Thank God for the Internet. It gives the average Joe a platform from which they can throw some words together in somewhat of a structured format to belittle, berate and bemuse the average professional athlete. Having been a former pro athlete myself, I tend to write from a different lens. But, through my lens I’m able to see the greatness and the beauty that is NBA basketball.

Yes, it has its shortcomings, but “let he (or whatever sport) without sin cast the first stone.” Shakespeare couldn’t have scripted a better postseason. We have everything from drama and intrigue to thrillers and suspense embedded in this year’s tournament, and these are just some of the stories we are following, or in some cases, avoiding.

Hip-hop Can Turn Dope Dealers into Rappers, but Can’t Save Everyone

Many teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) have looked to entertainment to ignite, or in some cities, re-ignite their dormant fan bases with entertainment industry moguls.

Typically, the average basketball fan, like myself, enjoys pointing out the odd celebrity that attends games donning their over-emphasized blinged-out jewelry coupled with their THOT du-jour and obligatory endless typing on their smartphones. Most fans also realize that these celebrities often remain clueless to the actual goings on within their favourite teams.

The Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and most recently the Chicago Bulls have reached out to the hip-hop world to infuse some urban life into their franchises by attempting to align themselves with rappers such as Drake, Wale and Kanye West.

When Kanye appeared at halftime of a Bulls second round game as part pep rally and part concert, we knew the end was near.

While these names have a combined following of nearly 10 million Twitter followers, their presence did not lead to late-round playoff success. Toronto was unceremoniously dumped in the first round in quick, deliberate fashion at the hands of the Wizards.

The Wizards were then able to wrangle their way all the way to game seven of the second round before being ousted by the Atlanta Hawks.

When Kanye appeared at halftime of a Bulls second round game as part pep rally and part concert, we knew the end was near. Ultimately, the Bulls would bow out to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In short, hip-hop couldn’t save these NBA teams.

The King Reigns

As much as the masses on social media bash and berate the King, he still manages to cement himself as the most dominant figure in this year’s playoffs.

With an early injury to power forward Kevin Love and a suspension to J.R. Smith, the Cavs seemed destined to struggle throughout the playoffs with much of their firepower sidelined.

It’s a damn good thing that the Cavs play in the Eastern Conference – a conference that allows for teams with mediocre records and sub-par performers to make the playoffs and provides for a level playing field for superstars like LeBron James to separate themselves from the pack and elevate their team to post-season dominance.

Lebron and his cronies sit comfortably in the NBA finals with their eyes fixated on the Larry O’Brien trophy, once again. Not to mention, this is Mr. James’ fifth straight trip to the finals. Try to name someone else that has accomplished that . . . that’s right; you can’t, because it hasn’t been done since the 1960s.

The East is no Beast

To quote the immortal words of the one-hit-wonder group of the ’90s Blahzay Blahzay, “when the East is in the house… oh my God, DANGER.”

This pretty much sums up the quality of basketball currently being in exhibited in the NBA’s Eastern Conference . . . DANGERously close to mediocre.

When a subpar team with a subpar record is able to squeeze its way into the prestigious playoffs, it is inherently a manifestation of a conference that falls so far below standard that it is actually laughable.

While Boston did what appeared to be its best to stave off its inevitable elimination, this four-game waste of television time came at a very high cost for the Cavs.

When a subpar team with a subpar record is able to squeeze its way into the prestigious playoffs, it is inherently a manifestation of a conference that falls so far below standard that it is actually laughable.

No, I’m not talking about the Raptors. The second-rate team I’m referring to is the Boston Celtics who stumbled and bumbled its way through the regular season and somehow was able to awkwardly solidify itself as an eighth seed in an increasingly weak conference.

Now, people ask me all the time: “do you ever play your kids one-on-one?” My answer is always the same, HELL NO, I’ve got way too much to lose and absolutely nothing to gain. Those same sentiments MUST have been shared with the Cleveland Cavaliers who had the unenviable task of entertaining the likes of the Smelltics . . . sorry, I mean the Celtics, for four games.

While Boston did what appeared to be its best to stave off its inevitable elimination, this four-game waste of television time came at a very high cost for the Cavs – it cost the team its starting power forward Kevin Love, who was injured during the series while tussling for a loose ball with Celtics big-man Kelly Olynyk.

The Draft Lottery Proves to be a Meaningless Playoff Distraction . . . for Knicks Fans

Smack dab in the middle of these 2015 playoffs came the lottery, in which the teams who had missed the playoffs (top 14 picks) in the previous season, or teams who hold the draft rights of another team that missed the playoffs in the previous season, participate in a lottery process to determine the order in the NBA draft.

As bad as the Knicks team was, its horrible record would at least allow for a high draft pick, right? Wrong!

As my Knicks languished in crevasses of mediocrity at the bottom of the league standings, I eagerly anticipated this day with baited breath. For soon, new life would be breathed into the carcass, which is known as my beloved franchise.

As bad as the Knicks team was, its horrible record would at least allow for a high draft pick, right? Wrong! The Knicks dropped to fourth in the draft lottery, most likely missing out on the top college draft picks Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns or D’Angelo Russell – another slap in the fledgling franchise’s face.

After trading away two valuable pieces – J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert for a bag of basketballs and athletic tape, this slap of the fourth pick dealt a serious blow to the Knicks fan base and moreover, made more doubters than believers of the new Phil Jackson regime.

It will hurt to watch former Knicks Smith and Shumpert help anchor LeBron’s plight for his third championship, with the only consolation being that the New York faithful will know that if they win, it will be because of Knicks players they stole from us and not the surprising emergence of Canadian Tristan Thompson and Russian centre Timofey Mozgov.

The League is in Good Hands with the Chef and the Beard

James Harden and Steph Curry have re-instilled my love for the game.

Watching them go toe-to-toe during the Western Conference Finals reminded me of two rap juggernauts going head to head in the booth, going line for line, verse for verse. Except, for Curry and Harden, they traded jabs with colossal crossovers, off-balance jumpers and incredibly difficult lay-ups.

We all gasped a collective sigh of relief when Chef Curry went crashing to the ground awkwardly, for we, as fans, didn’t want the show to end. The show that starred the Chef and the Beard, made us all on the east coast stay awake late on work nights to watch the spectacle that played itself out with more drama, suspense and intrigue than an episode of “Scandal” or “Love and Hip-Hop”.

Unfortunately for Harden, and his beard, the season came to anticlimactic end, when his team bowed out to the Warriors behind his dismal performance and 13 turnovers in game five.

Despite that, Harden proved he belonged and displayed why he was the runner-up for MVP of the league. Steph ultimately validated his MVP award.