Tonight is going to be a bizarrely good television night! It’s May 30th and when you think May 30th, you don’t think about it as a great TV night. Yet tonight is going to be unbelievably amazing on television. I’m not a hockey guy but I’ll watch the Devils and the Kings in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. U.S. vs. Brazil in soccer – the U.S. have closed the gap on Brazil, not sure the Americans will win but I like soccer, so I’ll be watching that as well. Then at 8:30pm EST you’ve got Lebron against Boston, I’m definitely in!
But the little gem that nobody talks about – and I find it utterly fascinating is the event at 8pm EST tonight before Lebron and the Celtics square off, the NBA Lottery otherwise known as the Ping-Pong Ball show. I’m actually into it more than the NBA draft itself and certainly more than 90% of NBA regular season games. For every television executive, from Hollywood to New York and Dallas to Chicago, if you’re in the television executive producing business, you need to watch the NBA Lottery show tonight. You’ll have 14 teams watching ping pong balls in a popcorn popper. The worse you are, the more balls you get in the popcorn popper and one by one, teams get eliminated from the 1st pick. It is pathetically fascinating and I’ll most definitely be glued. It is like watching a lottery show if 14 family members sat in those chairs. Every TV exec – I personally don’t watch any sitcom shows regularly, but every TV exec who’s trying to find the next gem – I don’t know what it is but whatever the NBA ping pong ball show does and provides, you should figure it out. This year it’s the Anthony Davis lottery, so even college basketball fans like Kentucky, Duke and Carolina will watch to see where Anthony Davis goes. I am absolutely fascinated by it!
Chris Broussard was on the Scott Van Pelt Show yesterday on ESPN radio and he said something about the San Antonio Spurs – a team that is not that nationally interesting though very very good. He dropped the “gem” I would call it about the San Antonio Spurs by saying “…the San Antonio Spurs have 1 lottery player in Tim Duncan, the league average is 4 or 5 and of all the teams remaining in this post season, Oklahoma and Boston have 6 lottery players each and Miami has 7. On top of that, the Spurs have 7 2nd round draft picks which is more than all but 2 teams in the league” isn’t that amazing? They are on this incredible run with the likes of Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal basically C+ players who haven’t lost a game since early April.
I would say there are 3 franchises in the U.S. that do it differently than anybody else. The San Antonio Spurs, the New England Patriots and Boise State Football – they win with less talent. Patriots had 18 undrafted guys in the Superbowl, nobody else does that! Boise State does not get 4 or 5 star recruits yet they can beat Oklahoma, Georgia, and Virginia Tech often on the road. They can beat Oregon at home, where nobody historically beats Oregon, how do they do it? When it comes down to the Spurs, Patriots or Boise State football, it all begins with an egoless culture. The Spurs are basically the opposite of Allen Iverson’s career; the Patriots do it differently – not quite sure why more teams don’t copy it. It’s interesting who we copy or emulate in sports – kids want to be Derrick Rose, they want to buy his jersey yet has never won a title and probably won’t in my opinion, yet Tim Duncan’s jersey is on the sales rack at 80% off. But it is amazing to watch the Spurs, the Patriots and Boise State football.
In all 3 cases, there is just 1 – 1 ½ stars but it’s the upstairs where leadership is very much at the forefront. What do I usually say on this blog, what is the montra of this blog? “Celebrate rarely, grind regularly” Patriots win? Head down and grind it again for next season. Spurs win? It’s what they are suppose to do! Boise State throws no bowl parades after another bowl win. If you look at chronic losers in sports, it all starts because it’s bad upstairs in management and ownership. Bengals historically, Raiders in the last 10 years, Lions forever and then look at who wins: Steelers, Patriots and Spurs where it’s great upstairs. Maybe the guys upstairs are underpaid; maybe the guys on the floor, the ice, the arena, the grass are all overpaid. Tony Parker talked about it – the team that spreads the ball most like nobody in the NBA “…when you have coach Pops screaming at you everyday to pass the ball. He always tells us that we have to always find the better shot, the better shot, the better shot and said it all season long, extra passes and we have great shooters on the team who fit that model too…” it’s amazing! They are less athletic than Oklahoma City in my opinion, aren’t as young either but Parker can get his 30 points or more along with his 10 assists, play good defense – it’s not about getting a star but the right star who is selfless and it’s fun to watch!