Reflections on My Life
No doubt, if you're not an older sports fan, the title of this story goes over your head. A band called Marmalade made this song back in the early 1970s, and it was about looking back on your life.
Now, I was only all of what, maybe two or three, when this song was made, but this current NBA playoff has gotten me to do some soul-searching.
Namely, why do I like the Oklahoma City Thunder so much?
Understand something: The NBA playoffs, on my sports scale, rank below such sports as bass fishing and cricket. In short, I'm one of those fans who got turned off by what the NBA has become in the last few years.
So why do I like the Thunder so much?
Maybe because they remind me of, to borrow the immortal line from Field of Dreams that referred to baseball, what once was good and what could be again.
When I was younger, in the mid to late 1980s and into the 1990s, I was an NBA fan. Growing up watching the Detroit Pistons win two titles in 1989 and 1990. Getting used to the yearly showdowns between the Lakers and the Celtics, or maybe the Pistons and Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. Wondering why Dick Stockton had such an obvious Boston bias (hmmm, maybe it was because his then wife, Lesley Visser, was one of the Boston Globe's best writers?)
I was a solid fan of Bird, Magic, Kareem, Barkley, and the early years of Shaq and Tim Duncan.
Then something changed.
We went from worshipping Kareem's signature sky hook to shaking our hands at the sight of Allen Iverson and his legendary "we talkin about practice" rant. We went through a lockout in the late 1990s. We went through the Chicago Bulls essentially taking over the league for six championships in the 1990s.
When Ron Artest started the brawl at The Palace... yes, no explanation is needed because if you saw the brawl you know exactly what I'm talking about... a lot of people lamented what happened to the NBA. Then came the infamous "Decision" that sent LeBron James to Miami with Chris Bosh, to unite with Dwyane Wade and try to win seven or eight championships in a row.
The epitome of selfish behavior, right?