Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Love Lost: NBA and I Must Part Ways

There is that point after every break up when the two people play the "Oh, but we will always be friends" game.  Sure it sounds nice, but it really never works.

One person gets jealous.  The other gets annoyed.  And eventually, the "Hey, how have you been" texts turn into drunk "Why did you ever leave me, I still love you" ones.  It's unhealthy and best if both parties just cut ties, no matter how much they once loved each other.

Today, I have decided to walk away from the love of my life of almost 27-years.  The NBA and I are done.

The lockout is now on its 138th day.  For those counting, that is two more than the NFL's work stoppage and almost twice as long as Kim Kardashian's marriage.  

The League and I were already on a break and I have finally had enough, for good.

I look forward to the NBA season more than any other and that is saying something, because I spend countless hours researching for NFL fantasy drafts and break down college basketball brackets as if I was studying for the LSAT's.

I don't know what first attracted me to the NBA, but we just clicked.  The Pistons "Bad Boys" teams in the late 80s and early 90s turned my initial attraction into a full blown love.  I became infatuated with the League.

Every Christmas, my favorite gift was the complete set of Upper Deck NBA trading cards.  I ran to the mailbox everyday for two weeks in eager anticipation of having my Shawn Kemp jersey delivered.  One time, I went so far as to draw a fake goatee on my face because I wanted to look like Stacey Augmon.  (My mom told me I had dirt on my face.  I said "no I don't."  She was confused.)

My dad and I used to stay up until the late hours of the night to watch NBA Finals' games and make fun of the broadcasters because they would say what we did about three minutes after.  (This is a tradition that continues to this day).

I was obsessed with the NBA.  I would have built it a house, by hand, from the ground up.

After last year's epic season, I thought the relationship was going to the next level and right when I got down on one knee and reached into my pocket to cement my love for it forever, the NBA turned its back on me.

And for what?  Pride?  Egos? Money?

That's unacceptable.  We had a special bond that no one can ever understand and now it's left me out here like Wanya Morris - in the rain, in a five button white suit, crying, without any answers.

I can't keep going back.  I have tried to make it work.  I have pleaded and groveled for the players and owners to find a deal.  And yet, the love isn't being reciprocated.  So, no more!  We are done.

Yes, the League has owned my heart like none other, but that doesn't mean someone else can't fill the void.

I've always got football, at least until early February.  College basketball is looking as good as ever.  (Seriously, my alma mater and UNC played on an aircraft carrier!  That's awesome.)  I am definitely willing to give college hoops a more dedicated commitment, including the games before the new year.

Or maybe I'll delve into literature.  Or knitting.  Or Parkouring.  I haven't exactly keyed in on what will replace the NBA as the prime occupier of my time, but it can be replaced.

I loved the NBA, but it is selfish, self-centered, and greedy.  It has teased me too many times with talks of ending the lockout only to go back to its hurtful ways.

We had something special, but I finally realized I can no longer invest time and energy waiting around hoping it will change.

Like a group of great men once said, "It's the hardest thing I'll ever have to do," but I am moving on without the NBA.  We are officially over.

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