I come to you all today asking for help.
Last night I was watching summer league basketball because there is no other sports on to watch. This part of the summer is my least favorite sports time because all that seems to be on is baseball, and baseball is boring as shit. So while I watched the Spurs summer league team dismantle the Hawks summer league team, side note, Trae Young has been dreadful his first 2 games, I was stuck trying to figure out who is my new team.
When I was a kid I was a big time, die hard, Seattle Super Sonics fan. That was my squad. I loved Gary Payton and his brashness and amazing defense. I enjoyed the hell out of Detlef Schrempf. I liked when they signed Xavier McDaniel, every team in the 90's needed that enforcer. I even liked Sam Perkins. But, it got no better than Shawn Kemp. He was, by far, my favorite NBA player. I loved his thunderous dunks, his rebounding, his physicality and his overall skill. He was a big dude that could move fast. He was amazing to watch in his prime. Some of his dunks are truly breathtaking. He and Payton were my guys. I had both their jerseys. I had the newer Shawn Kemp jersey when the Sonics changed their logo a bit. I had Shawn Kemp's shoes. I pretended to be him on the court. I rooted so hard for the Sonics. I really loved that team. They were not Wolverines football level, but they were probably my second favorite team. And even when Kemp, Schrempf, Perkins and Payton all moved on, I still rooted for them. I was one of the people stoked when they took Nick Collison. Things got even better when they drafted KD. Hell, I was even on board with them taking Jeff Green. The team was awful, but I still watched them whenever I could, and rooted hard for them.
The NBA then moved the Sonics, in a very, very controversial move, to Oklahoma City. Though I was skeptical at first, Seattle really does deserve an NBA franchise, it is a crime they still do not have one, I eventually gave in and became a Thunder fan. I liked KD, I liked Nick Collison, and in the next 2 drafts they would end up taking Russell Westbrook and James Harden. And soon after those guys, they would begin to develop Serge Ibaka, who many forget, he was good while with the Thunder. So, I became a Thunder fan. I started to buy t shirts and shorts with their logo on it. I was too old for jerseys, so they were out of the question. But, I still had plenty of NBA apparel that had the Thunder logo on it. Then they got real good real fast. I mean, they played the Heat in the Finals in, what I believe, was KD's fourth year in the league. I was astonished. I bought in even harder after that. Sure, they let Harden go, but as I have said before, no one knew he was going to become the guy he became. They still had KD and Westbrook, and they were good and fun. I loved watching them play. Even with Scotty Brooks as their head coach, the Thunder were always a threat. And, I bought into this new basketball of space and pace. I had never seen anyone like KD, someone that big that could shoot that well, and Westbrook gave me the hyper athletic and reckless play fix that I had been missing since Kemp left the Sonics.
Then, KD left. I immediately dropped the Thunder as my team. He was my guy and he went and joined the 73 win Warriors squad. The move hurt, but in hindsight, and 2 years removed, I get why he did it. I still love watching Westbrook play, but he is much too frustrating to be the guy that makes me want to stick with the Thunder. I do have mad respect for him for sticking it out there. That is a class move. But, I felt like a man with no team. I said, on the podcast and site, that I was going to be a Timberwolves fan, I like their young talent, but they are a mess and just no fun to watch. I learned that the hard way.
Last night, while watching the summer league game, I asked my wife, she is a saint for watching with me, who I should root for. She doesn't know much about basketball, so she said what about the Warriors. She knows I like KD and Boogie. But, I just cannot root for that team. They are too stacked, and they are unbeatable. She asked me about the Spurs because she has heard me talk about Kawhi Leonard. But, with his whole situation in flux, I just can't, even with my love for Greg Poppovich. She ran out of teams after that because she knows I will never, ever root for the Lakers, even with LeBron. I asked my dad, he and my mom came over for dinner last night, and he said I should root for his team from his youth, the Bucks. I do really, really like Giannis, but I can't root for the Bucks. They are way too inconsistent and rough. I then retreated to my phone and took a bunch of "who should I root for in the NBA" tests. I took 6 of them, and 5 came back as the Spurs. The other team was the Heat. If Kawhi stays, I may be a Spurs fan, but that seems unlikely. And no way am I becoming a Heat fan.
So, I ask you, my devoted readers, who should I root for? My priorities for a team are few, but important. I like teams with young talent that plays well together, and they are on the rise. They do not have to be a playoff team yet, but they should be on the cusp. The team also doesn't need to necessarily have a mega star, but that doesn't hurt. I also love hyper athletic, almost freakish type of players. I'm talking guys that when you see them play, they do something that makes your jaw drop. And my final priority, no team in LA, or even California for that matter. I just can't with those teams. So please, flood my Twitter and Facebook and the website with your recommendations. I know the Warriors are going to win the title, so I need a reason to watch another team. Send your suggestions ASAP, and thank you in advance. I'm sure you all will help me find my new NBA team.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet.
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