The way some pundits draw it up, an NBA finals without Michael Jordan or Lakers duo Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant is like a ship without a rudder. Or a league without an identity. What they mean to say is this year's finals are one big snooze fest. Dominant players make for easy storylines for the scribes. In a series dominated by Michael Jordan, the story could almost be written before the actual game took place (the Michael Jordan incredibly dominant story, or the Michael Jordan can't do it alone story).
But in a sports media world that seldom pays attention to low-TV-rating middle America, the matchup between San Antonio and New Jersey is a nightmare-one South Texas team versus a team from the New York City area not named the Knicks. The writers have added as much intrigue as they can. The East Coast standard bearer, Jason Kidd, versus the 21-year-old Frenchman Tony Parker.
What's left in these finals devoid of huge names and flashy talent? Two great basketball clubs playing true team games. And who is to say that the Spurs' Tim Duncan and the Nets' Mr. Kidd can't be as flashy as the Shaqs and Kobes. They may just learn the art of marketing together as teammates in San Antonio next season.