When it comes to sports, the major professional sports leagues that interested me the most were the following...in order of interest...
1.) Major League Baseball
2.) The NFL
3.) Major League Soccer
4.) The NBA
5.) The NHL
Some years, one or two would move up or down a spot depending on what was going on with my rooting interests in a particular year.
But I have to say that as screwed up and as dysfunctional as the National Basketball Association is, it has moved up to number one on my list. The Association became firmly ensconsed in the number one spot when the Mavs played the evil Heat in the finals. The Mavericks won the title and then it seemed that we were doomed to David Stern's "nuclear winter." The lockout should have soured me as a fan. I should have been disgusted by the greed and idiocy of both players and owners.
But then something weird happened. I found myself entranced by the drama of it all. There were bad guys (Stern, Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher and of course, always Kobe). There were good guys (Kevin Durant at Rucker Park, Dirk throwing a World Series first pitch, Delonte West working at Home Depot). Everything was on, then it was off and then they were all going to court to decertify unions, sue each other and then BOOM! The season's back on! And it's starting Christmas Day. And the season starts with the Mavs playing the Heat on Christmas Day at home. And Lebron, DWade and Bosh (RuPaul) get to watch Dirk and Co. get their rings and raise the banner.
A Chris Paul trade to the Lakers gets voided by Stern in an obvious conflict of interest by the Association since they currently own the Hornets. The Mavs benefit by picking up an angry Lamar Odom (and a Kardashian to boot!) for next to nothing. Kobe, Fisher and the rest are highly ticked their management gave Odom to their divisional rival which makes the whole thing sweeter. Anything that makes Kobe cry and whine is a beautiful thing.
CP3 eventually gets traded to the Clippers to play with my favorite non-Mav and Sooner legend Blake Griffin. You think Gary Payton to Shawn Kemp or Chris Paul to Tyson Chandler (back in the OKC Hornet days) was awesome? Paul to Griffin will be EPIC! Backboards will shatter across the nation.
Speaking of Tyson Chandler, it does really stink for the Mavs to lose him along with Caron Butler and JJ Barea (The Little Rican). But I'm over it now and the Mavs made some great gets to take the sting off a little. JJ has been more then replaced by Delonte West. If West stays on his bi-polar meds and keeps his guns locked up he will actually be step up. If Carlisle can make Vince Carter care than we may see "Vinsanity" once again. No one replaces Chandler, but Odom will be a monster force if his reality show doesn't distract too much and Khloe Kardashian is happy in Big D. Plus, with the financial flexibility we might be able to make a run at Dwight Howard next off-season.
So the NBA may be rigged. It may be a soap opera run by a mafia don. The players may all be tattooed drama queens. But it's better than any "reality" show. And for sheer entertainment value no other league comes close to this semi-pro league pretending to be a major league. I'm all in this year. GO MAVS!