Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In Which Life is Good, Yet Inexorably Threatened by the Fucking Knicks

Tuesday evening was spent in the same manner as most recent evenings in the eldiablogrande household, which is to say sitting on the couch with a glass of something close to 100 proof in hand talking to the idiot box. Though the Sixies untimely exit was but weeks ago, it feels like an epoch, and though it's no doubt been a tragic separation, I can't help but find a silver lining in the whole affair. Freed from the constraints of a strong visceral connection to the playoffs (hatred of Boston notwithstanding) I've been at leisure to enjoy as a fan of basketball the unprejudiced beauty of whats become the Sergeant Pepper of NBA seasons.

Which is to say that although the Nuh-Buh of the 21st Century was great before this year (i.e. Rubber Soul, A Hard Day's Night, D-Wade's march to the '06 title), and even had some transcendant moments of unvarnished brilliance (side A of Revolver, LeBron's 27 straight on the Pistons in game 5), it's been only this April and May that combination of new jack psychedelics (LeBron, Deron, CP3) and classic harmonies (KG, Duncan, Kobe) have collided in one sublime album/playoffs that perfectly blend old and new while simultaneously signifying that nothing will ever be the same again.

And if the '08 NBA Playoffs are my Sergeant Pepper, who, you might ask, are the Beatles? Why, that would be a charming, often moppetish group of bald-headed geniuses who I've never met, but who I feel as though I know intimately and who I spend far more time with than any of my actual friends: the gang of Inside the NBA.

Inside the NBA is, quite simply, the Beatles of live television shows. Go ahead, name a better one. You'd really rather watch Simon Cowell eviscerate some poor autistic wannabe-William Hung neck-tatted tone-deaf transvestite who's decided that it would be the pinnacle of his/her life to be made fun of on national TV? Really? I know Paula is hilariously drunk/hopped on barbituates much of the time, but does she ever do this?

Anyway, if you don't love Inside the NBA you probably shouldn't be reading this blog in the first place. The fact of the matter is that I love that show like a fat kid loves cake, and I feel as though Charles, Kenny, EJ, Magic and me are the bestest of pals and we sit around and watch basketball and crack on each other and every once in a while in between jokes we offer erudite and poignant commentary on the games at hand.

But our rapport is a tenuous thing - Charles is a bit of a blowhard (Paul) and EJ is a bit of a dork (George), and without Kenny (John) sitting in the middle to balance it all out our conversations would soon turn into meaningless white noise. (The parallels of Magic and Ringo - lovable yet ultimately superfluous doofuses who will ultimately wind up playing a jovial conductor on Shining Time Station - are both too obvious to point out and too delicious not too).

Kenny is somehow equal parts jock and nerd, a former slam dunk champ who's also able to extract penetrating nuggets of info from a basketball game and explain them clearly and simply, while simultaneously injecting the requisite amount of humor and keeping just the right balance between the rest of the group. He's the one that's irreplaceable. He's the sour mix in the long island, the panama hat atop the cream linen suit, the invisible double sided tape holding up the runway model's titties - without him, the whole thing falls apart.

And guess who wants to tear my beloved Kenny away from me? Who wants to break up my favorite band just when they've hit their finest moment? Who would callously put their own pathetic and inconsequential self-interest ahead of me, but more importantly ahead of millions of ratings-generating innocent NBA fans? You guessed it:


Oh sure, they might have a White Album of a Western Conference finals left in them, and maybe even a surprisingly competitive Abby Road of an East/West finals. But their best work is going on right now, and it's too good to last. So enjoy it while it's here, and when it's over, you know who to blame.

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