Monday, May 30, 2011

Only One Team, One Man To Root For

I understand that there are some true Miami Heat fans out there. There has to be. It's illogical to think otherwise. However, the number of people who have told me they're a lifelong Heat fan lately is getting a bit ridiculous. And I live in Kansas City for Dirk's sake! And this is one example where being from the city doesn't necessarily qualify you as a diehard fan of that team. Not when the city is the home of the worst fan base in the country. So this means that as a Miami Heat fan, you're most likely a frontrunner, bandwagon type of fan that cheers only for the team that stands the best chance of winning (literally, the weakest thing you can do as a fan, I mean, these people should be shipped off somewhere allowed only to watch women's basketball). This means, if you're out there supporting the Heat in these NBA Finals, you're indirectly supporting this type of fan (mis)behavior. How dare you! Don't worry though, it's not too late, there's still a way to turn things around for yourself, however...

You must root for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.

There's really no option here. I understand that there are a lot of Lebron supporters out there who are anxious to see his reign as Basketball Gesus commence, but this is one of what will be many opportunities for 'Bron to reach his self-proclaimed "Chosen One" status. In all likelihood, this is the final run for The Dirkster. While the Mavs grow long in the tooth, the Bulls, Heat, Thunder, and eventually Knicks are all on the rise surrounding them. By cheering for 'Bron, and the Heat, to capitalize on their first of what will be many runs, I shall label you an elitist. You only want the rich to get richer. You might find yourself supporting the Yankees (or maybe the Red Sox these days), the Cowboys or the Steelers or the Patriots, or USC football (wait, they died), and you're most likely a Duke or North Carolina basketball fan. Hell, you probably even support the owners in the current NFL lockout (ask Nick Wright why you shouldn't, he'd be glad to tell you). Or maybe, just maybe, you're even racist. Against Germans. Achtung!

Obviously, I'm being a bit hyperbolicious, and you should root for whoever you want. That's the great thing about sports. So if you weren't buying that smear campaign, let me smack you in the face with a more logical approach. Hard.

The biggest ongoing secret in the NBA is that while 'Bron is heralded as the most exciting player in the NBA (or in any sport?), ironically he's kinda boring. I feel put off because he was supposed to be different, when in actuality, he's very much the same. He's pretty close to an exact cross-breed between Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, two of the greatest to ever play the game. But we've seen both of them before. He was supposed to be the best passer of all time, but I never come away thinking he sees the game like a point guard. Off the court, I feel like he's afraid to take any chances. Afraid to be himself. He's very mainstream. He passed up a chance to win a Championship with his tortured hometown team, as well as tangle with the beast that is New York basketball, all to play with his best friend in a nice weathered city, which is totally understandable, but at the same time is His aspirations are to reach as many people as possible (an icon), which means being as politically correct as possible, and to make as much money as he can (a jizillionaire), which is what you chase when you don't know what else to do with yourself. Do we really know anything about 'Bron, other than the fact that he might be the greatest athlete we've ever seen? Am I the only person that's simply not satisfied by only that?

This is why I need a man with style. I choose a man who is uniquely talented, as well as uniquely spirited (who finishes most of his tweets with "gotta stay humble and hungry"). Note, humble first. A man who is more into self-depracation, as opposed to what the NBA fuels itself on, self-promotion. A man who gives interviews slumped in his chair, holding the microphone himself. I choose a man who is breaking the mold of what it takes to find success in the NBA, perhaps the hardest "soft" player the sport has ever seen. A man who's skill set is so far from duplication that they just compare him to the last great white player (Bird). A man who handled the Thunder cheaply spilling water on their bench (a dirty tactic that I am all for) while he was shooting two free throws to tie the game, and complete a 15 point 4th quarter comeback like this...

"That's ze old trick, ooh, I spilled the watah..."

A man on such a mission that he bypassed celebrating the Western Conference Championship with his teammates because he's after something bigger, and felt embarrassed by all attention his teammates were giving him (my favorite sports moment of 2011 so far). I choose the man who has persevered through mountains of adversity, and now finds himself at the summit of that mountain, ready to knock down the last obstacle that stands between what he is and what he's perceived as. Is there any greater accomplishment than a man setting out to do what nobody believed he could do? Isn't this why the human race was created? It's too inspiring for me to even fathom how anybody out there could not be rooting for the man.

The man that I choose.


So cheer for the Heat if you wish. Let the reign begin. But know what you're supporting in the process - Elitism. White-outs. Bandwagoning. Bill O'Reilly. Individualism. Like A Bosh. Cowardice. Dan LeBatard. Anti-retribution (did I forget to mention how the Heat won the Championship the Mavs got cheated out of?).. Neckbeards (damn, I like that one).. Genericism. "Not 2, Not 3, Not 4, Not 5, Not 6, Not 7." The end of Basketball as we know it.

In short, if you're cheering for 'Bron and the Heat over Dirk n' the Mavs I do not like or respect you.

His Dirkness

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