You can call it a donnybrook or a fracas. Bill Simmons calls it one of the best things that can happen at a baseball game.
Of course, because Simmons doesn't actually care about baseball, unless it's October and the Red Sox are still playing. Don't get me wrong, I love a good brawl, but I also like baseball a lot even when there are no brawls. Whatever. Let's get to the rest of the garbage he wrote about the Heat's streak.
LOSER: Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony …
And everyone else who briefly thought they had a chance to own the 2012-13 NBA season. Thanks for coming, guys.
WINNER: The 1972 Lakers
Not just because they kept their streak, but because Miami's run pushed people to start considering the magnitude of that 33-gamer again.
THE STREAK WAS OVERRATED BECAUSE …
CHUCK KLOSTERMAN TOLD ME IT WAS SECRETLY UNDEROVERRATED!
THE STREAK WAS UNDERRATED BECAUSE …
And I didn't even mention the NBA's brutal schedule back then. Early on in their streak, the '72 Lakers played eight games in 10 days — in five different cities — including consecutive Friday-Saturday-Sunday back-to-back-to-backers. Later in the streak, they played five games in six days in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Buffalo and Baltimore (and won all five).
THE STREAK WAS PROPERLY RATED BECAUSE …
WINNER: Jerry West
Not just for keeping his streak, but for being so damned magnanimous during Miami's run. When I interviewed him for NBA Countdown last week …
And this turns into a 600 word tangent about how great Bill Russell was and how Simmons has talked to Magic Johnson about Russell's greatness a lot. Because Bill is just a regular old sports guy, just like you and me.
LOSER: The 2013 Eastern Conference playoffs
Has anyone caught more breaks than Miami these past 12 months?
WINNER: Pat Riley
Riley didn't just build the team that won 27 straight games, he spent the past three decades setting the stage for this specific season.
We have been "losers" in that regard for almost three years now, numbnuts. This streak had nothing to do with it.
Remember when LeBron, Wade and Bosh joined forces in Miami and we threw the biggest collective hissy fit in recent memory? How can those losers try to game the system like that? Why would LeBron rather play with his biggest rival over trying to beat his ass? Whatever happened to competitiveness? Whatever happened to earning a title? Then this happened …
And nothing changed.
… and that pushed our venom to another level. Quite simply, we declared war on the Heat.
Thank you for the insight.
The '66 Celtics went back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. The '72 Lakers rolled off 33 straight. The '96 Bulls won 87 of 100 games. The '86 Celtics finished 50-1 at home. The '01 Lakers finished 15-1 in the playoffs. I always believed that, if you wanted to make history — real history — you had to beat one of those five teams.
But the Heat may have forged their way into that previous paragraph anyway.
LOSER: The 2013 Miami Heat*
What's the asterisk for? Because they have to win the title now … or the streak loses about 50 percent of its ultimate meaning.
With every NBA season that reaches its conclusion without a repeat of the Pistons/Pacers brawl at Auburn Hills or a similar debacle that makes mainstream America turn up its nose at the NBA because NBA players are THUGGISH THUGS WHO WEAR BAGGY PANTS AND LISTEN TO RAP MUSIC, these two guys are enormous winners. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
And this one dates back to The Decision in 2010, an allegedly horrific public-relations disaster
WINNER: LeBron James
I did a podcast on Monday with the great Bob Ryan, who's the closest thing we have to an NBA savant right now.