Pick My NBA Franchise

July 21, 2008 – 3:09 pm by TheBaker

My 15-year love affair with a franchise I had no rational reason for affiliation with has been mentioned a time or two here on this sweet, little cottage industry we call “Rumors and Rants.”

I’m talking about the Rich and Creamies. The one and only, Denver Nuggets.

Now, here’s a brief history lesson (and by brief, I mean half your lunch break). I was born in Chicago, but moved to Atlanta when I was two-years old. My mom’s whole family still lived in Chicago and I grew up a Cubs (thanks to WGN), Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks fan.

In 1993, I stopped being a Chicago Bulls fan.

After John Paxson’s three-pointer beat the Phoenix Suns in the ’93 Finals, I needed a new horse. It seemed everyone and their mother were now Bulls fans (By this time, my family and I were living in South Florida).

I think I chose to root for Chicago teams – despite not living there anymore – because it was different than everybody else around me. It was my subtle way of saying, “F’ you, buddy.”

His Airness was a victim of his own success. He was just too good for me to root for anymore.

In addition, I was always a midget (think of shrimpiest kid from your 5th grade class and that was me), so my allegiances to teams in sports I actually played were more rock solid than anything I felt for a basketball team.

As I explained earlier, I couldn’t root for my hometown team, so the Miami Heat were out, despite Sunshine Network’s awesome color-commentary by Dr. Jack Ramsay, who bravely predicted the deal that brought Brent Barry and Walt Williams to Miami during the 1995-96 season would catapult the Heat into a division title race (The Heat finished the year 42-40).

Yeah, no thanks.

I needed a fresh start. So, on one fateful Hannukah night (I think it was Night Three), I got a Dikembe Mutumbo Denver Nuggets No. 55 jersey (I also got a copy of “Earthworm Jim” for Sega Genesis that night, I think). I don’t know what possessed my mom to get a “Mutombo” jersey (I’m guessing she couldn’t find a Danny Schayes jersey), but it gave me the perfect opportunity to pick my new NBA team.

(I actually have a different theory behind my mother’s “Mutombo” selection. She thought I idolized athletes too much, so she picked a player I could never strive to be – a 7-foot African.)

So, I stuck with the Nuggets. Through thick and thin (and I’m talking really thin, like 1996-99). But things were starting to turn around. Detroit took some stiff named Darko and the Nuggz got Melo in 2003. Add in a Kenyon Martin, Marcus Camby and the pieces were there…for four consecutive first round exits.

We go out and get Allen Iverson, which only leads to first round exit No. 5. So what do we do? In this vital offseason, at this crossroads?

We, an epically awful defensive team, trade a two-time All-Defensive First Team performer in Camby for a case of Spalding Power Pump basketballs, Frankie Muniz autographed “Malcolm in the Middle” DVDs, Donald Sterling’s tanning secrets, and a condition Penny Marshall will go easy on the team on their next trip to the Staples Center.

This is one of the biggest white flag, give-up, pull-your-pants-down-and-kiss-your-ass-goodbye moves I’ve ever seen.

I’m done with it. Adios Denver Nuggets, you have lost me.

So once again, I need a new team. And I can’t wait until Hannukah to find out what jersey my mom is buying me this year.

I have decided that you, the readers (even it’s just a small circle of friends), choose which NBA franchise I shall support for the upcoming 2008-09 season and perhaps, dare I say it, eternity.

There are no qualifiers. If you think I haven’t suffered enough, the Clippers or T-Wolves would be an unwelcomed quick rabbit punch to the nuts. But I’m prepared for it. I will see positives in any situation.

Perhaps, it’s the newly minted Oklahoma City Thunder. I’ll get a chance to keep rooting for IU product D.J. White. I currently live in Indianapolis, but I’m about as enthused with the Pacers as the Pacers players are with stronger hand gun legislation.

If you want to get me good and go Kathy Bates in “Misery” on me, then there’s really only one team to pick – the New York “Frigging” Knickerbockers.

The NBA’s fate among the pantheon of sports in my magnificent mind is in your hands.

Now what am I going to do with this gaudy Nuggets throwback sweatshirt? eBay, perhaps?

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  1. 16 Responses to “Pick My NBA Franchise”

  2. The Milwaukee Bucks invite you to join their fan club. If you sign up with them prior to this year’s installment of the 8 crazy nights, you can ask your mom to continue her trend of buying you jerseys of only actual “African” NBA players by providing you with a Mbah-a-Moute jersey.

