My Birthday Gift!

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Monday, December 13, 2010 with No comments
First I would like to thank all of my family and friends for the wonderful birthday wishes that I've received thus far today.  I can't even remember the last time I felt so good and loved on this day.  As you all know despite the fact that it's extremely sad, the NBA is my life so I decided that I need to ask the NBA for a birthday gift since over the years I have spent thousands of dollars on the NBA product i.e. jerseys, tickets, basketball cards, NBA League Pass, and yes a championship ring!  The question of the day is, What would Cam like as a gift from the NBA?  Hmmm a signed autographed photo of Tim Hardaway, Dwyane Wade, or Alonzo those.  Maybe rookie basketball cards of Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, or even Charles Barkley......wait, damn I have those too.  Omg I just had an epiphany!  The gift that I should ask for from the NBA is a time machine and since I'm old school not the hot tub time machine but the original time machine, I need the DeLorean!

Again I love the NBA but there have been some terrible wrongs that has happened to my favorite teams over the years that just destroyed their fan base.  I'm taking it upon myself to go back in time and right the wrongs of the past because justice needs to be served.  Lets go back to the beginning, the first NBA finals series where I understood everything that was going on 1993.  I had no idea of the years of pain that would follow.

Charles Barkley, the greatest power forward to ever live led the Dream Team in scoring while leading the US to a Gold Medal the summer before the season started and was traded from the Sixers to the Suns.  Barkley led the Suns to 62 wins and won the NBA's league MVP award and was arguably the second most popular player in the league behind Michael Jordan.  The Suns had the best record in the NBA that season and all of the momentum having been perfect against the Bulls during the season, the Bulls were the two time defending NBA Champions coming off a grueling 6 game playoff over the hated New York Knicks.  Six games later and until recently the highest rated NBA finals later, the Bulls got lucky, John Paxson converted a game winning three point shot off of a botched play by the Bulls to defeat the Suns by one point to win the series...WTF!  By going back in time I will stop Paxson from making the shot by swooping in with the DeLorean and kidnapping him as time expired, the Suns would have one won the game by 2 forcing a game 7 in Phoenix and most likely a Suns Championship.  

1996, three years after the 93 tragedy, Charles Barkley was traded to the Houston Rockets and it was my first year of high school and during this time I followed the Houston Rockets and the young Miami Heat which turned out to be a great year for both as they both made it to the conference finals.  I hated the Bulls as a kid so this was a great scenario, I had the Heat playing the Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals with a chance to go to the NBA Finals and then I had the Rockets battling the Jazz in the Western Conference Finals.  My thought process was with the Rockets being older I was hoping they could pull off the championship first by defeating Utah and then going on to face Miami/Chicago with the intent that Miami would be my only team when Barkley then 32 would decide to retire.  Unfortunately, Miami lost to the Bulls in five games so Houston was who I had left and they were having an epic war with Utah, having lost the first two games in the series the Rockets stormed back and won the next two unfortunately Utah won game five of the series forcing a must win for the Rockets in game 6.  The score was 100-100 with about 4 seconds to go and then the unbelievable happened, John Stockton popped open off of an illegal screen by Karl Malone and converted a three point shot to win the game.  WTF x 2!  13 Years later this shot still haunts me because the dream of one of my two teams taking out the Bulls wasn't full filled.  When Stockton popped open for the shot I rose up out of my chair and then it went in, needless to say my house phone rung and rung and rung.  Ten minutes later I'm still standing there staring at the television in shock of what just happened and my father came home, put his hand on my shoulder and said "Better luck last year."  Father it took, ten years long years!  Using my time machine I would "accidentally" land on John Stockton between games five and six, Houston would have won game six, forced a game seven and defeated the Jazz to face the Bulls who wanted no part of the Rockets, can you say 2 NBA championships for Charles Barkley versus 0.

There was a pattern forming and that's why I need my DeLorean.  I understand I may need a new flux capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts of power but I can work that out with a nice thunderstorm lol.  Back to the Mission, during the 1999 NBA season, Charles Barkley was in his last full season and just as I had predicted years earlier, the Miami Heat were taking their place as one of the best teams in the league.  They entered that years playoffs with the best record in the Eastern Conference and I knew for sure that this would be the year I finally got that elusive Championship ring.  Enter the New York Knicks who were the eight seed and the Heats first round opponent.  These days the first round of the NBA was a five game series vs a seven game series like it is today and the rivalry between the two teams was a fierce one.  Long story short years earlier Pat Riley left the Knicks to coach the Heat and the two teams met in the playoffs the previous two years splitting the series.  Game five, in Miami, series tied two games a piece, Allan Houston sinks the shot of his career at the last second and pushed the Miami Heat into the period that I like to call the Dark Ages.  I was so devastated after the one point loss that I remember going to my girlfriends home and she did her best to cheer me up, "very fun times" but afterwards the pain of that shot stung again.  I would fire the DeLorean up and hover above the crowd and when Houston takes the shot I will flash my head lights in his eyes to make him miss, then I would swing by the now ex girl friends home and talk her into more "fun times" before traveling back to present day lol.

The tragic events of the past will be averted and The Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, and Miami Heat would all have 1 more championship and in the case of the Suns it would have been their first to date.  I need to right one more wrong and this one isn't personal, this one was criminal.  Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals, Celtics starting center Kendrick Perkins blew out his knee and had to miss game seven with the severe injury.  15 year veteran Rasheed Wallace was asked to start the game in place of Perkins so the Celtics could dethrone the Lakers.  At 36 he played 35 of 48 minutes, grabbed 8 rebound, blocked 2 shots and scored 11 points before his fouled out of the game while trying to stop a basketball by the Lakers in the finals minutes and there he laid for a few seconds which felt like minutes, battered and bruised, defeated, but knowing that on what would be the final night of his career he left it all on the court for the sake of the game.  It was courageous, sad, and poetic.  I once heard that it never ends well for professional athletes, endings like David Robinson, Jerome Bettis, or John Elway who all left champions doesn't happen often.  Rasheed's ending was the one most common but more majestic than ever.  With the DeLorean I would appear in the Staples Center, hover above the crowd and watch Rasheed's masterful performance again but I wouldn't interfere, the outcome would stay the same because it was a pleasure and privilege to see a great athlete give all he could until he could give no more.  That is why I love the game.  Warriors like Charles Barkley, Alonzo Mourning, and Rasheed Wallace inspired me in life and this is how I honor them.