There is something embarrassing about resuming an NBA season with only 16 of the 30 teams if the reboot should take place, but it is a necessity. It just doesn’t make sense to try and finish the regular season before moving on to the playoffs.
In the wonderful world of asterisks, we are already talking about Extra Large for any team that wins the title. If you are trying to deal with a pandemic in neutral contexts with no one in the stands, you connect Nothing in the history of the finals. Do not ruin this risky undertaking by accepting the absurd.
Those 16 teams worked hard to establish the position of the playoffs. No one else has the right to qualify after such a maddening layoff. The Warriors have long since disappeared from view, but the same goes for Portland, New Orleans or any other team trying to sneak into this sci-fi movie. Everyone had their chance.
And for heaven’s sake, forget the idea (keenly discussed) of a “play-in tournament” to determine the final playoff slots at each conference. Could it be more boring, especially during times of urgency? “Hey, come see the teams that don’t deserve it.”
It is true that a regular start to the season would give the teams tied to the playoffs a real game experience, not to mention the test run for the system, but none of this is important against the bigger problem: add the risk of coronavirus for 14 teams and the parade of additional staff. What is the point of throwing them and their families into the isolation mix, giving everyone a rigid dose of anxiety? There is not one. It goes to the basket of wrong ideas.
There is no debate
The “Last Dance” documentary has dominated every studio show conversation for weeks – not bad for something that happened almost a quarter of a century ago – so you thought that a little bit of madness would come into play. Featured: the idea that Michael Jordan somehow he is not the greatest player of all time.
It’s best to have been there, as has your 3-point owner for five of Jordan’s six finals, the epic All-Star weekend in Chicago, the 1992 Olympic qualifying in Portland and the games themselves in Barcelona. But “Last Dance” made it quite clear. Forget the contrasting eras, the changes in the rules, the caliber of Jordan’s opposition, its dictatorial nature, one of those nebulous categories and focused on the most complete basketball player we’ve ever seen.
Many of the greats of all time have been better passersby in particular LeBron James, Magic Johnson is Larry Bird, and it is difficult to measure the rebound for a player who is working out of the backcourt – even if you asked Jordan to average a triple double, as he did Oscar Robertson is Russell Westbrook, bet the house is pulling him out. He was no Rick Barry from the free throw line, but consistent (unlike LeBron) and deadly when it counted. Jordan he could it was a great 3-point shooter, but like Bird and everyone else of his era, he didn’t understand the concept. It made much more sense to attack the basket, which is why Jordan only averaged 1.7 shots over the arc per game in his career.
Now take all the other categories and know for sure that Jordan was equal to or greater than all the people in history: Defense (first all-NBA team a record nine times). Create your own shot. Reliable any blow, from anywhere on the floor. Footwork of textbook. Violent dunks in the face on the biggest stars of the game (capture those clips of the early years). Score in the clutch. Ethics of crazy work. No lower gear at full throttle. Create a dynasty and bring teammates into history. Magnetism, stellar power and global appeal.
Want to bring someone else into this discussion, make sure he has a lift going up.
Our “Golden Greats: The I-5 Series” start on Tuesday. Go to sfchronicle.com/sports to watch the game summarize every day. There will also be daily mailings in the paper edition. … So who will manage the Northern California team in this fantasy world? The first name that comes to mind is Bob Melvin, who grew up looking at the Giants at the Candeliere, starred in Cal and now manages the A with distinction. But this goes back a long time. When the Cubs won the 2016 world title, it was their first since 1908 – run by Frank Chance, who grew up in Fresno and also played at Cal. The great Lefty O’Doul he ran five Pacific Coast League champions with the San Francisco Seals from 1935 to 1951. San Francisco Joe Cronin he had World Series teams with the 1933 Washington Senators and the 1946 Red Sox. Jim Fregosi (Serra High) won everything with the “93 Phillies and Oakland” Frank Robinson he was the first African American manager of the most important championships. And the best of all, at least on the bench, was from Berkeley Billy Martin. It is a beautiful field. … It’s not that complicated in Southern California, where L.A. grew up. Sparky Anderson gets the nod for his three world titles: two with the Reds (1975-76) and one with the Tigers (1984). Dusty Baker, who grew up in Riverside and went to Poly High for a year before his family moved to Sacramento, would not be a bad call either.
On Saturday from 14 to 23, the NBC Sports Bay Area will present the 2006-07 Warriors team “We Believe” with four of the best games of the regular season. … Sunday from 14 to 20 on that station: a triple head of launching gems of the normal season of the Giants Ryan Vogelsong. … Saturday on NBC Sports California, from 15 to 11: Games 2 and 4 of the 1972 A’s-Reds World Series, then Game 1 of the series “1973 against the Mets”. … The NFL network spends much of the weekend on one-hour “America’s Game” shows on top teams, including the 1976 Raiders on Saturday at 9:00 pm. Sunday presents the 49ers of 1988 (9:00), “89 (10:00) and” 94 (3:00). … NBA TV will broadcast Saturday’s tributes to the 2016-17 Warriors (10) and the 2017-18 team (noon).
Bruce Jenkins is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ Bruce_Jenkins1