As an ardent NBA fan, April is the time of year that re-galvanizes my fanaticism, even if my favorite team fails to make the postseason. But this April I am ineffably bored, eagerly awaiting the inexorable NBA finals matchup.Though 16 hopeful teams started the postseason last week, it’s a near surefire bet that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be facing off in June. No one can match-up with the Lakers’ size out west, and with the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett and the Magic’s Jameer Nelson out for the playoffs, the Cavaliers and their new-found depth should carry them through the east.Barring anything extraordinary, it will be Kobe Bryant vs. Lebron James in a fight for the Larry O’Brien trophy.I’m not exactly going out on an egregious limb here. Expert analysts across the country are unanimously picking a Lakers and Cavaliers final. Indeed, the chances are about as high as Charles Barkley’s blood alcohol content on New Year’s Eve.This time, the NBA isn’t complaining. A Kobe-Lebron seven-game championship series duel is nothing short of a David Stern fantasy. Ratings will fly through the roof as the whole country becomes spectator to a veritable battle of the titans. I can see the ad campaign now. The NBA: Where (a still picture of Kobe getting ready to drive on Lebron sauntering across the screen) Happens.”So, despite TNT’s catchy, dulcet theme song, there is little reason to watch this year’s first three rounds. Sure there will be some frivolous bursts of excitement, like Derek Rose’s performance against the Celtics in the Garden (eerily reminiscent of an old Bulls greats’ 63-point game in 1986) or Dwayne Wade’s explosion in Atlanta last Wednesday. Yet, it will all just postpone the inevitable.Like a voracious child, I want to skip dinner and head straight for dessert. However, like a pair of good parents, the NBA will make me wait.But it will be so worth it, right? It should be.The interminable hype surrounding a rare finals matchup between arguably the world’s two best players will be fresh and enticing at first, then plain annoying, just like Jeff Van Gundy’s color commentary. With the bar set stratospherically high, the grand finale will likely fall short of expectations: as disappointing as an M. Night Shyamalan thriller.Fortunately, I am a glutton for punishment. Best believe I will watch every sweat-dripping second of a Kobe-Lebron final. And, when April comes around next year, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the sequel, even if it was all just a village in the middle of the woods.
The outcome of the NBA playoffs is clear: a Lakers-Cavaliers Championship.