As an adapted Houstonian, I need to adopt one of the local sports teams as my own. And, since I'm never giving up the Yankees or Giants, and Houston doesn't have a hockey team (thank jesus), that leaves the Houston Rockets.
Only, there's a small problem there, too. The Rockets are responsible for me not watching basketball from 1994 to 2001.
Since my dad is not a sports guy, I've had no strong male sports role model in my life. As such, my allegiances to both individual teams and whole sports were shifty until I was in my late teens. Until I was about 10, I was a Mets fan thanks to the evil influence of my Uncle Bernie. I never watched football regularly until I was in college. I even spent a short time in my youth as a Rangers fan (and it was only coincidental that this was during the year they won the Stanley Cup - I swear!)
My first basketball allegiance was to the New York Knicks. You might not remember this, but 1994 was for New York sports what the last couple of years have been for Boston sports (excuse me a moment while I shove bamboo shoots under my fingernails - aaah, that's better). The Rangers won the Stanley Cup (when people still, you know, gave two shits about that) and the Yankees were running away with the American League. At the same time, Michael Jordan's first retirement had cleared the way for the Knicks to make the Finals. Except they lost in 7 games to the Rockets, with John Starks' infamous 2-18 shooting performance in the decisive game 7 (including 0-11 in the fourth quarter).
Without the guidance of a strong sports role model, I lost interest in the game. I could blame the Rockets for this, but I have decided to forgive, and continue blaming John Starks instead. To honor my commitment to the team, I am going to record my thoughts, Twitter-style, during today's Game 7 against the Lakers.
2:25 Stewart Scott just called Aaron Brooks "Young Quick" on the pregame show. I guess my nickname, "The Skycap"
, isn't catching on.
2:26 Magic Johnson, John Barry, Michael Wilbon, and Stewart Scott's lazy eye all pick the Laker's to win the game. Magic, by the way, is no longer a reference to his basketball skills but instead to the fact that he's still alive almost 20 years after contracting HIV.
2:29 Is the way I feel about the Lakers the same way baseball fans feel about the Yankees? I feel a little dirty thinking about it - although A-Rod was never accused of raping anyone. Hey, fun fact: if the Lakers win today, Kobe will be heading back to Colorado for a playoff series. Think that anybody might mention that? Might that be a story line? Hmm?
2:30 Rockets guard Shane Battier is the poster boy for the "Moneyball"-style statistical revolution currently happening in basketball thanks to a Michael Lewis article, "The No-Stats All-Star." Which sport will Michael Lewis revolutionize next? Beach volleyball? Curling? The mind reels. And does any book hold up worse than Moneyball? Seriously, go back and read it sometime. Actually, don't do it - I'm going to use that as the idea for an article later this week. Sports week on ObscureCraft, anybody? Anybody?
2:33 And we're off! Tipoff won by the Lakers. I can't decide if my next haircut should be the Luis Scola
or the Von Wafer
. Oh, and Von Wafer is not the descendant of disgraced Eastern European royalty. He's a basketball player, and Von Wafer is his full name. He also needs a nickname: I'm going to call him "The Baron".
2:34 Oh crap, Ron Artest is throwing up ridiculous shots again. He's a total chucker. Not a good sign.
2:35 Turnover Rockets. 10 minutes left in the first quarter, and I'm ready to declare this game over at 3-0 Lakers.
2:36 Another turnover leads to a wide open 3 by Trevor Ariza. 8-0 Lakers. Could I have picked a worse day to become a Rockets fan? Timeout. And there is already no doubt in my mind that the Rockets will lose this game. Commercial break time!
2:37 Hey jerk, you could have made your point about Verizon's network without spilling the sprinkles all over the place. That guy is totally spitting in your ice cream.
2:39 Did "Taken" have the best trailer ever? Discuss.
2:40 Another wild 3 by Ron Artest. On the plus side, he has a hedge maze shaved into the side of his head. [I went back to look for an image of the hedge maze, and instead I found this. I'm now launching an inquiry into changing his nickname from Ron-Ron to Tru Warier.]
2:42 Kobe Bryant shoves Aaron Brooks from behind, and then Brooks somehow gets called for the foul. You might say that Aaron Brooks got raped on that play. Which is probably why Kobe got away with it.
2:43 The Rockets defense has clamped down, but they still haven't scored. Artest airballs. Again. 7 minutes left in the first quarter, and the Rockets haven't scored.
2:44 The Skycap finally gets the Rockets on the board with a free throw!
2:45 With the first quarter half over, the Rockets have 2 points. They are on pace for 16 points.
2:47 The Rockets make a field goal! 15-4 Lakers with 4 minutes to go.
2:53 Did the Rockets just post up instead of settling for a jump shot? Maybe they heard me screaming at the television.
2:54 Holy crap, they did it again! 19-10 Lakers, 1:30 left in the first.
2:55 Luis Scola misses the layup, but does a good job backing Pau Gasol down. Pau Gasol is such a pussy, he used to be named Paul but a bully took his L.
2:57 Announcer: "I believe Pau Gasol was the best second-best player in the league this year." Pau: "Uh, thanks?"
2:57 The first quarter ends 22-12 Lakers. The Rockets played good defense, but settled for jump shots until about 8 minutes into the quarter, when they realized that Pau Gasol gets backed down so easily he is equipped with one of those beeping noises for when he's backing up. They need to keep going at him.
3:00 "It's amazing... so amazing... so amazing... so amazing..."
3:02 The terrible start by the Rockets covered the fact that Kobe Bryant only has 2 points so far. He did, however, manage to rape 2 women during the intermission. WHY ARE WE ALL OKAY WITH KOBE RAPING THAT GIRL IN COLORADO?? WHERE'S MY 4 MILLION DOLLAR DIAMOND RING, KOBE?
3:05 Chuck Hayes draws a charge with the movie that is ruining basketball: anytime a guy runs into you, fall to the ground. At least they don't writhe around on the ground grabbing their hamstring. Thanks, European imports!
3:07 Luke Walton shows Chuck Hayes how its done: not only does he fall down to draw the charge, but he throws himself halfway across the gym. I give it a 10 for style.
3:08 Houston calls a timeout with 8:29 left as the Lakers extend their lead to 14 points. Ron Artest is 0-4 from the field, The Skycap only has 2 points, and I'm wondering what else is on.
3:12 Hey, Jack Nicholson is still alive!
3:14 Kobe and Ron Artest get tangled up, and Ron Artest throws Kobe to the ground! Ohmigod he just stepped on his throat! No, actually they just patted each others butts. But a man can dream...
3:16 If the Lakers are leading by 20 or more at halftime, I'm bailing.
3:21 Rockets 0-5 from behind the 3-point line. Artest now passes up a wide-open 3, which leads to a bucket by The Baron. He may have finally passed up a shot, but Artest is still a total chucker.
3:30 Has anyone seen Phil Jackson's soul patch? I'm sending out a search party.
3:31 There it is, 21-point lead. 2 minutes to get it together, Rockets, or I'll see you next season.
3:35 The Suze responds to news that the Rockets are down by 20 at halftime: "They can come back." Since when are you such an optimist, the Suze? I'll see you next season, Rockets.