Admit it – that Game 7 on Saturday night between Boston and Chicago sucked you in, didn’t it?
Oh, sure, you like to play it cool … “I don’t need the NBA,” you tell your friends, “I’m fine watching soccer, or the Mariners. Really, I don’t need it. The NBA is dead to me.”
But like a 16-year-old loser with a ridiculous crush, you know you’re lying to yourself. You were fine all winter while the games didn’t matter, but now that the league has essentially worn cut-off denim shorts and a tank top, you can’t keep your eyes off it. Right about now, you're probably re-watching the 1996 playoffs, trying to convince yourself that you're watching it in real time.
So, Former Sonic Fan, for whom should you cheer? The Lakers, naturally, are out; only a pathetic bandwagoneer of the lowest level would abandon the Sonics for L.A., right? Well, you’ve got seven choices left, each of them with a peculiar brand of Sonicinity (?) with which to lure you. Here goes:
Positives: Former Sonic Flip Murray and former GM Rick Sund
Negatives: Former Sonic Flip Murray and former GM Rick Sund
It’s pretty tough to make a case for the Hawks, unless you’re one of those “I love to root for the underdog” type guys. Yeah, that always works out well. In this case, having two former Sonics on the roster isn’t a positive, unless you’re a big fan of GMs who opt for underachieving big men in not one, not two, but three consecutive first rounds. Of course, there’s always a chance Sund will make a deal sending Joe Johnson away for Calvin Booth and a first-rounder …
Kinda Reminds Me Of: Joe Johnson, meet … Dale Ellis
Rootability Level: 5 (out of 10)
Positives: Ray Allen, Mikki Moore, Glen Davis
Negatives: It’s the Celtics, people
You can’t help but root for Ray Allen and Big Baby is transforming into a non-underachieving Stanley Roberts – what’s not to like, right? Well, how about the fact the Celtics have 78 titles already, that the typical Boston fan has partied more in the past five years than anyone outside of Paris Hilton, and that, in general, New Englanders have become increasingly insufferable? Fine, I’m still bitter about the fact Dennis Johnson is known more as a Celtic than he is as a Sonic. Hey, anyone want to buy my collection of Paul Westphal cards?
Kinda Reminds Me Of: Glen Davis, meet … Lonnie Shelton
Rootability Level: 3
Positives: Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West
Negatives: LBJ hysteria is drawing closer and closer to overkill
Thankfully, it’s not there yet, though. Everybody rags on the Cavs’ non-LBJ lineup, but, really, how many centers are better than Ilgauskas (when healthy; which, admittedly, is not often)? Granted, the playoffs are chock-full of talented big men, but Big Z isn’t horrible, Mo Williams is a borderline all-star, Delonte is above average, and Wally’s teeth are better than ever.
Kinda Reminds Me Of: Mo Williams, meet … Gus Williams
Rootability Level: 8
Positives: Rashard Lewis, Assistant Coach Patrick Ewing
Negatives: Stan Van Gundy, non-s ending team name
Personally, I’m pulling really hard for Rashard, if only because it will somewhat redeem the criticism the Magic received for doling out all that money for him two summers ago. With Courtney Lee sidelined, a difficult task got even tougher for Orlando, but if Lewis pours in 25+ a night as he is capable, it might help.
Kinda Reminds Me Of: Adonal Foyle, meet … Clemon Johnson
Rootability Level: 9
Consensus Eastern Conference Sonic Fan Choice: Orlando Magic