FanPost

The Officiating and Narratives


While this won't be an extended rant on how the officiating screwed the Spurs out of a Game 7, I do think Game 6 was officiated badly, particularly in the 4th quarter (insert jokes about Joey Crawford being the most clutch Thunder player here). But nevertheless, there's a case for Kevin Durant advancing to the Finals for the first time in his career - solely based on narrative.

The narrative is simple: A franchise that had seen better days drafts a very good player (Durant). Then, a controversial move to another city (Sonics becoming Thunder). Then a difficult season, then introduce a promising young coach (Scott Brooks). Make the playoffs as the 8th seed, get bounced by the Lakers in the first round. Next year, go past the Nuggets then the Grizzlies, then beaten by the eventual champion Mavericks in the WCF. Then the following year, go past through the Mavericks then the Lakers, beating both in 4 then 5.

That's two of the three Western Conference Champions in the post-Jordan era. Who's the third? That's where the Spurs come in. With the Thunder beating the Spurs in 6, the narrative fits perfectly. The Thunder's road to the Finals has been so full of poetic euphony - beating the two teams to bounce it out of the playoffs, and the three teams that have represented the West since Jordan left the Bulls for good. Youth over experience - beating the 30-somethings Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili along the way. This would be furthered if they faced the Boston Celtics with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen adding another dimension to the youth vs experience angle.

Sometimes I wish Duncan were every bit as marketable as Durant. But whilst they are very similar - both humble greats who are the cornerstone for a successful small-market team - one difference is that Duncan is still very much a very private person, not one to embrace stardom.

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