Why I love basketball

Most of you who pay even passing attention to the world of sports probably noticed a big debacle that happened last Thursday when Lebron James ditched his team for seven seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and signed with the Miami Heat. Not only did he make this decision, he did so by arranging a special on ESPN to promote himself and his decision. That’s a little like being dumped by your high school sweetheart on national television.

Some people, like the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, attributed this turn of events to James’s narcissistic personality traits. Other managers and commentators have already tried to suggest this whole production may have been for show, and that it was a a rigged decision made two years ago when Chris Bosh, Lebron, and Dwayne Wade all became BFFs in the U.S. Olympic team.

All this may be correct. But it distorts what I feel so passionately, the reason why the whole situation is so upsetting: I love basketball. I love basketball because I grew up in San Antonio, where the fans are loyal to their team, win or lose. I love basketball because I grew up in San Antonio, where players are loyal and committed to the community. I love basketball because I grew up in San Antonio, where players are unassuming and understated in the ilk of David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, and Bruce Bowen. I love basketball because San Antonio loves basketball, and if you live there it seeps into your blood, sort of like the Red Sox do to a Bostonian.

And that’s just it – there’s a few other teams that have that relationship with their cities and their fans. But not many. Most teams feel like businesses and therefore when the businesses are failing, the fans flee. When business is booming, suddenly they love them again. It’s understandable, I suppose, but that’s why I hate sports sometimes. I don’t watch sports to watch multimillionaires jockey from team to team to try and win a game. I watch sports because at its best, it brings out the best in human beings, physically and emotionally.

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~ by realsupergirl on July 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “Why I love basketball”

  1. Yay, I found your blog!! Miss you!!

    I absolutely agree with this post. I’ve always been a big believer in the ability of sports (especially team sports) to bring out the best in people, and I often think that the years I was a competitive collegiate cyclist were the years I was, in some way, my best self.

    The relationship you describe here between a team and its fans sounds a lot like what we have here in Bern with our hockey team. Deeply, deeply loved.

  2. Yay too Jennifer! I am happy you found me too. I will check out yours as well…

  3. Well, the link on Facebook made it pretty easy… 🙂

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