I am a Sixers fan going back to the days of Caldwell Jones. I am also set to become a Brooklyn Nets supporter due to THE proximity to my apartment and, presumably, MY daughter’s first live trip to the Association. The NBA, however, is the only sporting entity where my fandom tends to be of the collective, rather than the individual. I’m a pro hoops socialist that way. I like watching the best ballers in the world playing at the highest level. Given a bit of time, I can find a reason to root for any team in the NBA. With the exception of the Lakers, of course. I’m not a monster.
The 2012 Finals has all the makings of something epic, a collection of incredibly gifted players, both young and in their prime, will fingers-crossed deliver one for the ages. That should be enough, right? As a wise man said this morning, “This could be the greatest show we’ve seen in a while. Let’s enjoy it.”
And yet, sports are just more fun with a strong rooting interest. It would be easy to go the hater route, the negatives surrounding the Heat and Thunder have been hashed out everywhere, but I generally have strong affection for both these squads. Yes, even the (so-called) Whore of Akron. Hoodies of the world, unite!I’m going the NBA-Finals-lover path, comparing and contrasting what makes the Heat/Thunder great in ten steps before making a decision. (But not The Decision. It’s nothing but warm fuzzies today.)
MIA: Dwyane Wade went to Marquette.
OKC: Lazar Hayward went to Marquette.
MIA: I once saw Mike Miller at a rooftop bar in Memphis rocking a pair of jorts.
OKC: At a Philly bar, Maurice Cheeks once gave some creepy guy staring at him a thumbs-up even though he was having a drink with a lovely woman. (Thanks, Mo!)
MIA: Chris Bosh’s bolo tie.
OKC: James Harden’s beard.
MIA: Erik Spoelstra is holding it up for Filipinos in the wake of the brutal Manny Pacquiao decision.
OKC: Scotty Brooks is keeping it real for notable UC Irvine Anteater authors Richard Ford, Michael Chabon, Craig A. Williams, Aimee Bender, and Joshua Ferris in the wake of the ongoing Jon Lovitz asshattery.
MIA: The night my wife went into Labor was LeBron’s Heat debut. While watching the game and waiting to bring nourishing Graziella’s pizza back to her, the barkeep said, “You came in here a dude, you’ll return a dad.”
OKC: My wife is a Tulsa native and my 70-something mother-in-law sent me that adorable Facebook message:
How about those Thunder players. They’re putting Okla on the maps and my kids thought that Okla has nothing to offer. The shirts are flying off the shelves. Sure you don’t want me to send you one?
OKC: Serge Ibaka is also properly monikered for a shot-blocker who flies in like an occupying army.
MIA: Jimmy Buffet was tossed out of a 2001 Heat game. I like to think that as he was getting the heave-ho he looked back and shouted, “SCREW YOU GUYS THEN! Once and for all, I’m going to find that lost shaker of salt!”
OKC: Lil’ Wayne was denied a free courtside seat during the Spurs tilt. There’s no way the argument between Weezy and some good ole’ boy in the ticket office lives up to the one in my head.
MIA: I know next to nothing about out-of-nowhere Heat rookie Norris Cole.
OKC: Somehow, I know even less about Thunder stopper Thabo Sefolosha
MIA: Like many a formerly unctuous grandparent, the Old Man of the Heat seems a lot more charming watching his kids from the stands.
OKC: Whatever Fish has lost, he’s gained a lot playing the role of “aging dude player-coaching the youngbloods at the local Y.”
You know what? Fuck it. There’s only thing I’ll be loudly rooting for.
Like the man says, enjoy it.
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