Detroit hasnít won the East, not yet, but you have to like their chances. And, as youíll surely read or here soon enough, if you havenít already, the NBA suits in New York have to be tearing their hair out at the prospects of a finals between the lunch-bucket Pistons and the duller-than-plastic-steak-knives Spurs.
Theyíll take the Spurs, not least because it doesnít look as if they have a lot of choice. But at Least San Antonio has Tim Duncan, one of the most admired players the league has ever had, and Manu Ginobili, the Argentinian answer to Pete Maravich.
Itís the Pistons who have to be galling folks back at the home office. Yes, theyíre the defending champions, and fine and deserving champs they are. But the NBA built its marketing campaign on individual stars, and the Pistons donít have people like that.
All the Pistons are is a team ó you know, one of those things in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and itís all for one and one for all. Who wants that when you could be having Shaquille OíNeal in the finals; when you could have Dwyane Wade?
Detroit, in case the news hasnít reached you, isnít Hollywood. Nor is it the Big Apple or the Windy City or the Hub or the City of Brotherly Love or South Beach. Itís a rusting hulk that shares a media market with Canada; Buffalo without the glitter.
It is, the experts are sure to tell you, a ratings nightmare.
And that is exactly whatís wrong with the NBA. Instead of lamenting the possible departure of Shaq and Dwyane, we ought to be getting ready to celebrate as remarkable a team as the NBA has seen in a long time.
If you havenít watched them yet, you owe it to yourself to turn off the phone, lay in a supply of your favorite beverages and munchies, and sit down to take in a game. And not just the first and fourth quarters, but the whole game.