Now that America’s manufactured interest in the World Cup is over ESPN’s promotional department can start promoting next summer’s paint drying competition as an exciting spectator sport and America can begin focusing on more important and exciting issues like basketball.
On July first most of the top players in the NBA are able to declare themselves free agents and on July eighth those players get to choose which team they want to play for. While I think it’s revolting the way commerce has been intertwined with sport to the point that most kids can recite how much money their favorite player makes as easily as they can spell out their height or weight, there is something terribly exciting about the prospect that the greatest players could be headed toward your favorite team. I’m especially giddy with the rumor du jour involving my Miami Heat. Reputable and unreputable news outlets are saying Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade has recruited Chris Bosh and LeBron James to join forces in Miami to form the greatest team since the Beatles (or at the very least the Superfriends).
Bosh is a talented player who could provide height and rebounding, but he’s the George Harrison (or Wonder Woman) of this group. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade playing on the same team will be baffling and unfair. They are two of the most athletic and skilled competitors to ever dribble a basketball. Both players can outjump and outmuscle any opponent to any loose ball. They can play multiple positions and can achieve such elevation that no shot is ever safe from being swatted away.
The closest I can identify with their otherworldly basketball abilities was when I first visited Laguna Beach. It was a February day, so I went in jeans and skate shoes. There was a basketball court along the beach. I couldn’t resist shooting a couple baskets to the sound of the waves. Soon there were five other players and they asked if I’d join them in a game. Admitedly this was not the toughest competition, but every jumper I took hit the bottom of the net. Every lay-up I attempted powered itself in a for a point. My aim was so true that I wondered if Laguna Beach was such a happy place that even the circumference of their hoops was bigger.
For LeBron James and Dwyane Wade every court is on Laguna Beach, every hoop is three inches wider, and every opponent is moving in slow motion. Some argue that it wouldn’t be fair for such a consolidation of talent on one team. To these Commies I say the 1970s shouldn’t have inflicted Wings and The Plastic Ono Band on us when we could have had another decade of The Beatles. Right now there is a perfect storm where two of the greatest players in basketball history can unite to create a spectacle that will be exciting and historic. It will be perfect.
As long as they play for my team, of course.