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Monday, June 09, 2008

Chp 180. NBA Finals and Cheerleaders

Yeah yeah, I know most of you are bitten by the EURO 2008 bug. But don’t forget, the NBA Finals is also going on right now.

Game 2 of the NBA Conference Finals. WHAT A GAME! Boston Celtics who were up by 24 points with 8 minutes left on the clock, suddenly found themselves leading by just 2 points with 38 seconds remaining! A truly amazing and admirable attempt by the Lakers to come back with a 31-9 run in just 7 minutes. Celtics barely won 108-102 and they now lead the series 2-0.

One thing that really struck me though, are the Cheerleaders during that game. Here in India, the moral police and other concerned individuals made such a loud noise over the inclusion of the cheerleaders in the IPL saying it is against our "Indian culture" to copy and promote such "obscene" American traditions. They said displaying those skimpily clad women on TV hurt the sentiments of many television viewers, and if people want to see such "shameless" cheerleaders, then they should change the channels and watch "American sports", not IPL.


Any loyal follower of the NBA on ESPN will tell you that WE NEVER GET TO SEE THE CHEERLEADERS. More than 10 years I’ve been rigorously following the NBA now, and every time there is a time-out or a break, we are either taken to the commentator’s room or shown an advertisement. Yes, the cheerleaders are dancing right there in the stadium, but on TV we never see them.

It’s really funny how some people can just make a judgment without even knowing the ground realities. And people who say such things are quite educated: celebrities, actors, people you think would be more open regarding this issue. Yet most of them maintain a diplomatic stance, saying that we shouldn’t copy the American sports culture!

At the most, during an NBA match we may catch a brief 2-second glimpse of the cheerleaders. But 99% of the time, the cameramen focus on the game and the players, after all that’s what matters.

Whereas during the IPL, the cameramen not only went up close and personal with the cheerleaders, but even made many attempts to zoom up their miniskirts for the whole Nation to see! You NEVER see that kinda crap on any "immoral" American sports. And when TV viewers see the cheerleader’s white undees that the sick slobbering cameraman finally manage to focus at, all Hell breaks loose and people vent out their fury at the... Cheerleaders!

Anyway, much has already been said about this issue and I am in no mood to rekindle the flame. Seeing the cheerleaders (or rather, hardly seeing the cheerleaders) in today’s NBA Finals really aroused a couple of repressed emotions regarding this whole issue, that’s all.

Game 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) of the Finals will be held at Staples Center in LA. This Finals is sort of historic in its own way because it is the first time these two teams are meeting in the Finals since the immortalized era of Larry Bird versus Magic Johnson Finals showdown in 1984, 85 and 87. Larry Bird’s Celtics won the first Finals (4-3) while Magic Johnson’s Lakers took the other two Finals (4-2, 4-2)

However, either era was soon suppressed by the unstoppable Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls, along with Pippen, Rodman, Steve Kerr and Luc Longely. People forgot about the high intensified Celtics-Lakers clash, until today when they meet again for the first time in an NBA Finals.

I am rooting for the Celtics because I love Paul Pierce and I hate Kobe. I love those players like Pierce who have this amazing "Watch out I’m gonna come thru and if you don’t wanna move then I’m coming right thru you" attitude. Kobe on the other hand, has more of a "I’m the King so you’re nothing to me" holier-than-thou attitude. I find him very arrogant, conceited and egocentric. Plus he’s a selfish player.

Actually I am a loyal fan of the San Antonio Spurs, but since Duncan and his team failed to make it to the Finals, it is the Celtics that I am cheering for now.

Apart from Pierce, there are those two Olympics 2000 gold medalists former Timberwolves center Kevin Garnett and former Milwaukee Bucks & Seattle Supersonics shooting guard Ray Allen. Both KG and Ray are definitely not the giants they once used to be, but then, that’s the nightmare everyone will have to face as they get older. It’s a vicious cycle.

Lakers on the other hand are still commanded by Phil Jackson (seriously, how old is he now???) and then there are those two Stojakovic-look-alikes in the form of Vujacic (VOO-yah-chich) and Radmanovic (rod-MON-o-vich). And just like the former Sacramento King’s Stojakovic, they too can nail a lot of three-pointers. There’s also the tall Spaniard Pau Gasol (POW guh-SAHL) rookie of the year in 2001 and a legend with the Memphis Grizzlies who I still find awkward to watch wearing a Lakers outfit.

All in all, I want Celtics to win but I hope Lakers win the next two games to make this series (best of 7) a lot more interesting. Below are the timings for Indian viewers on ESPN (trust me, the new design is really complicated and it took me a very long time to figure out where the TV timings are).

