For NBA fans around the world, June is the best month of the year. It is the NBA finals! This year is a rematch of last year’s final between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. So the question for every is this: who are you rooting for?
For me, I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I am a die-hard Lakers fan so I am very torn between who to root for. On the one hand, the Spurs have caused the Lakers many heartaches over the years. I remember the years when we were swept by the twin towers (David Robinson and Tim Duncan) until Phil Jackson came to the rescue. I remember all those playoff series when the “boring” Spurs kept beating the Lakers. I couldn’t stand Tim Duncan and his bank shots. The Spurs were the Lakers’ arch nemesis for many years. Sidenote: One of the best memories I have of the Lakers playing the Spurs was when Derek Fisher made a buzzer beater with .4 seconds left. I was sitting in my friend’s living room couch in college and we starting screaming like two little school girls seeing Justin Bieber.
Also, if Tim Duncan wins a fifth ring, then he will officially pass Kobe Bryant’s legacy, in my opinion. So there are many reasons why I should not be rooting for the Spurs. On the other hand, I really cannot stand the Heat. First, I never liked Dwayne Wade as a player or a person because he just comes off as a jerk and a flopper to me. Second, “The Decision” was horrible. I never enjoyed the fact that Lebron needed a two hour special just to say one sentence: I am taking my talents to South Beach (btw, Lebron kept talking about himself in the third person during “The Decision.” Who talks about himself in the third person? That reminds of that one episode from Seinfeld. “Jimmy likes Elaine!”). I think there is a lot of hubris involved when a person thinks that a television special is necessary for his “moment in history”(Compare that to Kevin Durant who simply tweeted that he signed an extension with the Thunders). I don’t like the Spurs and I don’t like the Heat. So who am I going to root for?
When I don’t like either team, I choose to root for certain players. So the real debate for me is this: Tim Duncan or Lebron James? And for me this is a no brainer. I am rooting for Tim Duncan. Yes, he will probably usurp Kobe’s place in basketball history. Yes, he has caused me many heartaches in the past. But he is the anti-Lebron to me. He doesn’t seem to be hungry for media attention. He is a consummate professional. He took a significant salary cut so his team could compete. He doesn’t talk about being on the Mt. Rushmore of basketball. ESPN does not salivate over what movies he watches, or what shoes he is wearing. Even when Tim Duncan matched the all-time playoff double-double records this week, people barely noticed. There is a humility to Tim Duncan’s game that is very appealing to me.
However, Lebron can’t seem to get enough himself. I don’t know the guy, but he just seems like the type of person who would take selfies and post his pictures on his bedroom wall so he can always get a final glimpse of himself before going to sleep. And it doesn’t help that the media can’t get enough of this guy. Just in case you might have been living under a rock, Lebron got a cramp in Game 1 of the Finals! Getting a cramp playing sports? What a story! (*sarcasm*)
I literally saw 4 articles talking about the science behind cramping and how Lebron should have worn certain clothing to prevent it. There were people analyzing and comparing his cramps to Jordan’s flu, Kobe’s achilles, or the Lakers playing the Celtics at the Garden during the 80s. Lebron Lebron Lebron! And this is why I do not root for Lebron. He gets too much attention and life has been handed to him on a silver platter. The fact that Lebron calls himself, “King James” before winning any championships is bad enough. The fact that Lebron declares that he will be one of the 4 best players in NBA history before his career is even over is bad enough. But the final straw is that Lebron likes Justin Bieber!!! Instead of focusing on the game, it seems like Lebron always goes to the spotlight like moths go to a flame.
So this year I will be rooting for the “boring” Spurs. I enjoy watching them play basketball. I respect the fact that they have consistently drafted well. I like the idea of team chemistry beating bought talent. The Spurs is the type of team I hope the Lakers can become in the near future. Whereas I respect the Spurs, I just hate the Heat. Who will you be rooting for?