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March 29, 2013

NASH: The state of basketball

I got home from work Wednesday night just in time to see the second longest winning streak in NBA history come to an end. The Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat who had won 27 straight times dating back to Feb. 3. They were just a few games short of the all-time record held by the Los Angeles Lakers.  Their last loss happened at the hands of the Pacers in Indianapolis.

Miami lured LeBron James, arguably one of the best players ever, from his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in order to buy a world championship. Rounding out the powerhouse trio with DeWayne Wade and Chris Bosh, Miami was suppose to be invincible. The Heat didn’t win their championship immediately like everyone thought they should. Winning with a team with three superstars turned out to be harder than some expected.  

Basketball is a team sport and although you might have the best players that doesn’t mean you have the best team. This is a lesson that some college teams have yet to learn. 

Just a couple of years ago the Heat were the most despised franchises in sports. Miami did win its championship in 2012 and is the favorite to repeat it again this year. Now after winning it all and winning 27 straight games this year the Heat are media darlings. As Tiger Woods recently said, “winning takes care of everything.”

Around here the NBA doesn’t get a whole lot of air time because of this region’s love for college basketball. The NCAA tournament is in full swing and two teams from around these parts were still alive as of my deadline for this column. You may be reading this a little later on Friday morning if you stayed up to watch the Indiana play Syracuse last night.

The Hoosiers vs. the Orange is a rematch of the 1987 NCAA championship game when IU’s Keith Smart sank a basket in the final seconds to give Indiana its fifth NCAA banner. I remember watching that game as the team I had rooted for all year won. Indiana was behind that entire game and only led as the final seconds wound down.  

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