Cohen: Holiday Squabbling

By Josh Cohen
December 24, 2011

ORLANDO -- Similar to the obsession we have for team architecture and the fascination we tend to have for envisioning superstars changing teams, we also tend to be overzealous about evaluating and ranking players and teams.

Especially on holidays when we are around our family, heated debates ensue about who everyone thinks will win the championship, who the most valuable player will be, etc.

Naturally, biases come into play. If you have a relative from Boston and you are in the middle of an argument about the best NFL quarterback, he or she will likely defend Tom Brady until you finally concede that he is the greatest QB of all time.

And all you Gator enthusiasts won’t let Tim Tebow haters try to smother you with his or her judgment. To you, Tebow probably deserves to be mentioned as one of the top players in the NFL.

Sometimes it seems, we want to hear someone else’s opinion on a subject to help reach our own verdict or to simply be a devil’s advocate and stir up an argument.

It’s like:

Billy to Freddie: “You think the St. Louis Cardinals can still win the World Series next season without Albert Pujols?”

Freddie to Billy: “No chance. The Cardinals will be lucky to win 65 games next year.”

Billy back to Freddie: “You’re crazy man. St. Louis still has Matt Holiday and Lance Berkman and it just signed Carlos Beltran. No way they win only 65 games next year!”

Freddie back to Billy: “Well if you feel so strongly about it, why did you ask for my opinion?”

When you and all your family members are relaxing around the living room television and watching all the spectacular Christmas Day NBA games, you will probably engage in at least 25 NBA-related arguments.

There will be the “Miami Heat” debate. Your uncle will incessantly claim LeBron James is the most overrated player in the world, while your cousin with the LeBron jersey on will find some counterargument and suggest James is unstoppable.

There will be the “Dwight Howard” discussion. There will be some who say Howard will be in Orlando long term and others who say he will eventually be traded.

There will be the “MVP” quarrel. Depending on everyone’s biases, different players will be in the conversation. Maybe your brother is a Lakers supporter and will profess that Kobe Bryant will have a rebound season and earn the honor, while others may claim Chris Paul, Kevin Durant or Howard will win the award for the first time in their respective careers.

There will be dialogue about “trade proposals.” Your grandma will recommend Team A trade Players B, C and D to Team H for Players X, Y and Z. Some of the trade ideas will be completely ridiculous, while others may have you thinking.

There will, naturally, be arguments about who will win the NBA title this year. More than any of the aforementioned topics, this one will almost certainly stir up some serious biased arguments.

For the serious die-hard fans, some families may even squabble about best rookies, most overrated player, most underrated player, most overpaid player, etc. etc.

With this feature, moreover, I hope I can incite many NBA arguments on Christmas Day.

And if you and your family will be together all week, maybe the squabbling will extend well beyond Sunday.


Which NBA topic do you think will be the most discussed topic at your Christmas Day family gathering?
Which NBA topic do you think will be the most discussed topic at your Christmas Day family gathering?
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