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the 1st German I’ve ever rooted for…

June 10, 2011
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Last night Dallas went up 3-2 in the NBA Finals. Five games, all of them close, riveting even: Five games that have been back and forth battles with scrappy defense, pure athleticism and clutch shots on both ends. Trust me; I know…I haven’t missed a single minute. It kills me that these NBA Finals have captivated me the way they have. Why is this upsetting you ask? Because, much like the rest of the Cleveland, I’m entranced for the wrong reason.

The level of fanatical attention I’ve paid to the NBA finals these past few weeks should be reserved for actual fans of the teams playing. I bite my finger nails, I sweat, and I can’t sit still. I get easily irritated, and openly berate every missed shot. I’m cheering my heart out every game, but here’s why it’s been so painful: I’m not cheering for “my team” to win, I’m cheering for him to lose.

It’s not just that I want the Heat to lose. I want them to lose the series the exact way they have the last two games; with LeBron disappearing when it matters and folding under the pressure like a card table supporting too much weight. I want the Heat to lose and LeBron to be berated on every sports channel and radio station in America. I don’t even care if it leads to him being motivated in the off-season and finally realizing his full potential. I don’t care if a loss this year leads to a chip on the Miami shoulder that leads to a 4-peat. I’ll cross that bridge if it happens. All I want for them now is to lose.

The problem with cheering for someone to lose though is that, if it does happen, what next? I won’t watch the endless Dallas celebration. Cleveland certainly won’t hold a tickertape parade to commemorate the Heat not winning. It won’t be cathartic, or therapeutic. It simply won’t hurt as much. That’s why I can’t wrap my head around how into this series I am. I don’t even like basketball THAT much. I know LeBron will eventually get his championship, if not multiple. It just makes sense that he would. Whether they win or not they’ll undoubtedly improve this line-up whenever the lockout ends and he’ll only get more comfortable receiving alley-oops at 15 feet in the air from Wade, but I just don’t want it to happen this year.

If the Heat pull this off then it will officially provide the closing pistol whip to the face of every Cleveland fan who has had to endure a year’s worth of soul crushing. I’ve accepted that he’ll win at some point, that’s fine. Just not yet…please, not yet.

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