GAME 3: @ Lakers 11-June 13:30 IST
GAME 4: @ Lakers 13-June 14:00 IST
GAME 5: @ Lakers 16-June 14:00 IST (if necessary)
GAME 6: @ Celtics 18-June 14:00 IST (if necessary)
GAME 7: @ Celtics 20-June 14:00 IST (if necessary)

And for those of you who want to catch the reruns:

GAME 3 rerun: 12-June 03:30 IST
GAME 3 rerun: 12-June 11:00 IST
GAME 4 rerun: 14-June 03:30 IST
GAME 4 rerun: 14-June 13:00 IST
GAME 5 rerun: 17-June 03:30 IST (if necessary)
GAME 5 rerun: 17-June 11:00 IST (if necessary)
GAME 6 rerun: 19-June 03:30 IST (if necessary)
GAME 6 rerun: 19-June 11:00 IST (if necessary)
GAME 7 rerun: 21-June 13:00 IST (if necessary)
GAME 7 rerun: 22-June 03:00 IST (if necessary)

Enjoy the game and... stay in school

Just remember, Boston lead the NBA with the most number of championships at 16, while Lakers are second at 14. The result of this Finals will have a deep impact on the existing record. To me, the Boston Celtics are more like Liverpool football club: A great team with a great past struggling to regain the glory era of days gone by. I hope they do.



luliana said...

watched the first game..very interesting..hope celtics wins this time around..but with euro 2008 in full swing, dunno how much I can keep up with NBA..

Mariuca said...

Hi Sandman, miss me yet? ;)

When are u gonna get an Entrecard for ur blog or is that against your "rules"? Would love to advertise at your blog if u ever get an EC for urself. Have a great day! :)

illusionaire said...

@ Game 1 was also exciting, but trust me, nothing can beat Game 2. You should have watched it bro. It was extremely amazing!

@ Mariuca: Of course I miss you. Everyday I wonder when my beautiful friend from Malaysia is going to drop me a visit.

I have no idea what an Entrecard is! *silly grin* I will google it out rightaway. Of course I'd love to have you advertise here :-)

Hmai said...

keipoh hei euro enna turin TV ka lei,i lo en ve chak om!! kan trang thei rap,zing rongbol tur kan in bet thin. Nuam ropui. ka la online tak2 hman lo .

Sekibuhchhuak said...

NBA hmuhnawm ka tih ber chu Cheerleaders ho hi :-D

Keipawh tunlai chu EuRO bak en ngai vaklo,zing dar 5 dawnah te mu thin..huiss..Nizan Italy leh Holand inkhel pawh kan thian Holland atranga lo kal short term team awm te nen kan en ho va,khuang nen kan ri dur dur la chak zui..

VaiVa said...

In van hre hlawm em em! Kei chu NBA pawh ka hre lo a, Euro pawh chanchinbuah chauah ka en! He.. Ka en chak bawn... Switzerland kan tan teh ang kumin chu... an chak lo hmasa tlat!
Cheer Leaders bawk maw? I ngaihdan kha ka ngaihdan chiah!

illusionaire said...

@ Hmai: Hahaha! Zanin keini kan i bet ve thung dawn nia. Greece vs Sweden. First match hi chu ka en ve theilova, ka U in TV a en duh a. Second match chauh ka en thei :-(

@ Seki: Nia nizan Holland leh Italy khel kha chu a van hmuhnawm chiang!! Ka team an chak zannnn mai a lawm. Holland ah ka cousin te khel an tam lutuk a. "VAN" deuh vek... Van Persie, Van Nistlerooy, Van Bronckhorst, Van dersaar, Van lalruatkima, Van lalhmangaihi etc etc... Kan champ dawn kan chhungkua team!

@ Vaiva: haha! va tan fuh lo deuh ve :) Mahse a dang te pawh kha i la tan thei tho a nia aw. Netherlands rawn tan ve tawp rawh :)

Lucy said...

Bollywood film a an zaina scene nen tehkhin chuan an cheerleader ho kha chu engmah lo mai an ni. Hmanni ah Inox theater pawna LCD screen ah Saif leh Kareena lâm (pawh ani chiah lo, zai pahin an make out) an ti chhuak a ka jak zawk.

PS: Karnataka film industry hi Sandalwood an ti tih ka lo hre ngai miah lova, ka nui nasa. Nama Upendra te ho larna hihihi...

illusionaire said...

Nang pawh han tel ve la tiang ang side dancer a lam tur hian, IPL cheerleaders ho chu i dah ngil chiang viau ang :)

Lucy said...

I seriously think you jinxed my yahoo messenger. I'm able to see now.

illusionaire said...

hahaha!!! Warned you about visiting all those porn websites :) tsk tsk tsk... dear lucy, those sites are infested with trojans and worms and spywares and viruses.... they caused ur messenger to hang!

Lucy said...

And that's another personal experience, I suspect?

illusionaire said...

Your suspicion always points to the wrong roommate... I'm the innocent one. The guilty one is still there in B'lore, who even bought a scooty recently!

Lekhni said...

Rooting for Celtics. It's probably their last chance for some time..

The Chhamanator said...

You are lucky you can watch the game at all. Here in Aizawl, ESPN India chooses to broadcast a replay of the previous night's Euro group match instead of the finals of the best basketball league in the world. I discovered that khawchhak ESPN did show the game live and managed to catch the exciting last 4 minutes only. I'm rooting for the Celtics to win it this year because of "The three basketeers" aka "The Boston Three Party". I hope my Knicks win the Larry O'Brien trophy in the next 5 years. And regarding the cheerleaders, good call..

Bill Stones said...

Hey Mr. Sandman, Game 2 was indeed an awesome game. The Playoffs this year has been really interesting. Did you watch the Boston - Atlanta series? The Hawks actually took the Celts to a game 7. Anyway, i've got money on the Celts to win it all this year but Kobe has this very very very annoying tendency to break out on a scoring spree in the second halves. I must admit though, I was quick to jump on the Celts bandwagon after the deal with the TWolves and the Sonics for the Big Ticket and Jesus Shuttlesworth. By the way, speaking of cheerleaders, did you know that has a thing every season where you vote for the hottest NBA cheerleaders online. you get to read their profiles and everything. Some of them are actually not even that hot though. Anyway Mr. Sandman, I hear you used to be quite the basketball player back in the day. Which teams did you play for?. I remember back in the day, we'd be in Babutlang basketball court all day everyday just playing pickup games. Maybe we've probably even balled against each other, we just didn't know it. Back when the Falcons were the team to beat, I used to be in Dawrpui balling with the Mafias and the ShadowHawks. After we moved to Chanmari, I was with the Unicorns till 2006. Now in the year 2008, very much like yourself, according to your previous post, i'm walking around with a beer belly ready to drop dead after more than a few minutes of game play. But one of these days I'd like to go up against the great sandman one on one, game to 21, loser's ball. you up for it, playa? hahaha. BTW off topic as usual but I read the posts that you recommended the other day. The ones about racism and stuff. In one of the posts, I noticed you had a picture of my cousin Zohmingi from Dawrpui. you guys hang or what? Damn, Sandman, looks like you real popular with the ladies. Teach a brotha the tricks of the trade. Haha anyways, sandman, keep a watch on the Celts AND the cheerleaders, and trade notes with me sometime. Peace.

illusionaire said...

@ lekhni: Ah A celtics fan? Cool! Well, they just lost game 3, but don't worry, we'll be back at Game 4. :) Go Celts!

@ chhamanator: I hate khawchhak English channels! While I was in Mizoram for a month recently, khachhak AXN broadcasted my favorite sitcom HOUSE only once a week, while India AXN used to air it everyday. Damnnnnn.... And lets keep cheering for the celtics! :)

@ Bill Stones: Hahaha!!! I'm sure we have definitely crossed paths at the BB Court during our hey days. In Mizoram, I used to play for Vipers, Vikings, JL Vision, ABC and Club Francis in that order.

But unlike others, I could play just a month a year because I studied outside Mizoram. In Mizoram, our team JL Vision was the first team to knock the Falcons down from their pedestal and we dominated every tournament after that, until we left the team for ABC (in memory of my good fren Andrew, a former teammate of mine in Vikings) We won the tournament again with that team. I was awarded the best player of Mizoram once, and that was wayyyy back in 1998. hehehe. I don't think you would have heard of me because like I said before, I play for some of the leading clubs in Tamilnadu and rarely make my presence felt in Mizoram.

Yeah I know your cousin, but I was never popular with the ladies back in B'lore. I am shy, introvertish, and hardly socialize. Thats why I blog :)

The Lakers just won Game 3. It was a slow game, with neither team performing well. Kobe outscored the big three :) I hope Game 4 is a little bit more interesting. Lets keep discussing about this Finals here :)

The Chhamanator said...

ESPN India finally show the game at 2PM. I've already seen the scores from the net by then. The Lakers have this habit of going on a run at the end of the game. They did it against the Spurs. Against the Celtics, they went on a great run in game 2 and did it again in game 3. And they have probably the greatest closer in Kobe. Let's hope the Celtics steal at least a game from the Lakers before heading back to Boston. In case you don't know, visit for a very unique take on the NBA.
Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you and bill stones play against me in a 2on1 contest, first to 21 and I'll start with a 8 point deficit. How about that??

Bill Stones said...

