some great defense, some timely three-points scoring and a vast amount of playoff experience to help in the come from behind win.
Durant, however, hit for 35 points with his 34 and 35th point coming on a jumper from the top of the key with 11.1 seconds left. Durant is fun to watch because he can look like he is struggling and all of a sudden hit six or seven shots from all over to help his team make one or two of those runs that it takes to win a ballgame.
I might be changing my mind on the pro game because I have actually watched three or four entire games this season. Most of the time I give up on them because they are so physical that there isn’t much finesse involved or the officiating is questionable to the point of why have them.
I am not so naive to think that the super stars in the league don’t get a little help now and then. I know that there is that extra step given once in a while and it was always okay for Shaq to lower a shoulder and knock the defensive guy into the first row of the stands, he just couldn’t put him into the second row.
Those, I think, are guidelines not necessarily rules that are followed. Keeps the game flowing, and allows the big fellows to dominate inside. Anyway it is the pro game and the pro style. It doesn’t mean you have to really like it, but you can watch it now and then on a slow afternoon.
LeBron Goes For Four
LeBron James won his forth MVP award this past week. He is the youngest player in the history of the NBA to win four MVP awards. Even though it seems like LeBron has played forever, he is only 28. He joins a very select group of players that has members in Bill Russell, Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, and Wilt Chamberlain.
James received 120 of the 121 first place votes. Kevin Durant had the other first place vote. Durant was runner up to James with Carmelo Anthony coming in third. Now James and the Heat will try to win their second in a row NBA championship.
PCHS Track and Golf Season
Due to cancellations the track and boys golf seasons are almost over. I think that the golf team has a couple of tournaments before their district is held at Kearney on May 13 and the track teams had a meet at Benkelman and then their district will be held at E. Lee Todd Track May 9.
I know it has been a tough season on both track teams and the golfers, but some things you have no control over and you just have to adjust. Weather is certainly one of them. Maybe the rest of the spring will be sunny and warm and they will have a great day to compete. Hope it happens for them.