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NBAGround >> 2011 finals,1st time no Timmy,Shaq& Kobe in 13yrs

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5/12/11 11:56 PM
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EKPOGI
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Edited: 05/12/11 11:56 PM
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http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2011/05/12/the-official-end-of-an-era/

The Miami Heat's elimination of the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals last night at American Airlines Arena guaranteed that we'll have a NBA Finals that doesn't include Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan or Kobe Bryant for the first time since the 1998-99 season.


Think about that for a second ... let it marinate ... and then realize that those are the three players that define their generation. Their faces make up the Mount Rushmore of the league since 1998. No one starred brighter on the biggest stage as much as -- or more often than -- those three future Hall of Famers.


Their teams fell like dominoes in this postseason. Duncan's Spurs went out in the first round to the No. 8-seeded Hang Time Grizzlies, a shocking exit for a team that finished with the best record in the Western Conference during the regular season.

Bryant's Lakers topped Duncan's crew, losing to Dallas in the conference semifinals in just four games. It was a stunning end to the two-time defending champions' threepeat bid and the worst possible way for Phil Jackson -- the fourth face on our hoops Mount Rushmore from this passing era -- to end his Hall of Fame coaching career.


Shaq wasn't even in uniform for the Celtics' finale, his body betraying him in the twilight of his career the way it has so many other larger-than-life legends before him. His inability to play against the Heat no doubt changed the course of the Celtics' playoff fortunes, while also raising the question (once again) about what time is the best time for a living legend to ride off into the sunset.
5/13/11 12:14 PM
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HeatleMania12
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 It's good to see some new faces IMO.
5/13/11 12:27 PM
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quick
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They had a good run. And I agree that it is probably time for a new bunch to put their stamp on the league.
5/13/11 12:36 PM
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HeatleMania12
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 As much as I don't really want it to happen, I think we are about to fully enter the Lebron era. I like Durant, Howard, and Rose, but something tells me the Heat make the finals this year, and dominate the league for the next 5 or 6.
5/13/11 4:18 PM
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MadDog243
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Why is everyone just handing the Heat the title now because they beat a crippled celtics team? Lebron's gay little celebration convinced everyone they just did win the finals?

Back to the topic at hand...its always weird when we reach this part of a basketball generation.

The first time I was old enough to remember it is when Magic and Bird, were in their last couple seasons. Magic was probably robbed of a few more productive years because of the AIDS situation, Bird was clearly on his last legs essentially playing with a broken back and spending most of the time he wasnt on the floor in traction. Both still could play the game and play it well...But the already excellent Michael Jordan finally had a good supporting cast around him and would be the dominant force in the league for the 90s...until The three guys mentioned above took over.

It is weird to think how only a few players define an era in the NBA, and plenty of Hall of Fame level superstars are either left as a footnote or completely forgotten about because of how brightly the others shined.
5/13/11 6:16 PM
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PoundforPound
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HeatleMania12 -  It's good to see some new faces IMO.


Truth.

As much as it hurts to see the Lakers get booted out I feel excitement to see how these new teams will match up with each other and which one will come out on top.
5/14/11 5:27 PM
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HeatleMania12
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 MadDog i'm not picking the Heat this year, but I do think they will be in the finals, and have thought so all year.
5/14/11 7:40 PM
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WrestlingSucks
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HeatleMania12 -  MadDog i'm not picking the Heat this year, but I do think they will be in the finals, and have thought so all year.



So you really went out on a limb and picked the team with 3 of the top players in the NBA?
5/14/11 10:37 PM
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HeatleMania12
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 Yes, I picked them to lose in the finals to..... the Mavericks.


I am not afraid to step out on limbs if the limb can hold my weight!
5/16/11 5:52 PM
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Shogun of Harlem
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"It is weird to think how only a few players define an era in the NBA, and plenty of Hall of Fame level superstars are either left as a footnote or completely forgotten about because of how brightly the others shined."

That is a great post. That is what defines a generational talent.
5/17/11 8:53 PM
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BJJkilla
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HeatleMania12 -  It's good to see some new faces IMO.


if the heat don't make the finals, you can bet the NBA finals ratings will be pretty bad since there is no lakers to save it on the west side.
5/21/11 10:45 PM
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supersaiyan
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i actually see Dallas winning this ..its their time for a while now
5/21/11 11:07 PM
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supersaiyan
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but its true n nice to see a different team their ( spurs fan here ) but i like dallas tho
5/25/11 10:22 PM
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BiggGunn
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Think about it this way... from 1971-1979, 8 different teams won titles.

from 1980 until now, 8 different teams have won titles.
5/26/11 11:48 AM
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Bankable
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interesting fact biggun. it shows how dominate players can be in the NBa compared to the NFL or MLB. there are very few if any cinderella NBA championship teams.

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