I refuse to go through the emotions of losing an NBA Finals that my team isn’t even playing in. This wasn’t always the case, but after the Bulls were eliminated by the Miami Heat I recognized the error in my application of fandom, and tapped out.
As the postseason began, I was certainly rooting for the Sixers to beat the Heat up some. I never thought Philly had a chance to actually go the distance, but I just hoped they’d land enough shots to leave Miami vulnerable for the next round.
Boston was waiting, and I was completely confident that the Celtics would be the Kelly Pavlik to Miami’s Jermain Taylor.
That didn’t happen though. So I then begrudgedly shifted my temporary allegiance over to Chicago. I didn’t believe D-Rose and the Bulls had a chance to eliminate Miami heading in, but I was desperate after Boston lost the one time I wanted them to win.
I considered then that jumping off this rooting against another team train might be the best idea, and all of sudden Game One of the ECF happened.
I convinced myself all over again that Miami was fatally flawed. I was confident that the teamwork personified by Coach Thib’s crew would outlast any amount of individual talent on the other side.
Only that didn’t happen either, as we are all well aware. The Heat were preparing for the NBA Finals, and I had a conversation with myself. I suppose I do that far too often, but whatever. The exchange went something like this:
“What are you doing to yourself? This doesn’t make any sense. Do you really care if Dallas wins the NBA Title? You don’t even really like Dallas. Sure Cuban’s cool, and Dirk’s pretty good for a German guy, and you always liked Jason Kidd, but do any of those guys even care about Cleveland? And will it really help the fact that LeBron James left Cleveland if Miami loses the NBA Finals? With Wade and LeBron, the Bostrich playing well, along with Haslem and Miller on the uptick heading into the Finals, do they even have a chance to lose one game let alone four?”
I settled on the answer of no, they had no chance to lose four of seven games to anybody. I picked Miami in six. I realized that as much as I don’t want to admit this, a team of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and any collection of Euroleage players would be pretty good. Let alone the guys they have on their roster. That was the consensus for me last summer, and I spent all season convincing myself otherwise. Until last week that is.
Which is why on Thursday night, with seven minutes to go in the NBA Finals, I was almost pleased with myself in some bizarre, twisted way. After winning Game One of the NBA Finals going away, the Heat were up fifteen with less than seven minutes to go. Dwayne Wade was studio gangstering it up over in front of the Dallas bench after he drilled a three, LeBron looked annoyingly happy with himself, Bosh continued to look simply annoying, but none of that mattered to me anymore. I was out, I didn’t care.
In some ways, I thought maybe it would be better if he just won the title this season afterall. Get it all over with. Let him french kiss the trophy while laying on the floor crying, announce that he did this for Akron or whatever, and we can all just watch those proceedings and move the hell on. No more negative energy, just go back to rooting for Cleveland teams again in a positive way.
But then the Heat completely collapsed, Dirk proved more clutch than any combination of LeBron and Wade, and the Mavericks finished with a 20-2 run to steal one down in Miami. Birdman, DJ Khaled, and the thirty-four other fans Miami had down at the game were stunned. It was awesome.
I was real tempted at that point. I really enjoyed that melt-down, and I hoped that I would be as wrong as I often am when I predict the outcomes of games by the time this series was over. I thought about getting all gassed up about Miami losing all over again. But then I decided not too.
I’ll be happy if Dallas ends up winning this thing, as it shifts back now to the Texas for the next three, but I will be completely and absolutely indifferent if they don’t. I swear. I’m not giving anybody the satisfaction of knowing that I’m upset that they won the title.
There’s a power in that I think, a strength to being indiffernt. You can’t lose that way, no matter how things end up playing out. Which makes sense in this case, because there’s no way can we really win either.