NBA Conference Finals: Who Should I Root For?

A common way to ask a person’s prediction for a sports game is to say, “Who do you like?” That question can be answered figuratively and literally. I’ll briefly answer the figurative question first.
I’m picking the Bulls to beat the Heat in six. Chicago is strong at the positions where Miami is weak: point guard and center. The Heat struggled with a one-armed Rajon Rondo who is a bad shooter even when healthy. How will the Heat contain MVP Derrick Rose, a far more complete point guard and a dynamic scoring threat? Meanwhile, Joakim Noah is a great rebounder who can also keep LeBron James and Dwyane Wade out of the lanes. Carlos Boozer should have no problems with Chris Bosh.
In the Western Conference, I’m picking the Mavericks over the Thunder in seven. The Mavericks looked like a very complete team in their four-game sweep of the LA Lakers, and they’re rested. The Thunder, meanwhile, struggled to beat a Memphis Grizzlies team that, although they played out of their minds, didn’t actually have any good players. Kevin Durant is amazing, but Dirk Nowitzki’s experience will prevail.
Now, David Stern and the NBA will be happy no matter which team comes out of the East, but the league absolutely wants the Thunder to come out of the West. Durant is infinitely more marketable than Nowitzki, who has two strikes against him: he’s white, and he’s foreign. He appeals to no one outside of his team’s fanbase. That, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is a turd.
None of this should matter, but remember I said this if the calls start going Oklahoma City’s way.
So the finals will be Mavericks-Bulls, and I’ll predict the finals next week. But I have a more pressing issue: who should I root for? I don’t really like any of these teams. Or, more specifically, each team has players I really dislike.
Noah is a good player, but his histrionics and whining make me nuts. