Iconic offensive foul that never gets called because he’s MJ. Everyone talks about the Jordan Rules early in his career, but those rules seemed to help him at the end of his career.
Maybe we should have another article titled:
“If you could change NBA History, why the hell wouldn’t you?”
Here’s a quick top 5:
1962: Frank Selvy makes the 10-footer he made probably 99% over his entire career, and the Lakers beat the Celtics in game 7.
Boston‘s mystique is broken and they fall short in five other championships (1962, 1968, 1969, 1974, and 1981). Special Bonus: We never have to hear Bill Simmons crow about the Celtics again. He was so much more fun and sympathetic as a suffering Red Sox fan, because fans across the country could identify with the pain of rooting for a bad team.
1984: McHale gets a flagrant 2 and is suspended for three games.
Lakers win the championship 4 games to 1, and six titles in the 80s. Special Bonus: we never have to hear Doc Rivers whining about the calls in every game and post-game interview. (And you know this one is worth it!) Here’s the butterfly effect. McHale’s cheap shot permanently stains his reputation. He never becomes the GM of the Timberwolves. The KG heist doesn’t happen. And Doc Rivers gets fired in 2008 — fulfilling all of Bill Simmons’ columns asking for and predicting his removal — never to be hired by the Clippers. Special Bonus 2: We finally get a Kobe-Lebron Final, in which King James wins his first ring in Clevelnad. We never have to witness “The Decision” or this, the most embarrassing words ever uttered by a sports superstar:
1995: Jordan “unretires” early.
This is the real way to have Jordan face a truly elite center in his prime. Instead of making excuses for the Bulls against the Magic, we would see if they could beat Shaquille O’Neil AND Hakeem Olajuwon — who dominated league MVP David Robinson — to win a title. Special Bonus: Dwight Howard is never allowed to infect four different teams. Here’s the butterfly effect. Shaq’s Magic beat the Bulls at full strength in a heavily contested game 7. Exhausted and bloodied, the battle tested Magic don’t fall apart mentally and end up winning the Finals. Orlando finally wins a title, giving the front office the confidence to toss Howard on his ear and get full value for him before everyone else in the league realizes he just doesn’t have the right stuff.
2002: Sacramento doesn’t gag in game 7 of the Western Conference finals.
The Kings and Chris Webber finally win a title. Shaq is pissed off and hungry, so he gets in shape in Los Angeles, instead of Miami. Kobe respects his new work ethic and they get their three-peat (2004–2006). Special Bonus: we never have to hear trolls whine about how the NBA is fixed. We’ve got enough problems in this corrupt and unfair world without having this kind of noise pollution infect our sports. The BCS and now the bracketologists are already too much to deal with.
2013: Pop doesn’t take out Duncan in the last minute of Game 6.
Spurs get a simple defensive rebound and win the title they deserved to win. and finally get the back-to-back rings that have eluded them since 1999. Special Bonus: Duncan announces his retirement at the end of the 2016 season, overshadowing the Kobe farewell tour, because everybody loves Tim.
Alternative universes are just as good in basketball as they are with the X-Men.
Talk about win-win all around with these five changes:
- Elgin Baylor, the Hall-of-Famer who paved the way for Dr. J and Michael Jordan wins a couple of rings, and ends up in the Lakers front office instead of doing hard time the Clippers. This causes Donald J. Sterling to be exposed and banished from the NBA much sooner because he doesn’t have an African-American GM as his personal shield.
- Jerry West and Oscar Robertson win additional, and well deserved rings.
- McHale’s precedent gets dirty play eliminated from the NBA (good-bye Pistons! Ron Artest becomes Metta World Peace at the beginning of his career.)
- No more talk about fixed games or frozen envelopes.
- Less Lebron, less Kobe and MORE Duncan.