Culture of Hoops

Is Carmelo Anthony more important than the 2014 NBA Finals?

Baller Mind Frame’s No Layups brings you the hottest NBA stories on the web mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton. Check it often and absorb the knowledge we’re dropping on you!

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Don’t worry. I’m not going to wax poetic about something unrelated to the 2014 NBA Finals when we are witnessing the embarrassing destruction of a potential dynasty. That would be stupid. An engaging basketball inquiry would question why the 2014 NBA Finals are taking a backseat to rumors of Carmelo Anthony signing with the Miami Heat. Again, a stupid topic considering last night’s Spurs’ Game 4 107-86 victory in their basketball exhibition, but I’m not actually interested in getting into the branching storylines about Anthony to Heat. Instead, let’s talk about the media’s objective to create storylines and how it has affected the fan experience.

The rumors of Anthony to the Heat have been present since the Big 3 was first assembled. According to legend, the Heatles had discussed the possibility of playing together since their run with the 2006 USA Basketball team. Players discuss teaming up together all the time. It’s hardly worth discussing as a rumor during the regular season, let alone during the NBA Finals. Front offices around the league don’t mind this as long as it works in their favor. In fact, I’m willing to bet without looking into it that all 30 teams in the league would welcome Carmelo Anthony to their roster if he were willing to come, chemistry be damned. A team would rather have too much talent than not enough otherwise this could happen.

The Thunder have two superstars that get along great but fail because the coaching leaves much to be desired. This isn’t rocket science. Decent coaching + elite talent = contention. A lot of things have to fall in place including dumb luck after reach the level of contention (see end of Game 6 of the 2013 Finals). So yeah, Anthony to the Heat would be huge, but this is the wrong time to talk to have that discussion. Not only is it downplaying the significance of the NBA Finals but it also influences the discourse of fans in a negative fashion.

LeBron James recently called himself the “easiest target that we have in sports.”  Chris Bosh thinks he’s somewhere in that stratosphere as well.

If they are right, blame the media for forcing unnecessary narratives down the throats of the public. No journalist should feel forced to withhold important information; however, there is a right time and a wrong time for everything. The rumors of Anthony leaving at least $30 million dollars on the table to play for an immediate title contender could wait until the postseason is complete. The Miami Heat are already being declared the winners of the 2015 NBA Finals if Anthony joins the team. Meanwhile, the Heat are getting their ass kicked in the current championship round. Casual and dedicated NBA fans alike don’t enjoy being bombarded with proclamations of greatness before the final result. That’s why so many people hate the Miami Heat.

Imagine the pandemonium if the Heat scored 71 points in the first half of Game 3 on 77% shooting. The highlight reel would still be running now. Most of the coverage from Game 3 and Game 4 of the Finals have focused around the Heat’s injuries, fatigue, and what would have happened if Carmelo Anthony were in the lineup. That is asinine by any standard. SportsCenter ran an entire segment this morning that only focused on Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade’s bad plays in Game 4. Nothing in-depth about how the Spurs were getting open shots, or how they forced bad matchups to occur in brilliant halfcourt sets. Glaring discrepancies of this sort don’t go unnoticed. We can’t have the conversation about the why the Miami Heat have so many “haters” without keeping in mind how that occurs in the first place.

Hear me out: Anthony to the Heat is potentially huge news but it should take a backseat to the Finals. We are witnessing a historic beatdown in the NBA Finals without giving the winning team the sort of credit they deserve. The moment is passing us by and we are not appreciating greatness, possibly the last modicum of champion caliber play this San Antonio Spurs roster can muster. Shouldn’t we be basking in the Spurs’ excellence instead of gossiping about free agency scenarios that won’t happen (Wade and Bosh are not taking pay cuts, accept it)?

As always, let us know what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading.

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