Apparently, I'm a jinx.
Last week I wrote about the spectacular season Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Kevin Love is having.
He has consistently filled up the stat sheet for a team with a lousy record, recording a 31-point, 31-rebound game back in November, and four 30/20 games this season.
But he injured his groin against the Jazz, and then he tried to play through it in a couple of games. He played 33 minutes and had 15 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to the Lakers last Friday. He was only able to play 14 minutes last Sunday against the Kings, and had no points and three rebounds.
Love was originally ruled out for two games, but coach Kurt Rambis said during the week that his star player might be done for the season. If that's the case, it's pretty unfortunate.
OK, I realize it was just by sheer coincidence that Love got hurt as I was writing a column about him, and he's one of the last guys in the league I'd want to jinx. But hey, I might as well test this out and see if I have real jinxing powers.
So here are some things I'd love to curse in the last few months (including playoffs) of the 2010-11 NBA season:
The Lakers winning the NBA title. I've grown to appreciate Kobe Bryant's talent, how hard he works, and how important winning is to him. But if I can put a jinx on keeping Bryant and the Lakers from winning another title, I'll gladly do so.
Why? Mainly because Michael Jordan is the greatest of all-time and my all-time favorite player. Bryant will tie him with six championships if he wins another one, and nobody belongs in Jordan's class. I need the Spurs to recapture their early season dominance, or the Mavericks to come through in the clutch for once. I'd even take the young Thunder using their energy and athleticism to stun L.A. Or maybe my jinxing powers will be enough.
I might as well play matchmaker with the Lakers in the NBA Finals while I'm at it. How about either the Bulls or Heat? I only put the jinx on the Bulls because Chicago-L.A. is probably a nightmare pairing for Jazz fans. Derek Fisher and Carlos Boozer playing for other teams on the NBA's grandest stage after they almost got Utah there four years ago? Pass.
I'd rather be a bigger jinx on the Heat, though. I'm sure the NBA would love to have Lakers-Heat in the championship series before the lockout in July. It would be a ratings bonanza to have the league's biggest names facing off in the finals. And if there's one thing I worry about when I go to bed at night, it's how much money the NBA rakes in, and can squeeze out of advertisers.
I'll put a jinx on the Spurs and Celtics not making it to the NBA Finals. Who wants to see team-oriented clubs battling it out for the NBA's top prize? Who wants to see teams playing unselfishly, defending and not caring who gets credit for their success? Well, I would. So I'm saying they'll both get knocked out in the conference playoffs, only to jinx it.
I'll put a jinx on Magic center Dwight Howard winning the MVP award. Howard has had an outstanding statistical season, but I've believed for several weeks that Bulls point guard Derrick Rose deserves the MVP award. His team has the best record in the East, and he's been the best player in the league this season.
I'm only putting the jinx on Howard because his coach, Stan Van Gundy, acted like a crybaby this past week. Didn't commissioner David Stern ban him from talking the rest of the season? Anyway, Van Gundy was boobing because he said the media has already given the award to Rose before making a case for his player.
"The media seems to have made their decision and they're the ones who vote, so I think it's over," Van Gundy said of the MVP race. "To me, with his rebounding, his scoring and his defense, I just don't think there's anybody that impacts as many possessions in a game as Dwight does."
Howard is one of the top players in the game, but Van Gundy doesn't need to whine about Rose being the frontrunner. Nobody has campaigned for Rose. He has done his campaigning with his play.
I'll put a jinx on the Jazz's last four home games being boring and uneventful. Utah probably won't have much to play for in its final home games of the season, but they should still be entertaining. The Lakers visit on Friday, and Laker games have a different atmosphere and energy at EnergySolutions Arena. Perhaps the Jazz can play spoiler, or perform their own jinx, in their final games against playoff-bound Portland and Denver.