Basketball has been reduced to a footnote.
The actual product of playoff basketball has been overshadowed by the Donald Sterling controversy. For new commissioner Adam Silver and everyone in the league office, the situation has consumed them. It's likely that every national news program in the country will be talking about the NBA on Monday. And not much of conversation will be in a positive light. Sterling, who has a long history of representing the ugly side of humanity, is now the face of the NBA -- not Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant.
It's a shame, because the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs might be the most entertaining playoffs we've ever seen.
On Sunday night, we were treated to yet another gripping overtime game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, a series that should be the lead of every sports segment in the country. And yet, those highlights will likely take a backseat to Sterling.
It's the seventh overtime game so far in the playoffs, which, according to Elias Sports Bureau, is the most the NBA has ever seen in any round. What's more ridiculous is that there have been three series in NBA playoff history that have featured a trio of overtime games, and two of them have come this season: Thunder-Grizzlies and Rockets-Blazers.
Digging deeper into the NBA StatsCube database, which goes back to 1997, we find more evidence that this is the most electric playoffs in recent memory, and it's not just limited to the overtimes.