Beat: LA

I’m glad the Pistons won the NBA championship (especially because they beat my team in the second round of the playoffs). I’m glad that Shaq and Kobe were beaten like dogs. I’m glad that Gary Payton and Karl Malone will likely go the rest of their lives without winning The Big One.

But most of all, I’m glad Darvin Ham finally gets a championship ring.

Did Pythagoras invent the triangle offense?

Dave D’Alessandro on the Lakers:

Two millennia and four centuries ago, Pericles observed that an empire, once acquired, is a very dangerous thing to let go. Of course, he was more preoccupied with establishing a democracy while fighting off the plague, so his problems were different from Phil Jackson’s.

Unfortunately, I think the Lakers are going to win the finals in 5 games, which is much better than the Athenians ended up doing.

Wow

Some of my friends (the non-sporting kind) don’t get why I “waste my time” watching pro sports. The Spurs-Lakers playoff game last night had one of the most exciting finishes I’ve ever seen. Three lead changes in the last 12 seconds, after one team blows a 16-point lead. Two impossible shots going in, the second with no time left on the clock. Just a tremendous game, even though the wrong team pulled off the win.

Cuban Embargo

Just added Mark Cuban’s blog to the list of links I like. He’s done wonders for the NBA in a pretty short time. I’ll ramble about the phenomenon more extensively sometime (thus driving away my few remaining readers).

What’s New, Pussycat?

Normally, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I’ve decided to reveal some aspects of this trip.

First lesson: Tom Jones still Has It.

Second lesson: The sports book at the Venetian has free drinks, but it’s NOT good to say to yourself, “It’s only 10:30 a.m. here, but on the east coast it’s actually 1:30 p.m., so that makes it okay to start drinking. And besides, they’re free!”

Third lesson: Don’t bet on teams that you want to win (or cover). Bet on teams that will cover. Corollary to this is…

Fourth lesson: Never bet against Bill Belichick.

Lessons three and four left me $50 down (yeah, I know: real high roller, Gil!). Fortunately, I also bet against the Philadelphia Eagles, which got me even (minus the vig).

Vegas is wonderful, as ever. I love the fact that this city exists. Anyplace that so utterly fails to take itself seriously is a winner in my book.