Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Enjoying the Tepid Heat

I was always only a slight fan of the NBA. When I played I lived in South America, so I was only rarely able to catch a game, usually months after it aired recorded on a video cassette. Back then the whole world loved the Chicago Bulls. They were a dominating team, but most people still rooted for them. Even those that didn’t had to admit that they were amazing to watch. In the years since those days, the league’s reputation has decreased as the image of its players has gotten worse.

Fast forward to this past summer. The most talented player of this generation, LaBron James, made his highly publicized switch to the Miami Heat and in so doing created the de facto favorite team to win the championship this year. Many predicted that they would break the record for single season wins. Apparently, there was no reason to even play the game this year. More conservative commentators set the over/under win count for the first twenty games at 17.5.

Maybe it is that universal desire to see prideful people take a fall, or simply the desire to see the status quo/popular consensus proved wrong; whatever the reason, I became interested in the NBA again. Not enough to watch the games right away, but enough to check the box scores.

The heat lost their opening game. They lost four of their first ten. At the end of November, they had lost 8 of 18 and were not first, nor second in their own division let alone the league. They have lost 4 in a row on the road and are 5 for 5 in their past 10. It is not as exciting as watching Jordan and company win back in the eighties, but almost as much fun. Perhaps the most entertaining aspect is to see all the “experts” eating their words. For them, this team winning was a done deal before a single game had been played.

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