ALCINDOR IN WONDERLAND -- History of the NBA Finals Part 21

1969-1970

For the rest of time, children all over New York City would not be able to claim they had a headache, or were just a little tired, or were bored.

For some adult would always say "Willis Reed would have loved a headache."

"Willis Reed would have loved to just be...a little tired."

Let's see why!

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Sam Jones and K.C. Jones were gone as well as Russell, which left the new team in the East -- New York.

Reed, DeBusschere, Bradley, Frazier, Cazzie Russell, and Dick Barnett to go with Zenmaster Phil Jackson the sixth man.

Their big contender would be the Milwaukee Bucks, who collect one of my favorite players of all time -- Lew Alcindor.

Alcindor was a legend at Power High School which is sort of by my old place. 

Alcindor went on to UCLA and was the centerpiece of their dynasty. 

And then he went to Milwaukee where he would become not Alice in Wonderland, but Alcindor in Wonderland.

For he will convert to Islam before his tenure is even sixty days in.

Alcindor couldn't believe how many motherfuckers they were in the Midwest that he would try to talk to for some halfway stimulating conversation, maybe even the solution to his troubles, all so they could give him nothing else but...very confident free association wordplay.

He would get bigger in Milwaukee...and smaller in Milwaukee. 

He would learn to beware all those cupcakes and spirituous potions, as the Islamic diet is a BILLION TIMES HEALTHIER and would be responsible for his 8% bodyfat and his 20 year playing career. 

He would find people who made confidently bad managerial decisions, such as putting pepper on cookies.

He would find them side by side with people who were assholes to kids, such as the Duchess, who deemed all the fans to be selfish and not know what was good for them.

His teammates would continuously telling riveting stories in the lockerroom at full giddyness...and then need to be told to wake up while they were playing, such as the Dormouse.

The fans would be the Queen of Hearts.OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!!

The Bucks would dribble, only to end up in a strange situation where the ball would be kicked out of bounds and under the wickets of about three or four fans sitting court-side. 

The White queens in charge would look at the Bucks and tell the fans -- win tomorrow, win yesterday, but don't ever win today.

Yet just like that, with just a little bit of toil and a little bit of fun, and lots of wacky friends along the way, including the very Queen of Hearts, Lew Alcindor would get a crown anyway.

And get to sit at the champion's table for tea.

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Wilt Chamberlain would miss sixty-eight regular season games with a messed up foot.

No problem, for Jerry West will average 31.2 points a game.

Atlanta took their division (conference) though by two measily games.

West will be the only player to score more points this year then our pal Alice. 

Poor Boston had only 34 wins.

The leading scorer for them of course was John Havlicek, as he breaks into the top ten in scoring for the first time with 24.2.

Baltimore will end up being the very best challenge in the playoffs for the 60-win Knicks, who draw them in the first round.

Wes Unseld and Earl the Pearl were a dominating combo. 

The Knicks barely squeak by in 7 games.

Meanwhile, the Looking Glass Troupe beat the 76ers in five games.

Alcindor played the Knicks in the Eastern Finals.

The Knicks won in five, for they would be able to handle him at this tender rookie age with the same defense used on Unseld.

Alcindor would remember this, for here's yet another guy who doesn't forget. 

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Meanwhile Atlanta would take the Bulls in five games.

We'll talk about the Bulls soon because they had probably the most star-studded shitty team ever. 

Meanwhile the Suns were playing the Lakers in their first playoffs, with Chamberlain back.

Phoenix takes a 3-1 lead!!!!!!

But the next three games are Laker routs, they win and go on to play Atlanta in the Western Finals. 

It is there that the Lakers sweep Atlanta 4-0, and they return to the NBA Finals yet again. 

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1970 NBA Finals

Probably the most famous of all the NBA Finals.

The Knicks and Lakers split the first two in New York, and then went to Los Angeles. 

In the final seconds of Game 3, it was tied and the Knicks had the ball.

DeBusschere....HITS IT!!! Three seconds left.

Two seconds...

One second...

West throws it up from 70 feet...

YYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! HE MAKES IT!!!!

JERRY WEST THROWS IT UP AND MAKES IT!!!!!

It's tied (no three pointer yet)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The fans were all over the floor at the Forum. It took a while to clear things up.

It's about then that Dick Barnett tells his depleted, frustrated Knicks as they return to the sideline -- "This ain't over, it just started."

Sure enough, it did the trick...and the Knicks buckle down in overtime. 2-1.

Lakers tie the series a few days later in a rout. 2-2.

So now we go back to New York for Game 5, where you will see how it all came to be for New York City's favorite sports tale ever.

Willis Reed tries to drive and ends up tearing a muscle in his thigh.

He very literally can't walk.

So he FREAKING LIMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And we overcome a 13 point deficit with about 8 minutes left because the rest of the Knicks take over.

Alright, that in itself was cool, but Reed had now taken what was essentially a bruise...and turned it into something BAD.

His leg was far too fucked up to play in Los Angeles, and with no Reed, Wilt Chamberlain puts in 45 points to tie the series.

Now back in New York City for Game 7, everybody's worried.

The Knicks have nobody who can take Chamberlain, even for a second, with Reed not there.

He's listed all week as injured, as it was May 4th when the injury took place...and it's now May 8th and that thigh looks like a beachball. 

But Reed knew he'd regret it.

This crazy sonofabitch stuns the world during the introductions by coming out on the floor.

The fans go nuts.

The game starts and he hits his first two shots.

Then he sat back down, for the Knicks were all looking at each other like "we can do this". 

That show of courage would enrapture Princeton Dead Poets Society Bill Bradley and his feisty teammates to no end, and they would never look back.

The New York Knicks were the 1970 NBA World Champions.

It was a rout.

And New York's time.

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