Confession time: I’m not a basketball fan.

At all.

People tend to be surprised by this. I often see surprise on faces when people ask me if I’m pumped for the big Celtics game and I respond with, “Eh, nah” or, even more surprising, “What game’s that?”

Sports Girl doesn’t like a sport? Madness. And yet it’s true.

Oh, I played. I was a shooting forward and played all the way up through high school. But I grew up in a small town and attended a small high school. If you were an athlete, you were most likely a three-sport athlete. Everyone played so there were enough players to field a team. And basketball was my bridge sport that kept me busy and in shape between soccer and softball seasons.

But that doesn’t mean I was overly fond of it. And hearing the squeak of the sneakers instantly takes me back to running UCLAs or doing wall sits in a hot high school gymnasium on a Saturday morning where the only thing I had to look forward to after surviving practice was walking out into the freezing cold. It makes my ankles and finger joints hurt. It makes me remember that I wasn’t as good at the sport as my crazy competitive high school self wanted me to be.

At the very root of my aversion to the NBA, however, is that I’m a sucker for fundamentals. And when you have a league that completely ignores the fact that traveling is a thing, a thing you’re not supposed to do, and that referees should blow their whistles when players do it, I get annoyed. It’s tough to not travel. If I couldn’t get away with it while playing varsity basketball in high school, people who get paid millions of dollars to play the game shouldn’t be able to get away with it every single night.

(Just to show that I’m not a hypocrite: that’s why Dice-K frustrates me, Manny Ramirez is one of my least favorite all-around baseball players on the planet, and Michael Ryder was on notice for most of the most recent Bruins season.)

But when you live in the Boston area and you’re a fan of sports in general, you’re going to know Celtics basketball. You’re going to know the game well enough to be able to have conversations about the team and the latest game.And I know what I do like about my local basketball team: the way Ray Allen looks so serene when he’s following through on a shot from behind the arc, the way Rondo controls the tempo, and the way everyone has been so giddy excited about the prospect of the team’s 18th championship.

I’m not a fan of basketball, but I’m a fan of the drama unfolding tonight. So I’m watching with the hopes that my local basketball team brings home a world title with a win tonight. I want to see a good second half and some smiles above those green jerseys.

Advertisements