The NBA Playoffs ... Where Legends are Born

Mark HauserCorrespondent IIApril 13, 2009

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 6: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers battles Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics at the TD Banknorth Garden on March 6, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics won 105-94. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The PLAYOFFS are coming! Last Monday was the NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Title Game, which officially ended March Madness. While I undoubtedly enjoyed the whole NCAA tournament, sorry, it is not the "greatest American sporting event." 

At best, it is third, after the NFL and NBA playoffs. (In my mind—since football is my favorite sport—it would only be the fourth best sporting event if college football ever came to its senses and gave us the eight game playoff that 94 percent of us want.)

I enjoy excellence in sports and the pros are significantly better than college players in both sports. And the NBA has the added advantage of having the champion determined by a best of seven series. 

As a result, rarely does the best team not win. (In the rare circumstances where the best team does not win, it is the losing team's fault; after all, they lost to the same team four times.)  While I enjoy the excitement and finality of a single elimination tournament, it has more luck and less skill and I prefer the skill element.  

The best of seven series forces a team and its star player to have to play well for a period of 16-28 games. This gives the team's star player and the viewer lots of opportunities to produce and witness greatness. Hence, some great moments are pretty much guaranteed every year in the NBA playoffs. How can a sports fan not like that?

Remember Lebron James two years ago? How about Kobe last year (at least the first three rounds)? Ever hear of Michael Jordan? How about Magic and Larry? Russell and Chamberlain? The NBA playoffs have more memorable moments than any other sporting event. And only the NFL playoffs and hot dates get me more excited. 

And if Lebron meets Kobe in the finals this year even my hot dates will have to wait for two and half hours (I am sure they will survive—they might even be thankful). The NBA Playoffs...where legends are born and significant others are put on hold (so to speak).

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