I grew up in Iowa, or as most people I meet call it, “Idaho, wait Ohio?” This meant that I was not geographically obligated to support a specific team. It also meant I had to make a choice, something I’m shit at now and was no better at 20 years prior.
First I was a Grant Hill fan, because one time I heard an adult say he was going to be good, and kids are stupid. He actually was good, for a while, but his career basically turned into the opening scene from Robocop where Eric Foreman’s dad and his buddies replace most of Alex Murphy’s body with buckshot. I took that one pretty hard and, like a jilted lover determined to avoid that kind of heartbreak again, I stayed away from the game.
The next time I dipped my toes into the basketball waters was when LeBron appeared on the scene. At the time, it seemed like buying Jordan stock from the start. He was exciting to watch, and seemed like a fun guy! Another mistake. While arguably the best player of all time, he’s just such an insufferable douche that, unless you are a Cavs fan, there is no way anyone that I would ever want to hangout with could support him. I chalk this up to college being a time for experimentation and try not to think about it too much. Like the old saying goes, “everyone’s got at least one dick they’d like to unsuck”. After abandoning this ill-advised rebound, I was once more alone.
When I was finally ready to love again, I had just moved to San Francisco; the first city I had ever lived in with an actual NBA team. This was going to be it. I finally had proximity as a reason for my choice. Nothing could stop us. Of course, the Warriors immediately won a title and became a perennial contender which made calling them my team at 28 and not seeming like some front running loser impossible. I was again resigned to a life of basketball celibacy and was starting to accept that this sport just might not be for me. Time to cut my hair short, buy a couple cats and sign up for the Friday night Toastmasters class held in the church basement near my apartment. As I began to accept my new life, I made another move to another NBA city, New York.
They always say you find love when you stop looking for it, and this story is no different. The Knicks had it all. A losing history, incompetent management and an owner who seems to actively hate his fan base. We were like two broken 40 something’s after a couple of divorces and one too many shitty kids who finally found each other. This was the type of loserdom and ineptitude that I had always coveted as a young sports fan. Growing up, I chose the Vikings (co-record holder for most Super Bowl appearances without winning one, still haven’t) and the Red Sox (I know they’ve won a lot recently but at the time it had been like 70 some years since they mattered so fuck off), two of the lowest self esteem picks of all time. I could have gone with prime Cowboys or Yankees teams that were just winning everything, but god bless young me and his inability to associate himself with any shred of success, even at such a young age. I spent the last year mulling this over, making certain that I didn’t repeat my previous mistakes, and after watching Phil Jackson tarnish his legacy (and take that incredibly sad bus ride, #neverforget), threaten to trade one of the best young stars in the league under the logic of wanting to get younger(?), and basically everything about Carmelo Anthony and his stripper baby/no trade clause/lol I knew I was finally making the right decision. So now I am all in on the Knicks. A diehard through and through. I can’t wait to be baffled, hate filled and any and all kinds of depressed wasting my time and money on this team. #FreeOakley #FireDolan #Godzingis. I’m home.
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