Friday Open Thread: Primetime Basketball in Emerald City at 7 PM PT/10 PM ET

It is now officially summer. As I mentioned yesterday, the Title IX commemorative events have already begun with tomorrow as the 40th anniversary of the passing of the act. While Title IX is most tied with college sports participation, it also makes sure that there is fair distribution of other academic resources between the sexes in higher education, such as general financial aid, scholarships, course offerings, and college admissions among other things.

One game tonight in Seattle which will have a Title IX table in the area. This game is only on LiveAccess. But first, congratulations to the Miami Heat because it won the 2012 NBA Finals last night, and congratulations to the Oklahoma City Thunder for winning its first Western Conference championship since its relocation from Seattle. The Thunder also gave a hell of an entertaining series. At the end of the day, while both teams weren't old at their core, Miami had more experience at this level of play, and that ultimately showed in this year's Finals.

Winners and Losers of the 2012 NBA Finals

Biggest Winner: LeBron James - After dealing with all of the criticism last year when the Heat couldn't beat the Dallas Mavericks in the Finals, the Heat finally got it done this season. On top of that, LeBron was also the clear alpha male on this Heat squad this year. The MVP trophy and Bill Russell awards are icing on the cake.

Winner: Erik Spoelstra - Being coach of the Miami Heatles means that anything short of a dominating regular season and dominating playofff run culminating in a championship is failure. The Heat had trouble beating the Pacers and Celtics in the playoffs, and there were rumblings that he'd be fired and Phil Jackson would step in, or that Pat Riley would be GM and Head Coach. Now with a championship in hand, Spoelstra finally has a LITTLE job security in the eyes of the public.

Winner: Seattle SuperSonics fans - Over the last several years, the SuperSonics went from NBA doormats in 2007-2008 to a 50 win team in 2009-2010 and haven't looked back. Kevin Durant could have been the face of Emerald City, but Clay Bennett had other plans. Seeing the Thunder win an NBA championship would be pretty unbearable for them, but at least that has been delayed for one year, and in Sonics' fans eyes, hopefully more. Meanwhile, KD is the face of Oklahoma and possibly all rural states in America's Heartland and he has no problem with that at all.

Winner: Chris Bosh - Last year, everyone was harping on him for crying after the Heat got beat in the Finals. This year, all of his tears were for joy and he was the big offensive threat on the low post that the Thunder seriously lacks.

Winner: Dwyane Wade - He may no longer be the best player on the Heat, but he was still a major part of the franchise's second NBA championship and is the backbone of the franchise.

Loser: The NBA Eastern Conference Long Term Playoff Caliber Teams - This Miami big three finally knows how to get it done. And if they can keep playing ball like this every year, it will be impossible for the Bulls, Pacers, and Sixers to wish for any future Finals appearances, let alone championships. OKC still has at least some glimmer of hope even if Harden goes somewhere else for a max contract because they have KD and Westbrook.

Loser: The NBA Southeast Division's Dumb and Dumber Teams (Cats and Wiz) - The Bobcats might as well trade away the 2nd overall pick and the Wizards might as well trade John Wall today to the Miami Heat for Mike Miller and Shane Battier respectively because their ceiling is the first round, or maybe second round of the playoffs even if everything plays their way. The Big Three core of this Heat team will likely be intact for as long, if not longer than any time period of when these two Southeast Division rivals become at least somewhat competitive again. Yes, the championship validated Miami and that is what made it final...

Loser: Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert - He said the Cavs would win a title before the Heat would. He was wrong.

Biggest Loser: thewiz06 - Okay, LeBron kicked serious butt in the Finals. He deserved to be the MVP in the regular season and deserved the Bill Russell award. Yes, the Miami Heat had the best team in the playoffs this season. Plain and simple. They deserved this championship. I didn't want them to win it. But the Heat did, and congratulations to them for getting there.

On the other hand, maybe I was way too pessimistic about the Wizards' long term hopes, and yes, the Heat championship is a big reason why. So, I think I'll take back my John Wall to the Heat trade comment back.

Feel free to discuss your thoughts on the Miami Heat's NBA Championship in the comments below! It's an OPEN thread!

Okay, here's the WNBA game tonight:

San Antonio Silver Stars (4-4) at Seattle Storm (3-7), 10 PM ET/7 PM PT | Stars Preview | Storm Preview

Both teams have spent over half a week off since their last games, and they both came off victories over the Top two teams out west. The Stars beat the Sparks last Saturday, 98-85 where Sophia Young, Becky Hammon, and Danielle Adams combined for 66 points. The Storm beat the Lynx last Sunday and was blowing them out for much of the game, led by Sue Bird who scored 21 points. But yeah, I know the Lynx came back in the fourth. Speaking about guard battles, this is yet another great match as Sue and Becky will both try to outscore each other to a win.

The Storm will have a Title IX table at the game tonight for fans to give their thoughts on the legislation where fans can get a T Shirt. There is still one more game on this critical homestand for the Green and Gold, as they face the Washington Mystics on Sunday for the first of a home and home. But like I said with the Indiana/Connecticut game yesterday, though Title IX is being celebrated by the home team and the whole league this weekend, at least for most of the teams, the product on the court is the ultimate tribute because we all want to see great basketball every night. Tonight should be a competitive game on paper as the Stars try to climb back over .500, and the Storm tries to take advantage of an easier break on its schedule which will last through the end of this month and get to three wins in a row.

So that's all folks!

Feel free to show your homerism for the Storm or the Stars, Miami's 2012 NBA title, Title IX's 40th anniversary, or anything else on your mind.

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