(It seems Wedge just posted, so scroll down to read a post about more than just basketball...)
So we all remember the Fab Five. I was in high school and nothing was bigger to me than basketball when these guys came onto the scene with their black socks and trash-talking, their baggy shorts and attitude ("we know we're freshman, but we're better than the upperclassmen"). Webber, Howard, Rose, King, Jackson. The Fab Five. I highly recommend reading Mitch Albom's book about these guys. He's a great writer (and was great even before all of his non-sports bestsellers) and the Fab Five was definitely good for the game in the nineties.
And I don't mind saying that, even with the disappointing combined NBA accomplishments of the group. We never expected much after college out of King or Jackson, though Webber, Howard, and Rose had worlds of potential. But potential aside, I still think it's safe to say they had decent careers, being paid to do what they loved to do. And while Webber is still making headlines when he's traded and Howard is still sitting on someone's bench (Dallas?), Jalen Rose has recently retired and is now an NBA analyst for ESPN.
Now I don't watch a whole lot of ESPN these days, so I haven't seen Rose do a lot of "analyzing." But I did hear him on the radio the other day and have to completely disagree with him.
According to Rose, the Top 5 teams in the NBA West (Suns, Mavs, Jazz, Lakers, Spurs) did not include New Orleans! Let's forget that if you look at the standings as I type this, the Hornets would hold the number 1 seed if the season ended today. Let's forget that he said this the day after the Hornets had beaten the Suns (the current #2 seed) on national television. What is more astonishing is that he said Utah may be the best team in the West.
I think Utah is a very good team, but to say they may be the best team in the West and then not even include New Orleans in the Top 5 brings serious questioning to your credibility, as far as I'm concerned. Utah is 34-19, only 12-16 on the road. New Orleans is 36-15, and 19-7 on the road. I'm perplexed.
I don't claim to know everything, but I think if I were paid for my opinion, I'd at least have to include the current best team in a discussion of the top five, even if I were only giving my reasons for why I believed they would begin to drop off. Then again, should we really expect extraordinary analysis from someone who had nothing more than an ordinary career?