Flashes of classic Quickie-style "Instant History" in today's SN column:
Is tomorrow night the biggest game in NBA history?
At the very least, is it the single biggest NBA game since the last time the Lakers and Celtics played a Finals Game 7, back in 1984?
When considering the Jordan Era of the 90s or the Kobe/Shaq and Duncan combo-dynasty of the past decade -- which were defined by dominance, not drama -- it is at least in the discussion.
(Since '84, I'll take some votes for Knicks-Rockets Game 7 in 1994, but that seems like something only a New Yorker would offer up. I don't think you'd say it was bigger than Lakers-Celtics '84.)
What I find most interesting is that in all the insta-nostalgia for 1984, consider that if you're under 30, you have no recollection of the 1984 Finals.
If you're under 40, you might -- might. But it would have merely a hazy (if formative) place in your development as a sports fan.
If you're older than 40, it will bring back all sorts of memories. If you're older than 60, you even get to add in context of the Lakers-Celtics Game 7s of the 1960s.
But the fact is that all that nostalgia compounds to make 2010 even bigger. Then layer in things that would have been fiction in 1984 -- 24/7 sports cycles, the Web, social media.
It is refreshing to consider that with a combination of retro and nouveau, tomorrow night's game breaks through the weight of history -- particularly the NBA's hallowed (if overrated) "Golden Age" of the 1980s -- to stand on its own.
More you'll find in today's column:
*Tom Izzo staying at Michigan State: I really wanted to nick him for his dalliance with the pros, but his discussion of staying was so heartfelt, I couldn't begrudge him any further. As I said last March, Izzo is the best coach in college basketball, and if anything, the drama of the past week will make Izzo's national title next April all the more dramatic.
*So I guess Roy Halladay won't be leading the Phillies past the Yankees in the World Series.
*David Price for AL Cy?
*I love Utah in the Pac-10. Consider this: Utah instantly becomes the best team in the league. At least the best bowl-eligible team in the league. Wonder if the Pac-10 will regret it after Utah wins the conference title in its first year of eligibility in the league?
*What a goal by Brazil's Maicon. Didn't think it was possible to score from that angle. (Today's game to watch: South Africa vs. Uruguay. What's the chance that every single game in Group A ends in a tie? Better than not! In that case, URU needs a goal to help its tie-breaker chances.)
*There are very few Jordan Farmar fans out there -- the ones who accept the ribbing from folks who find him an amusing sidebar. And so last night's Farmar posterizing of KG has to mark the player's finest moment ever.
Lots more in the column. Check it out here. More later.