Talking Points: Meaning of Memorial Cup

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Trying to wrap your head around this Memorial Cup tournament? Well, in Canada, where hockey is a religion, it's a big, big deal — with a tradition dating back almost a century.

So, why should we care, aside from the fact that the Portland Winterhawks are playing?

Look at it like this:

Imagine a Final Four that featured the consensus top three picks in the upcoming NBA Draft going head to head. That would be cool.

This Memorial Cup tournament is even better than that, because a number of key players have already signed with National Hockey League teams.

2

We understand die-hard SuperSonics fans being angry about the NBA's decision not to move the Kings franchise from Sacramento to Seattle.

What's more difficult to understand is why any casual basketball fan would care.

Maybe it's just one Talking Points staff member's opinion, but the NBA has become the least interesting major sport in North America. In any given season, only a couple of teams — maybe four in a good year — have a chance to win the championship.

The way free agency rules work, it is pretty much impossible for most of the league's teams to even dream of a championship. Yes, San Antonio has done it. But the truth is that the Spurs lucked into drafting a superstar (Tim Duncan) who is perfectly happy staying where he is.

By contrast, the NFL, baseball, MLS and the NHL all offer championship chases with drama and a playing field that allows teams to build their way to the top.

Seattle has three of those, each of which offers a better fan experience than does the NBA. That's a pretty good deal.

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