Ever heard of Stephen Glass? Once upon a time (in the mid-to-late 90s), he was a young writer for a far-reaching political magazine named The New Republic. He didn't just have youth on his side, he had a star quality about his writing prose. He had a penchant for writing outrageous stories that would leave no page unturned. His many articles not only garnered immense interest among readers and co-workers, but among competitors as well. You see, Glass spent a great deal of his time mingling with other publications. Friend or foe, seemingly everyone wanted his writing touch on their side. Free-lance work was said to be more profitable than his everyday job writing for TNR. Needless to say, the writing community was fascinated with Glass, and the talent he exuded had everyone saying "deservedly so."
Stephen Glass had a problem, though. Tremendous success instigated tremendous scrutiny. An online magazine by the name of Forbes decided to research one of his articles for a follow-up story. Its research was the ultimate full disclosure; a writer's swift and ultimate demise. It turned out Glass' outrageous stories had a penchant for fabrications. A large portion of characters, settings, events...you name it, were fictionalized and branded as fact.
The attacks came from all angles. First it was Forbes exposing him as a fraud. Then it was Glass' editor who fired him; then previous editors called him out, yearning to know if they, too, had been duped. Even once loyal co-workers rescinded their support. Before he knew it, stunning depths of individuals were uncovering his many lies. Before he knew it, Glass was out of job. A sudden freefall into a world of writing shame and obscurity.
I want to compare the Miami Heat to Stephen Glass, I really, really do. There are some parallels, but not quite everything matches up. Stephen Glass was young, "talented," and a burgeoning superstar. He was also a fraud. Fraudulent is something the Miami Heat are not. They're legitimate and full of substance. They're undeniable championship contenders, and, most likely, eventual trophy bearers.
One portion of the Glass story should not be ignored, however, by the Pacers and their Blue-and-Gold faithful. That is the notion of attack. Attack from all angles. Attack Miami's feeble five spot with an abundance of Roy Hibbert in the post. Attack Chris Bosh's finesse-driven game with the physicality and relentlessness of a David West-Tyler Hansbrough platoon. Attack LeBron James with a steady dose of size length, and athleticism in Granger, George, and Dahntay. Attack Dwyane Wade on both sides of the court with 6'10 SGs and 6'2 pterodactyl-armed combo guards.
Attack was the mindset Larry Bird knew he had to create. And it was to be accomplished through established quantity: 9-10 player depth to be exact. For a small-market team, It was the most logical way to combat the developing fraternity of Superstar Big Threes. Will successful attacks on South Beach lead to a Heat freefall? Probably not. Will they induce Heat shame and obscurity? Their egos aren't capable. Will they give us a regular-season win or two over the Big Three, and prompt Bill Simmons towards continued No. 2 seed talk? Now we're talking.
In the Pacers' case, the capacity to attack from all angles doesn't necessarily trump elite talent, but it gives them a chance. A chance they haven't had in the past due to roster thinnery. So, let's see if Larry's master plan can get off to a roaring start. Let's see if quality depth really can be a Big-Three negator. Let's see if Indy really deserves be in the discussion of top-tier teams in the East.
See you on Wednesday, Miami. Bring your safe hats, 'cause the attacks are coming.