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Sports Writers: Where Quick Conclusion Happens

Sports writers who give you all you want to know about the teams, the players, the law suits, everything associated with a sport get paid to not only tell a story, but come up with an angle that is interesting to readers.

More often than not, these angles include opinions that seem daring. Some think these opinions are unintelligent. Some say that writers may not truly believe what they are writing because they know what they will say draws readers and that’s all that matters.

The king of these opinions is the knee-jerk reaction. To exclaim something as “the best ever” or “the worst ever” just begs to have the “Read me!” tag. No matter what you believe, people will be interested why the writer believes it.

Now before we go on, I was guilty of the knee-jerk just a couple of weeks ago when I proclaimed LeBron James’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals as the greatest non-finals moment in NBA history.

I also used the condition that the shot can only be considered for greatness in the long term if the Cavaliers win the series. How did that turn out?

Now the knee-jerk has jerked again. This time, in the NBA Finals. Just a few days ago, many people were picking this series to go at least six or maybe seven games. A sweep seemed unfathomable.

Then Game 1, the most inconsequential game of any seven-game series, happened and sprained MCLs become the most common injury in the United States.

Kevin Blackistone for FanHouse: “the Magic don’t look like they’ll have any kind of answer for the Lakers.”

Jay Mariotti for Fan House: “The Magic aren’t ready for the Kobe Offensive.

Bill Plaschke for the Los Angeles Times: “I’m taking the Lakers in three.”

Marcia C. Smith for the Orange County Register: “Lakers fans should buy more brooms.”

I heard more of that from fans on both coasts today.

Just calm down, everyone. Take a breath. It’s one game.

When jumping to conclusions go wrong.

When jumping to conclusions goes wrong.

Yes, it was one dominating game. It was one embarrassing game. A game played with tremendous passion and a game played with a lack of energy.

But in the end, the Magic are just down 1-0 in this series. Just one game. The Magic missed a ton of open shots. Dwight Howard got pushed around inside. Kobe Bryant does what Kobe Bryant usually does, but to even more amazing level.

These happenings could change in Sunday’s Game 2. Besides that, what’s to say that the Lakers won’t be the team that doesn’t show up with the eye of a champion on Sunday, or in any or all of the three games to be played — and there will be three games played — in Orlando?

They have done it before. I was surprised to see Andrew Bynum play as well as he did when not in foul trouble. I was surprised to see Lamar Odom crash the boards as often as he did. I was surprised at some of the shots Bryant hit. I know I shouldn’t be, but I still was.

Those things could change. And then it may be 1-1 going back to Orlando and you’ll be seeing a lot of claws retracting from some pouncing columnists.

But if the Lakers win by double digits again on Sunday … man, my knee is suddenly killing me.

  1. Padrick
    June 8, 2009 at 4:54 am

    Don’t look now, but Mariotti is back with another one.

    He is saying the Magic lost the series when Lee missed that shot.


  2. spokes310
    June 8, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I haven’t read what he wrote, but that’s an idiotic statement. Like THAT changed the series? I really doubt it. If it goes 7, then you can make that argument. But to say the finals were won or lost on that play is just stupid.

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