Time of death: 11:47 pm. Although it could be argued the Detroit Pistons were dead long before that. Minutes before? Days before? Either way, The fat lady sang. Was it unrealistic to think that my faith in my favourite basketball team would be enough to trump the greatest destiny in professional sports?
The Pistons didn’t just lose, they got ruined, along with the hopes and dreams of that little white kid with the glasses who paints stuff on his chest and dances at the Palace.
They had me convinced, though. Maybe I was wrong to give them the unconditional benefit of the doubt. We’re only down 3 games to 2, we’re fine.
But just minutes into the fourth quarter and the Cavaliers had finally broken the Pistons. They’d won the previous three games, but at that one particular moment in time, when Rasheed Wallace picked up his fifth (and then sixth) foul, you could see it. Like the side of a mountain slowly breaking off and crumbling to the ground below, there was little you could do but watch and swear and cry.
I lied to myself and said Wallace’s theatrics might motivate the Pistons to come back and win the game, but there’s no cheating destiny.
The saddest part of the break down was watching Antonio McDyess grab his furious teammate’s arms and usher him off the court. You could see as Dice’s big brown eyes screamed “don’t you dare put my chance to win a ring in jeopardy,” while the rest of his body balanced being a friend and snapping Sheed’s neck.
What happened next is nothing to be ashamed of, the torch was passed. It wasn’t stolen, it wasn’t lost, the Pistons didn’t play out of character, the Cavaliers simply earned a completely legit seat on top of the Eastern Conference.
The Cavaliers deserve to be in the NBA Finals and I pray to God they win. As much as I hate Drew Gooden and Anderson Varejao and wish they would spontaneously combust, I’ll be cheering for them to get their rings. I hate Bruce Bowen more than them anyway.
Seeing LeBron James leap into the arms of Zydrunas Ilgauskas and latch on to the big Lithuanian in complete euphoria was something of legend. A completely genuine, unrehearsed, and certainly unpredicted, display of emotion. It was the consumation of LeBron’s marriage to success, and the latest chapter in the greatest story since Michael Jordan.
Damn it, I just remembered the Pistons lost.