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So What About The NBA from 1996 to 2010? -- HISTORY OF THE NBA FINALS PART 46
In June, 1995, the Houston Rockets pulled off the most amazing feat American sports has ever seen.
We've had things like the Miracle Mets, the Olympic hockey team that beat Russia, the upset of UNLV college basketball in 1991 by the Duke Blue Devils, we've even seen Larry Brown's Detroit Pistons beat Shaquille O Neal and Kobe Bryant.
None compared to what the Houston Rockets did in the 1995 NBA post-season.
An eight-man team with no Vernon Maxwell or Otis Thorpe managed to beat Utah, Phoenix, San Antonio and Orlando when ALL FOUR HAD THEIR BEST TEAMS EVER.
Clyde Drexler finally had a championship.
And it would begin, regrettably, a time in sports when half of it's best sports league...becomes a bunch of penis hounds. This will be the era, 1995-2010, when everybody who watched Lakers/Celtics/Pistons/Bulls, began disregarding the game ENTIRELY. Why?
Because the San Antonio Spurs would become trendsetters...
The San Antonio Spurs in 1995 had a franchise player named David Robinson. The Admiral. He was a former Naval officer and a big BIG time star. He was the ONLY center in the 90s who could play Shaquille O'Neal effectively. Only one. Shaq had a winning percentage against everyone else except David Robinson.
The Spurs went into the Western Conference Finals with the league's best record.
Before Game 1, as San Antonio's 20,000-seat Alamodome went wild, David Robinson was awarded the 1995 MVP trophy.
Watching across the way are their opponents for this series -- the defending world champion Houston Rockets, led by Hakeem Olajuwon...the 1994 MVP.
And what happens in these first two games has become part of everyday vernacular in the minds of the entire population of American men and boys. We literally need four connecting thoughts fifteen years later before being able to bring up in casual conversation for no reason that OLAJUWON MASSACRED DAVID ROBINSON IN THE 95 CONFERENCE FINALS.
And so you're probably wondering, well...why did that mean the Western Conference now sucks?
Oh you'll see.
Because if the Spurs hadn't been such tools from this point until the end of Game 6 when they lose this specific series, there would be SERIOUS DOUBT TODAY THAT MICHAEL JORDAN WAS THE BEST EVER.
The Western Conference's Spurs will respond to their NBA MVP being manhandled in front of their home crowd in a way that demonstrates why the Spurs, particularly these specific Spurs, have started a trend that has ruined our beloved game...
They put Spurs forward Dennis Rodman on Olajuwon in Games 3 and 4 in Houston.
BOTH are San Antonio victories.
But Rodman by now was the new Dennis Rodman with the blond hair and the tattoos. Coach Bob Hill didn't like him and didn't trust him.
In what becomes the quintessential foul-up...Bob Hill will take Dennis Rodman OFF OLAJUWON FOR GAME 5 IN SAN ANTONIO AND INSTEAD PUT DAVID ROBINSON BACK ON HIM.
Olajuwon wins the next two games and Houston eliminates the Spurs in Houston, 4 games to 2.
Bob Hill's going through this brutal playoff series not trying to win...but win in a way that it's Robinson, the MVP, who's the star!
It meant THAT MUCH TO THE SPURTS ORGANIZATION to win with Robinson as the face.
Robinson was the MVP of the league and was looking real stupid for getting beat so hard.
But investors and TV audiences in this part of the country preferred him to Dennis freaking Rodman as an individual...
See what I mean? I feel like I should be better at making this point clear, because the Chicago Bulls would be able to pull a deal with this San Antonio team in the summer of 1995 to ACQUIRE Dennis Rodman AND Jack Haley...for WILL PERDUE!!!!
Now the Chicago Bulls have Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.
See ya Olajuwon.
That wasn't from me. That was from the ENTIRE NBA LANDSCAPE.
The Bulls win three more titles before the decade is out. During Game 5 in Utah in 1997, Jordan ordered a pizza in his Utah hotel and received one that gave him a 103 degree temperature. Jordan puked his guts out before tip off and went on the floor with sweat pouring down his face, and then proceeded to score 38 points including a three pointer with the game tied and 30 seconds left. It was insane.And the Bulls won their 5th championship not two days later.
Then they won title number 6 because, down by one in the final seconds in Utah, Jordan pushed off Byron Russell for a storybook final shot that buried them.
Bob Costas was all -- Jordan....(swish)....CHICAGO WITH THE LEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!
But Jerry Krause and Jerry Reinsdorf would make sure to promptly break up the Bulls following this, their second three-peat of the decade.
Chicago contains the Cubs management, Jerry Krause, Jerry Reinsdorf, the deceased Bill Wirtz AND Mike McCaskey? Wow.
And so with no NBA star wanting to go to a town that has long forgotten it has a basketball team and chalks the Jordan and Pippen years to a specific boxed era that will never be repeated and wouldn't have happened if Bird and Magic hadn't retired, the NBA was instead filled with San Antonio-inspired tooldom.
For the next 12 years, we will see the emergence of a game where the biggest stars are really just real bad actors.
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James -- knowing that they will always get the calls -- simply go up to the basket weak and wait for a referee to blow a whistle.
Kobe and LeBron deliberately allow the ball to go off his fingertips when he sees someone he should be dunking on in his way.
And it began with the idea that David Robinson's success was more vital to earning money then a San Antonio Spurs victory.
It's possible I'll get into the 1999 NBA season and beyond in more detail, but I just don't give a shit right now.
Is it any wonder the referees are more like choreographers then actual referees?