Mavs 102, Suns 93

While Dallas were a far stronger team defensively than I would’ve guessed in this series, there were numerous times that the Suns and their Canadian anti-war MVP seemed wiped. The combined 14 games against the Lakers and Spurs surely took a heavy toll.

We’re now about to be graced with a Finals in which I have no rooting interest whatsoever. It is hard for me to imagine which sight would be more distasteful ; the Owner With A Boner lifting the Larry 0’Brien Trophy or Pat Riley doing the same. Until now, I’ve been able to console myself with the knowledge that Riles hadn’t managed even a Conference championship since faxing his goodbye to MSG, but I can’t even cling to that petty factoid. And I’m pretty sure Riley’s long awaited 4th ring is on the way this time ; though the Mavs have been a blast to watch, does anyone believe that Erick Dampier will present any sort of challenge for Shaquille O’Neal? Dallas’ best hope is an injury and/or foul trouble for the Diesel, and I wouldn’t count on either. Miami in 6.

After repeated derogatory references to Knicks owner James Dolan’s crud-rock sideline, J.D. & The Straight Shot in this space, I’m a little surprised it took this long for someone in the sports media —- in this case, Page 2’s Kieran Darcy — to give the voice behind “Shoot That Dog” a listen.

I’m no music critic, but I’d call them mediocre at best — especially Dolan. He plays rhythm guitar and handles many of the lead vocals — but I wouldn’t even say he’s the most talented of the singers in the group. Yet he’s the front man, because ¦ well, because he’s a gazillionaire. I’d tell him to keep his day job — but under the circumstances, I’d rather see him keep his night job.

The most annoying moment of the evening? When Dolan introduced another song by saying, in overly dramatic fashion, “It’s been 33 days ¦ since I had a cigarette.” And he took a sweeping bow, as the crowd applauded. It took everything in my power not to yell out, “And how long has it been since you talked to your coach?” Even longer, shamefully.

It was only fitting that the band closed out the first set with its “hit single” — how on earth they can claim that, I have no idea — called “Ghost.” The chorus, which Dolan sang repeatedly: “The ghost’s in control.” How appropriate. And sad.

Other than the bit about 200 people attending the show, Darcy’s review is weirdly reminiscent of some Air Traffic Controllers press clippings I’ve got pasted to my bulletin board.

But seriously, I do insist that we have to consider the source. If Dolan is guilty of neglecting the Knicks while polluting the universe with music so unoriginal, even Stevie Ray Going Going Gone is considering coming back from the grave just to commit suicide, what of Darcy’s parent company? ESPN’s considerable role in furthering the career of Hootie & The Fucking Blowfish should automatically render each and every resident of Bristol U’s sprawling campus INELIGIBLE from publicly expressing any opinions about music.

On a related note, there is no truth whatsoever to the current rumor that JD & The Straight Shot have parlayed their connections with an Austin based management company into placement on the Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits bills or an appearance on a national (public) television program, despite no more than a handful of persons giving a flying fuck whether they live or die. Because that would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

(UPDATE : Sunday’s NY Post mentions that Marc Berman attended the same Dolan gig as Page 2’s Darcy, and Cablevision’s PR crew were under orders to keep him awat from J.D. Perhaps now would be a good time for the Straight Shot to play some low key gigs under a different name? There might be copyright issues, but I’m pretty sure Love & Basketball isn’t taken.)