    By MilwaukeeBooter on Jul 21, 2008

  3. Charlotte Bobcats. I hear tickets are easy to come by.

    By the indefatigable mjenks on Jul 21, 2008

  4. Toronto Raptors. franchises named after flash in the pan movies are the best.

    By Big Jgke on Jul 21, 2008

  5. Strangely, I was also going to suggest the Bucks. Tickets are pretty easy to come by, and inexpensive. However, they also are a safehouse for Kelvin Sampson, so that is kind of a turn-off. (Speaking of Safehouse, it is also the name of a sweet spy-themed bar in Milwaukee). Starting anew, it would make sense to be a Thunder fan, but let’s face the facts, Thunder is a pretty lame name because it isn’t plural. Same goes for the Jazz — though they are an exciting enough team, but I have questions about the vibrancy of the Utah Jewish population. Maybe now that Vinny Del Negro is in charge, it is time to come back home to the Bulls. They’ve missed you.

    If not — and for no particular reason — I feel the best match for you is the Golden State Warriors.

    By Hick Flick on Jul 21, 2008

  6. Celtics—definitely! You’ve always had the leprechaun look to me. MamaD

    By Anonymous on Jul 21, 2008

  7. Wizards. They have Gil locked up, and you loved the move back when we signed him, you were the first to tell me about how legit he was. Then you got Caron Butler… maybe the best trade ever made (for Kwame). And the man you once loved, MJ, even had a short stint on the team and in the board room. Finally, we have a budding rivalry with LeBron, I mean the Cavs, and they are destined for 1st round exits, something you are used to. They have some nice young talent, in Nick Young and you can ever scope Dee Brown and his kid who is half our age now. Not to mention following the Wizards is more reality tv than sports most of the time. Finally, Jared Jeffries once stole the ball that led to the Wiz defeating the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, thus actually getting them into the coveted 2nd round.

    Instead of picking up a team who is slated to be a champ, or a team in the basement, you have a nice young (save Jamison) team who can’t feel their face most of the time, have the backing of Soulja boy,and will be in contention for years to come in the eastern conference.

    By Anonymous on Jul 21, 2008

  8. I’m voting for the Trailblazers. Up and coming from their center to . . . the whole team.

    By And One on Jul 21, 2008

  9. Actually, I’m changing my vote to the Blazers as well. It’s a natural match for the Baker, if one gets my drift.

    By Hick Flick on Jul 21, 2008

  10. Well, And One got in first, but my initial thought when I saw the headline, was BLAZERS.

    I admit it, I am a biased Blazers supporter, but really, the facts are all staring you right in the eyes.

    They have a solid core of young players who just missed out on the playoffs last season. Add to that a potential game-changing centre in Greg Oden, an excitement machine in Rudy Fernandez, a guy who proved in Summer League that he will not leave the basket alone in Jerryd Bayless and you have a high school sweatheart of a team.

    You know that this team is full of guys with great personalities who won’t cause dramas or reasons to be ashamed to be a Blazers fan and the days of the Jail-Blazers have scared that type of player right out of Pritchard’s sights!

    By mookie on Jul 22, 2008

  11. So through eight votes, here’s how it stands:

    Portland – 3
    Milwaukee – 1
    Charlotte – 1
    Boston – 1
    Toronto – 1
    Washington – 1

    I’ll let the voting go for a few more days before I close it. But it looks like I should’ve bought that 100 percent genuine fake throwback Blazers jersey in Istanbul after all.

    By The Baker on Jul 22, 2008

  12. I do think the Blazers make a good choice both in that they are going to be a fun team to root for and the endless amount of weed references they’ll provide. However their owner also owns the Seattle Seahawks (not cool) and you’re going to have to rely somewhat on 45 year-old Greg Oden.

    So I’m going to throw the first vote in for the Hornets. Another fun team to root for nowadays and New Orleans itself is a huge underdog of a city. Plus, Chris Paul looks similar in stature compared to NBA players as you do compared to normal humans.

    Lastly, the Bobcats should also get a little more consideration for having Earl Boykins on the team.

    By Pablo on Jul 22, 2008

  13. As one of the two Lakers fans on this site, I think the benefits of our organization speak for themselves. As an added bonus, you can get all the “how does my ass taste?” shots at the phoenix suns you want when we destroy them all season.

    By The MCD on Jul 22, 2008

  14. Another vote for the Raptors. If a strong motivation for you is to be different, then being a Raps fan in the US will do it.

    Besides, we Raps fans have much to look forward to: Jermaine O’Neal paired up with Bosh for the next couple seasons, then J.O.-sized cap room in the big summer of 2010.

    By Jeff W on Jul 22, 2008

  15. How about the good ol’ NJ Nets? They’ve pretty much turned over the whole team in the last two years, so you’ll be as used to the roster as the rest of us, plus if you tune into a random game you might get to see Vince Carter try! (emphasis on “might”) And let’s not forget the Lebron-ticipation…sure he’s probably just gonna resign in Cleveland, but that just means your Netsies will win the title the next year!!! (based on Boston getting losing out on Oden/Durant and winning it all the next year)

    By Anonymous on Jul 22, 2008

  16. Nothing like jumping on board with a front-runner: Lakers all the way.

    By Phillips on Jul 22, 2008

  17. I know some wow gold in wow.

    By wow gold on Oct 20, 2008

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