Adam Silver could be getting a call from someone very soon. It will be a friendly call from one of the NBA team’s owners saying he will be visiting New York shortly. He will suggest that the two play golf soon and as soon as this request is made the commissioner should turn off his phone immediately.
This hypothetical call would be from Michael Jordan. The entire purpose of the invite is to get as close as possible to the feeling of scoring 60 points against an opponent by destroying Silver on the golf course.
The NBA will receive some new awards at the end of the conference finals. There will no longer be just one NBA Finals MVP, there will also be Conference Final Round MVPs. The NBA announced on Twitter that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are given the naming, Magic for the West MVP, Larry Legend for the East, for their “individual and team accomplishments in the 1980s” that kick-started the modern NBA.
The winning teams of the Ebranch and the west is still awarded a trophy, but now, just like the AFC and NFC championships in the NFL, the trophies are named after league luminaries. The Western Conference Championship Trophy is now named after Oscar Robertson – in case you were wondering how few teams there were in the NBA in the 1960s, the Western Conference Trophy is named for a player who played most of his career in Cincinnati has spent — and the Eastern Conference championship trophy is named after Bob Cousy. Somewhere Chris “Mad Dog” Russo sheds tears while watching highlights of Cousy, who is the only player on the pitch who can dribble between his legs on 16mm film.
These are ideal people to honor. Unlike the NFL, which names its conference championship trophies after team owners (Bears founder George Halas for the NFC and Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt for the AFC), the NBA is all about the players, and these four have been instrumental in building the league important. Cousy was the first perimeter superstar, and Robertson was the first big guard with all the ball-handling, playmaking, and shooting skills. They showed that the game is much more than jump hooks by the tallest player on a team.
Then came Magic and Larry. An NBA that had problems – and cocaine wasn’t the only problem – they took the league off the assembly line –Belated championship rounds to some of the most exciting sporting competitions that have attracted fans from around the world. They saved a major American sports league, and it’s fitting that the conference championship MVP trophies bear their names.
But don’t think for a second that Jordan isn’t taking this personally. The man who invented LaBradford Smith taunting him after a motivational game during the regular season certainly feels left out. He may be too busy with his NASCAR team and finding a new coach for the Charlotte Hornets to go into it, but seeing the Eastern Conference Finals MVP trophy handed over to someone will make him jump another step pray so he can track down Bird in Indiana and dove on his head.
Jordan loves to bow to the elders when he’s brushing off people who say he’s the best of all time, but he’s played against Johnson and Bird for almost half his career. He thinks he’s better than them, and while he probably cares very little about a trophy being named after him, he was probably pissed when he found out who the trophies were named after. Maybe he knew during All-Star Weekend and that’s why he challenged Johnson to a game one to one.
So Commissioner Silver, You can’t golf with Jordan until you decide to name the regular-season MVP after him or invent some other award he thinks is better than the one you named after Bird and Johnson. If not, he’ll treat you on the golf course like it’s Game 2 of the first round of the 1990 NBA. There’s no amount of money in the world you can bet that will motivate him like you do something Bird and Magic will do name from him, but he’ll smile wider when he takes your money after shooting the round of his life.