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The NBA Gains a Fan

October 30, 2012

The fact that I am now writing a sports blog does not surprise me.  It’s something I have wanted to do for a while now but just never got around to starting.  But now the planets have aligned in just the right way and here is my first post.  My goal is to have it read by at least one person.  I know that’s not exactly aiming high, but I figure that it is unlikely that my blog, like so many of the sports teams I will be writing about, will disappoint me.

What is coming as a shock to me is that my first ever sports blog is about basketball.  Of the Big North American 4, it is the only one that I do not follow with any sort of regularity.  I can’t name many of the players other than the most popular ones and I have been to the same number of NBA games as I have English Premier League games.

However with the NHL lockout apparently digging in for the long haul and my patience for the players, owners and game in general wearing very thin I felt that it was time to find another sport to fill the void.  Many sports writers last year seemed to fill their basketball void with hockey to some success, so I figure it should work the same the other way around.  So now I need to pick a team.  Although I do have an obvious home town choice, that hasn’t exactly worked out so well in other sports. (I am from Toronto. The Leafs and Jays have been terrible and it’s been nearly 8 years since either has played a post season game. There are only so many non-playoff teams I can cheer for).  So with no allegiance to any team, let the picking begin.

This should also provide an interesting topic to blog about.  As I learn more about the sport, and increase the frequency with which I blog, I should be able to increase at very least to quality of my basketball posts.  Might also be interesting to track my progress from casual observer to fan throughout the season.

In order to pick my team, I have devised a completely arbitrary and equally ridiculous process of elimination.  Some teams will meet more than one of the criteria and some may conflict with each other.  One will outweigh the other and as with the criteria themselves, which is which will be completely arbitrary.

I’ll start by eliminating what I will refer to as “hype teams.”  These are the teams that get all the hype and media attention.  Two teams fall into this category: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.  In a way I’m shooting myself in the foot.  I have carte blanche to pick a new team in a new sport and I am arbitrarily choosing to eliminate the (arguably) two best teams in the league.

Next will be the “bandwagon teams.”  These are teams that have one or two big name players so for that reason are eliminated. The obvious choice here would be Blake Griffin and his Los Angeles Clippers.  I’m also going to place the Knicks and the Rockets in this category.  The Rockets because of Jeremy Lin and the Knicks because of… well almost every player on their roster.

Next will be all the teams that really have no hope in hell of making any sort of run at the playoffs.  Since I do not have a great deal of basketball knowledge, I will base this elimination solely on teams that did not make the playoffs last year.  This eliminates the Bucks, Pistons, Raptors, Nets, Cavs, Wizards, Bobcats, Suns, Trail Blazers, Timber Wolves, Warriors, Kings and Hornets.

There seem to be certain teams that, although they made the playoffs last year are not in a great position to make a run this year.  I am basing this solely on what I have heard on various podcasts and other sports articles.  This category claims the Celtics and the Magic.  Even if the argument can be made that the Celtics do not belong in this category they are eliminated by my general dislike for Boston sports teams.  I can’t bring myself to cheer for a team from Boston in any other sport and I don’t think that basketball will be any different.  I’m sure Celtic fans will not mind.

In a rather logical move, I am going to eliminate teams that I know very little about and am therefore concluding that they are not terribly exciting to watch.  These teams are the Nuggets, 76ers, Pacers, Jazz, Hawks and Wizards.  Although I have read a blog that claims that 3 of these teams are among the 5 most exciting teams with a shot of winning, all 3 are West Coast teams, meaning I will have the opportunity to watch very few teams.

So that leaves the Spurs, Mavricks, Bulls, Thunder and Grizzlies.  The Grizzlies were at one point a Canadian team so I am awarding them an arbitrary point.  The Grizzlies are also a team that has seemed to quietly put together a few great seasons recently and always seem to be at or near the top of pre-season Power Rankings.  They strike me as a bit of an underdog.  Same with the Thunder.  They also get some credit for being the only major pro sports team in their state and I think it would be neat to see a major sports title go to Oklahoma.  They also have made a questionable off season trade recently which gives them something in common with most of my other sports teams.

The Mavs get points because of my general liking of Mark Cuban.  Actually I am going to go so far as to say that I greatly like Cuban and this give the Mavs a person, albeit the owner, that I enjoy watching.  The Spurs seem like they could be an exciting team to watch.  The fact that they share a nickname with my English Premier League team does not work in their favour, but I’ll let it slide…For now.

At the end of the day I have no way to narrow this list down any further.  I am a little disappointed with myself but at the same time I can see a bright side.  This will give me something to watch and follow over the first couple of weeks of the NBA season.  I’m sure that one of those 5 teams will do something to suggest that their bandwagon is the bandwagon on which I should jump.

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