If you’re a fan of Dallas or Miami, this is the time of the year you’ve been waiting for. Your team has advanced to the NBA’s biggest stage to take on the best of the best for the league’s most coveted trophy. Surely, there will be plenty of excitement to go around for fans of both squads over the course of the next few weeks. However, if you’re like me and the rest of the NBA’s fan base, your team’s season is now over. For some, it was a season filled with crazy late-night thrillers lasting well into the month of May. For others, it was a season that was doomed from the beginning, marked by failed expectations and dull Sunday blowouts. Whatever the reason for your team’s season’s end, it is time to move on. Maybe you’re finally fed up with rooting for the same old same old, and you want a brand new team to cling to for the future. Or, perhaps you’re just looking for a nightly fling to satisfy your guilty bandwagon pleasure for the next few weeks. Either way, there are two stunning contestants still left in the hunt for the ring to choose from.
CONTESTANT A: MIAMI HEAT
This is not the type of team looking for a simple weekend hook-up. Keep in mind that LeBron promised “not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven” championships—no, this team wants a fan who is going to be there for it in the long run. So, unless you can handle a minimum eight-year contract of fanhood, this team is not for you. However, if you’re up to the challenge, Miami will make it one of the best eight years of your life.
Miami is a team that can confidently agree that size matters. Go big or go home. Just look how previously dull occasions such as free agency signing birthed the hubristic beast that was The Decision and the lavish celebration that ensued. Off-the-court issues such as Erik Spoelstra’s sleeping habits and whether the game really feels eight hours way to Chris Bosh are all noteworthy pieces of information now. On-the-court victories aren’t just wins, they are complete demoralizations of the opposing squads. The Heat are a great team, and they know it. They want a fan that knows it too.
What Your Friends Will Think:
If you do decide to root for Miami, it probably won’t be because you want to show it off to your friends and family. Ever since The Decision, Miami has maintained a reputation as the most hated team in professional sports. Rooting for LeBron and company has become somewhat of a national taboo, and you can be sure that openly rooting for them publicly over the next week or so will earn you a fair share of death glares from your peers. Rooting for the Heat will require a good amount of sneaking around if you want to maintain a positive public image. But if you manage to successfully pull off your secret affair with the Heat, there is a good chance you could be one of the only people in America celebrating at the end of the Finals.
CONTESTANT B: DALLAS MAVERICKS
This team might not be the most attractive one at the party, but they sure don’t take kindly to anyone who tells them otherwise. Dallas has had a knack this postseason for making analysts eat their words. The only upset that “experts” consistently called in the first round? Portland over Dallas. And who could have expected the Mavs taking down last years’ champs in just four games? Dirk even made short work of the up and coming Thunder with some of the best playoff numbers the NBA has ever seen. It’s fitting that Dallas again finds itself in the underdog role against Miami in the Finals, because deservingly or not, that’s the role they play best.
Dislikes: Talking about the past.
Talk about a team that has had some pretty bad break-ups. Eleven straight 50-win seasons and not a single NBA championship? Not many teams can say that—well, actually, they are the only team that can say that. Dirk Nowitzki has come a long way to change his reputation as a choke artist to that of Mr. Clutch. Siding with the Mavs for the Finals comes with the stipulation that you never bring up their 2007 first-round playoff banishment from Golden State or the 2006 Finals. This is a different team from back then, and this time Dallas is righting its wrongs.
What Your Friends Will Think:
The Dallas bandwagon is one that your friends will be ecstatic to hear that you’re on. They are the underdog, and everyone loves to see the underdog win. They are playing against the Heat, and rooting against the Heat has become a pastime as American as apple pie and baseball. Finally, they have Dirk Nowitzki, whose awkward high-arcing fade away jumpers are basically the most exciting way to watch a ball consistently find the net since Kareem invented the skyhook. Just remember. Whichever contestant you choose, it’s sure to be a drama-filled series with plenty of excitement for both sides. And choose wisely, because it may be the last time you’ll be able to root for an NBA team for a long time (here’s hoping the NBA doesn’t have a lockout as dramatic as the NFL’s).