I just checked the scores, couldn't catch the game today cause of exams. But if that was game 7, i might have seriously considered missing my exam for it. Kobe is a scoring machine. I hate that he's so good. Do you remember his 81 point game against the Raptors? WHOOO! That's one for the history books. But going back to the Playoffs, I am really really glad though, that Kobe killed the Spurs in the Conference Finals. I hate the Spurs. I would rather choke on the Chhamanator's dirty gym socks after he gets owned in the 2 on 1 game than see the Spurs win another championship. It seems the one thing we can all agree on is that the Celts deserve to win that chip. Kobe's already got three, so it would be a shame to see three potential Hall of Famers retire without a ring because of him. Another thing that stands between the Celts and the chip is their inability to win on the road. Have you noticed that? It's frustrating. I think KG needs to step his game up a notch. They're relying too much on Pierce to deliver.

By the way, Mr. Sandman, Tamil Nadu basketball? I used to play down South too, not with a club but rather in school. I studied in Kodaikanal for 5 years and we'd have a Tamil Nadu interschool tournament every year. It would be us and Lawrence Ooty in the final everytime. Not to blow my own whistle or anything, we won every year. In India , I think Tamil players have the height and the build for basketball, as well as Punjab players. For us height challenged Mizos though, we gotta rely so much on speed and creativity to play this game of giants. Anyhow, Vipers! Vikings! JL Vision! ABC! and Club Francis. That's quite a resume! you played in all the good teams, but i have no idea what the state of Mizoram basketball is like at the moment. Did you ever play with Dar-a, Isaac and those other guys in Club Francis? Oh another thing, did you know that the MBBA has their own website now? Check it out at

Okay Mr.Sandman, I think i've taken up enough space on your post. I shall humbly take my leave from the Illusionaire kingdom for now and get some much needed sleep. And we really need to make that game with Chhamanator happen someday. Let's see if he really has the game to back up the talk.:)

Azaia said...

BBall en chhan ber cheerleaders chhelo thei sia.. nuam e.. football cheerleaders (college) ho hi tawrh an har bawk Friday night game hi chuan naute tawiawmni awm tak hian nula en duh vang hian thawk chhuak ve ziah mawle..

Sandman chu i van lo turu reuh ve.. 1998 vel in maw superstar ilo nih deih tawh..

Go LA ti ve thung ang aw.

Bill Stones said...

Game 4. WOW! Don't tell me you missed it cause that was one of the best games ever. A comeback from a 24 point deficit to win it. Go Celts!

illusionaire said...

@ Azaia: 1998 vel kha chuan thil maktak hi Mizoramah a thleng a :) India ram dang zawng zawng a "half" a kan khelh lai in, Mizoramah chuan NBA style in "quarter" in an khel bik :) chuan a hnuah India style ah "quarter" an tih in, Mizoram chuan India dan zawm a tha an tia, "half" in an rawn khel ve leh chiah. haha, ka haw hian ka nuih a za reuh thin a nia aw... :)

@ Chhamanator:

Lolz. I am always ready for the challenge. Lolz. I cannot jump anymore but my wrist can still guide a ball to the rim with ease. I will check out the blog about NBA. Thanx for the link.

@ BillStones:

Havent watched Game 4 yet so DON'T TELL ME THE RESULTS. I am no browsing because of too. hehe. Spent the nite at my fren’s place last nite. Just reached my apartment now only. Going to catch the replay now. Yup, Kobe has the notorious reputation of going on a run in the last few minutes. Really sucks. But hey, I am a hardcore Spurs fan so you better not say anything about them :-) Thanx for the link on I checked it out and loved it. Very clean and user friendly interface!

Where in Kodai did you study? My cousin Sangliana (Atea) and the late Andrew were at St.Peters and zorema was there at Kodai International. Then I knew many guys at Kotagiri Public school too. Us Monfortians and other students of these schools used to travel together by train (Howrah Express, Coromandel Express) from Cal to Chennai. We used to have so much fun. Maybe you and I have traveled together before too. lolz.

Well, about Tamilnadu, even we used to play a lot of tournaments in school. During my era, the teams that used to win the most number of tournaments were us (Montfort School), St. Pauls (Salem), M.Ct.M school and Don bosco (Chennai), American school (Madurai), Campion (trichy) and St.Josephs (chengelpettu). It was always one of us meeting each other in the finals.

But then, state level tournaments do not really count and what we used to look forward to the most is the State championship. I’m sure you guys played this too. You first start with “zonals”. Winner of a particular zone meet other winners of other zones within the same district and play “districts”. Winner of districts meet at inter-divisionals. Winner of that meet at divisionals. Winner of that meet at regionals. And finally the 8 winners of regionals meet at states. That is the most prestigious tournament of all and the certificates I got from “states” are my most cherished ones.

Chus said...

Sexy photos!: Idaho Vandals Cheerleaders

Bhargava said...

Get online updates on NBA 2009 here

NBA 2009

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