I grew up in the 1980s.
Saw the Sixers-Celtics rivalry, the Lakers-Celtics rivalry and the Pistons-Bulls rivalry.
Doc choked Bird. McHale took down Rambis. Bad Boys put the Jordan Rules on M.J.
Saw the New York Knicks when they dueled with the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers in the ’90s.
Zo and Grandmama went at it. John Starks head butted Reggie Miller.
Those were battles. Tough. Physical. Intense. The essence of playoff basketball.
What’s going on between the Heat and Pacers in this year’s Eastern Conference semifinals isn’t at that level. In fact, it’s reach a point of bush league.
Got a guy who hardly plays, Dexter Pittman, giving a bow to Lance Stephenson late in Tuesday’s Game 5 blowout win for the Heat. Stephenson surfaced in our viewfinder when he gave the choke sign after LeBron James missed a free throw.
The fact people are even saying this is in retaliation for Stephenson giving the choke sign to James shows you know how stupid it was. Pittman shouldn’t be allow to play for the remainder of the playoffs.
I have no problems with Danny Granger getting in the face of James. Hey, if you want to take down the favorite, go at the guy who makes the team go.
That’s what the Pistons did, but the difference is the Pistons went at Michael Jordan with physicality and it was part of their defensive concept to keep him out the paint.
If Indiana wants to go that route, then put James on his butt when he drives into the paint, but history has shown that can ignite the stuff of legend.
You know how Jordan got over the Pistons knocking him to the deck on the regular? He got tougher.
The Bulls got tougher.
Six rings later, Jordan is considered the greatest players ever and the Bulls of that time are considered one of the best dynasties of all time.
Maybe this will the series that ignites a run of championships for James.