Wow, what a strange situation to be in as a Suns fan. Who do we root for in the NBA Western Conference Finals? The Lakers have been our nemesis for much longer than the Spurs, but not as much recently.
Our hatred of the Spurs is obvious, and we would never root for them to win. But can we really feel good right now rooting for the Lakers to win? I say, just this once, yes. Not only would a Lakers series win over the Spurs be a great "stick-it-to-'em" to those whiny, dirty, cheating bastards, but it would help set up a possible renaissance in the NBA: a Lakers vs. Celtics matchup in the NBA Finals. Those old enough to remember NBA basketball in the 1980's would appreciate this all-time classic matchup. It would be great for the NBA and it's fans. But as a Suns fan, how nice would it be to be able to point and laugh at David Stern (the Spurs' biggest fan) to be rewarded with a Pistons vs. Spurs finals? Talk about the most boring series ever! I'd rather watch the Bobcats play the T'wolves in mid-November. And now that the Celtics have finally lost a home playoff game, they MUST win at least one game in Detroit, and are 0-6 so far on the road in the playoffs (against Cleveland and Atlanta, of all teams).
Let's not kid ourselves: Kobe went MJ all over the Spurs the other night in scoring 25 in the 2nd half and bringing the Lakers back from the dead and again solidified himself as one of the greatest individual players of all-time (I hate saying that, but it's the truth). But the Spurs aren't going to choke away another 20 point lead to anyone. That series is far from over and unless the Lakers can get a statement win tonight I worry that we're going to have to suffer from yet another few weeks of the "Sterns" on TV.
Nonetheless, my conflict is still somewhat in tact. I want so desperately for the Spurs to lose, but now that the Lakers are legitimate again, it just means more trouble for the Suns to contend with, and more insufferable trash-talking from Lakers fans. What a mess we're in! Maybe we'll get lucky and the Lakers and Spurs will beat each other up, the Lakers will beat them in 7 games and then get crushed by either the Pistons or Celtics. It's about the best possible scenario right now for Suns fans. And in the process there's a broken ankle or two, then so be it. I won't come out and say "Go Lakers", but how about "Beat San Antonio!" as our rally cry?
Yes, we can root for the Lakers for this one series. But I'd like the Suns to have just one more crack at them before they start rebuilding. Next season, I hope the Spurs are legitimate enough that a Suns playoff series win over them feels like some level of redemption. This would have been the perfect season for all wounds to be healed, but it didn't happen. Here's to next season, Suns fans! Hopefully we'll have a coach soon that can help the team get over that whiny, dirty, cheating hump.
San Antonio Sucks!!!