Quote from Ryan McNeill on HoopsAddict this morning:
"I'm sick of writers and casual fans flapping their gums about all of the things that they perceive to be wrong with the NBA. Where were these fans when a far superior team lost to Golden State? They were rallying around the underdog of course. So, now that a weaker team like Golden State has paved the way for a team like Utah, what gives you the right to moan and groan about the Phoenix/San Antonio series being the real Western Conference Finals? You don't. When you jumped on Golden State's bandwagon you forfeited that right."
Disclaimer: I like Ryan's stuff, have e-mailed back and forth with him and think he's a pretty smart guy.
But this is just plain wrong. So Ryan is saying because we all cheered for Golden State to beat a superior team (based on their regular season record) we gave up our right to complain when we feel the NBA did something wrong? We rooted for an underdog and that automatically takes away our right to complain about what we consider an injustice? How does this make sense?
For some reason, while it was cool a week ago to be on the Phoenix bandwagon and complain about there being an injustice, it's now cool to be rooting for San Antonio and saying that they did nothing wrong. Again, from Ryan:
"[F]ans [are] feeling sorry for Phoenix being punished for their players breaking a well known rule..."
Sorry, but that is just plain wrong. Fans aren't feeling sorry for Phoenix being punished for their players breaking a well known rule. Fans are feeling sorry for themselves because what Robert Horry did ultimately caused them to not be able to see an awesome series. Fans are feeling sorry for Phoenix because the reason the players broke the rule was because of a thug play and San Antonio was rewarded because of it.
As I've said before, the Suns weren't guaranteed to win game 5. But the momentum had just changed to the Suns, the Suns won back their home-court advantage (the Spurs fans complain that the refs gave the Suns back home-court advantage but that's another story) and the Suns were going back home to try and win 2 out of the next 3 with two of the next three games being at home.
Then Gregg Popovich sent Robert Horry out to slam Steve Nash into the scorer's table. So, I'll say again, what Stoudemire and Diaw did was obviously wrong. But, in the end, the Suns were punished (and the Spurs were rewarded!) for a thug play by a cheap player. And fans are up in arms that the team that ultimately caused the altercation in the first place was rewarded. They are complaining because they didn't get to see two teams play out the series with their full teams.
So while I normally agree with what Ryan writes, I think his theories and his ultimate conclusions are just plain wrong - both on the ability to root for an underdog and the ability to complain about an injustice after the fans do root for the underdog.
What are your thoughts?