NBA / Jun 20, 2011 / 12:00 pm

The NBA’s Game Of Thrones

Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook

Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook (photo. Rob Hammer)

Nothing could ever top Entourage. That’s it. HBO peaked. Any time you can make a show that revolves around a group of friends, boys since back in the day, whose sole ambitions in life are to either be movies stars, be the men who control the movie stars, meet ridiculously hot women, bang those ridiculously hot women, and make piles of money, then you’ve got five stars. It’s as simple as that.

Then, Game of Thrones hit, the season finale last night. It’s the ultimate fantasy world, the ultimate story. Everyone is everyone, jumbled together in this world – so massive but yet small. Storylines and characters criss-cross, plots thicken, break out and then start all over again. It’s the perfect tale of family, slashed open by greed, lust, morality, and of course, the ignorance of a world both ancient and futuristic.

The characters all have stories, and back stories on top of that, layered so deeply that it’s impossible to figure them out. Ned Stark, the lumbering ray of reason. Dany Targaryen, at once a princess and a dragon. Jon Snow, an appetite for more, an oath for less. Cersei Lannister. It’s all there, the Association of the Sword.

These stories, these intertwining themes are what make sports entertainment. We want to see LeBron fail, so his failure can reaffirm: greed, ambition and the easy way out will never work. We want it all packaged into 48 minutes.

As the clock ticks, and time passes from the spring of playoff season into the abyss of the summer, times are changing. The Las Vegas Summer League was extinguished and now we’re left in the very real shadow of doubt. The lockout will almost undoubtedly happen, and whenever the game does come back, it’ll be up to the players to generate the interest once again with the most interesting storylines in their chase for the throne.

*** *** ***

“If we do it your way kingslayer, you’d win. We’re not doing it your way.”

There was never one moment that began the change. It was going on all year long, but it took the playoffs to actually bring it to the surface. Russell Westbrook is no child anymore, not a rookie or a stubborn supporter. He’s an All-Star, and an All-Star rimmed with confidence, game and a desire for more.

In the coming years, no relationship will be more fascinating than the one between Westbrook and the Thunder. His teammates support him. What else can they do? His coaches defend him. What else can they do? It’ll come down to what he wants. And how he wants to get it.

Through the last two or three years, the Thunder have been like college kids, staying up late, partying, living out the last bit of real irresponsibility before the best times end and life starts getting hot.

But now graduation is here. Their first real test. How will they respond, by coming together or apart? Westbrook holds the keys as the unknown. His potential is enormous, but the team doesn’t need that. He’s the Hand of the King (Durant) and their country can’t afford a revolt. If that happens, all these years, all of this growth will be for nothing. The move from exciting unknowns (very good) to calculated killers (best in the league) is the hardest one to make.

“Untie me. If I die, what’s the point?”

Free Gilbert Arenas! At least, that’s what Dwight wants.

“You think my life is such a precious thing to me, that I would trade my honor for a few more years…of what?”

I have this truck, the same one my dad bought in ’99. It’s a ’98 Ford Ranger, red and dependable. For the most part, it runs fine. The AC doesn’t work, the inside light stays on if it rains (very weird, and a HUGE annoyance when you’re driving at night), one of the tires has a slow leak and someone decided it was cool to steal the black, plastic liner in the bed last summer. Without that added aesthetic bonus, it looks MUCH worse. But it still runs.

It rarely leaves the parking lot unless it absolutely has to. Better to save the miles for something important. I’m gonna run it out until it can’t go anymore. It’s only fitting. If the car had a brain, it would want me to. Like a vet colonel on the front lines, it’s only right. Kobe‘s gonna ride this out until his wheels falls off. He’s not gonna be pushing 90 or impressing girls, but he’ll be dependable and the job will get done. One way or another.

“Tell Lord Tywin winter is coming for him. Twenty thousand northerners marching south to find out if he really does sh*t gold.”

Will these Finals make or break the Heat? Can LeBron continue to come up short? Was this finally his breaking point?

“What do we say to the God of death?” … “Not today”

Dirk and the Mavs really only proved one thing during this playoff run. Vets win. They’ve won before. They’re winning now. And they will always win. A friend of mine argued all season that Chicago was the best team in the league. But championships never come without battle scars. Ask Dallas. Ask the Lakers. Ask the Spurs, the team that lived through the ’90s being called everything from choir boys to saints, pretty much the last things anyone in sports want to be called.

Are the NBA’s best players truly the young ones? Maybe. Or are they the older players, the ones smart enough to know their battles, which ones to fight and which ones to forget? The ones winning? The ones who are staving off extinction even as the miles and minutes pile up?

They say it’s a young man’s game. But in this game, it’s the young cats dying, the smart ones learning and prospering and the old ones surviving. And that’s probably the hardest job of all.

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  • s.bucketz

    I dunno why I’m not ape-shit crazy bout game of thrones like every1 else..I havnt watched the last couple episodes yet and I was always high outta my mind watchin the 1s I did see…but its somethin bout the writing that throws me off..they all speak so eloquently and old school until its time to curse then they start talkin like me in 7th grade..”I must grace the queen with my presence..post haste..and then catch a gander of her FUCKIN TITS!!”

    Its jus kinda weird to me but I heard the last 3 or 4 eps are crazy

  • ProphetGK

    Game of Thrones is the greatest show ever made. Period.

  • King

    So im assuming none of you guys ever heard of “THE WIRE”

  • Dayinho

    @Kings: The Wire is the best YV show Ever. Yep

  • heckler

    never seen gmae of thrones. no need to know its good.
    HBO very RARELY puts out a bad series.

    btw….did any notice that in the conference finals, russell westbrook has VERY SIMILAR numbers to derrick rose?!!?
    pts, assts, minutes, shooting percentage etc.
    almost identical.

  • GenKnight

    This is Soooo right on. My fav TV show, current books (Song of Fire and Ice – four of them) and NBA spot on analysis. Thanks for your words. Love Danyeres …

  • Ian

    entourage is stupid gtfoh.

    the sopranos is the best show ever.

  • sh!tfaced

    LeBron James is just like Joffrey Baratheon.

    Both grew up thinking they were going to be king.

    Both their mothers are into kinky relations.

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    I’m just gonna assume a lot of people have never heard of the Wire…

  • http://www.lakers.com smoove chips

    @ King
    those who don’t know talk,those who know rarely say a fuckin’ thing.They’d prolly be the same cats taking notes on a criminal conspiracy lol. Have a great week man.

    Sheeeeeeeiiiiiittttt !!!

  • the cynic

    Eastbound and Down. These shows ain’t got nothing on Kenny Powers!

    La Flama Blanca!!!


    “In my own bed, at the age of 80, with a belly full of wine and a girls mouth around my cock.”

    Something Charles Barkley would probably say.

  • Phileus

    Great, great, show, but I’d have to rate it just a hair below The Wire (and a hair above The Sopranos). HBO is just pumping out great shows.

  • jackass

    man all these analysis by tv show shit, dime is copying bill simmons all the way. get off his dick, and do your own thing. writing can be done in 1000 different ways. get creative

  • Let’s Go Hawks

    Enjoyed this article

  • This_Will_Hurt

    Entourage is pretty homo. Eastbown & Down all the way.

  • This_Will_Hurt

    ehhhh forgot about Curb, nevermind.