Friday, May 14, 2010
So who do I cheer for now?
The Cavs are no longer in the playoffs, as you may have heard, but I still have a playoff beard, so I have to cheer for somebody. So the question is, which of the four remaining teams do I cheer for? Here's a quick countdown from "If they win, I'm slitting my wrists" to "I might have even cheered for them against the Cavs".
4 (But it might as well be 4,000,000,000,000 since I would never, EVER cheer for them). Orlando Magic I hate Orlando and its family-friendly theme parks; I hate Stan Van Gundy and his weasel-voice; I hate Dwight Howard and his smiles and his whining and his body-type (his shoulders are a little too square for my tastes); I hate Vince Carter and his pussiness and his railroading of Toronto and his lack of balls and his inability to be what we all thought he would be after the 2000 dunk contest; I hate Rashard Lewis and his contract that will pay him 19, 21, and 22 million dollars; I actually don't mind Jameer Nelson, but he gets my scorn due to proxy.
3. Los Angeles Lakers Cheering for Kobe Bryant is like cheering for Alex Rodriguez: kind of lame. Ron Artest has disappointed thus far this postseason by not completely losing his mind (there's still time, so fingers crossed!), and Pau Gasol has gone from being underrated to being vastly overrated (I have heard him described more than once as a future Hall-of-Famer, which is so ridiculous I can't even come up with a good analogy here). Derek Fisher is terrible for 98 percent of a game, series, season, but annoyingly always hits a three that swings the most important game of the year. Nobody likes guys like that. Mostly, though, I am just bored with the Lakers. Haven't we seen them enough already?
2. Boston Celtics This may be surprising, considering what has just transpired, but I don't blame them. The Celts played great, hard, clean basketball and beat a team that didn't really care or got scared or choked or just wasn't as good as we thought or any combination of the previous. I don't blame the Celtics for what happened, and actually respect them for playing their asses off. If they won the title, it would be a pretty amazing testament to how much chemistry and heart matter in basketball.
1. Phoenix Suns As a mentioned in the intro, I almost would have cheered for them over the Cavs if the two teams were to have met Finals (which they obviously won't). They are the anti-Magic. Steve Nash is one of the five most likable guys in the NBA (along with Dirk, Big Z, Kevin Durant, and Joakim Noah*), and this picture is too awesome to deny. Grant Hill is perhaps the classiest player of his generation, and has inexplicably re-invented himself as a defensive stopper. Amare Stoudamire has done the unthinkable and curbed his offensive aggression as needed in his contract year, while Jason Richardson is playing every playoff series like he's back in Oakland and the 2007 Mavericks were coming to town every night. When you add in a bench that includes Jared Dudley, Leandro Barabosa, and Channing Frye (who shoots 3s like Wes Person now) and the return of goofball and defensive anchor Robin Lopez, you have a team that anyone not from Boston, LA, or Orlando can (and should) love. The power of the playoff beard has been passed onto you, Phoenix. I hope you enjoy the inevitable back-breaking, franchise-wrecking series loss you are about to endure.
*Of course I'm joking. I actually am having hard time pinning down a fifth likable guy. Leave your suggestions in the comments, if you want.