Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Lakers
I rather sheepishly feel the need to confess that I'm a bit excited about watching the all-star teams of Lakers, Heat and to a lesser extent Thunder, Celtics and Spurs have at it this year. It's must see TV, the stuff that makes the basketball watching imagination just go wild.
Now that I feel like the Suns aren't competitive with those teams, I don't feel much rivalry, angst, disgust, juice for hating the emergent dream teams. Instead, I feel this sense that "Thank Jezebel, there's not just Miami out there with a transcendental team."
If you can set aside the jerseys, the colors and all the ugliness those teams stand for in our lives, aren't you just excited for seeing these surreal teams play? What a remarkable consolidation of talent. Where the All-Star Game is a flashy, trashy farce of basketball, here these all-star games will be played throughout the season with defense, with drama, with showreel highlights.
One of the things I've loved about the community over at the Golden State of Mind is how their team has sucked for all time, and they've taken on a broader love for the game. They were the first to continue posting through the playoffs, teamless, with great comedy and joy. I think that's something that its now time to embrace here more fully.
Don't villify or disparage my suns fandom. I wouldn't qvetch or agonize about the team so much if I wasn't emotionally tied to the jersey, the memories, and the hope for the suns future. In the meantime, honestly, I'm finding a yearning for seeing what these amazing teams can do, and particularly with Nash as a Laker.
Yes, I'm now a Nash-Laker fan. It's like being a Reagan-Democrat. Am I shit? Sorry.
But enough about me. What about you? Is there a contender out there that you'll support this year? Can you look past the colors? The history? The deep-rooted animosity?
How about the young guns of the Oklahoma Thunder? A team with youth that could possibly rise to topple the big market, superstar teams? A team with whom we have no long-running hurts or hatred towards? Even their games as a former franchise in Seattle were some of our greatest memories for triple OT high scoring shoot outs.
And what about the Celtics? Do you think they have shot? Would you like them to triumph just once more because you hate all those other teams?
What do you think of San Antonio? If you want basketball purity and high character, don't they have it? Have you ever seen a more classy bunch of real people play the game so dirty? You can say you don't like the dirty play, but none of us complained when former Diamondbacks first baseman Mark Grace famously said, "If you ain't cheatin, you ain't tryin." And how about supporting another small market team that built the model of loyalty and players making financial sacrifices for the team.
And what of the the Lakers. You can hate the fans. You can hate Kobe's off court behavior. But can you really hate the sacrificial passion that Kobe and Nash both put into the game? Can you get past the colors and the personalities and see the basketball to be played? Don't you want to see how all those players adapt their game together?
So. Can you get past all that fan-based hate and root for good basketball?
Probably would be nice to add a poll here, but I'm not just not seeing that option available....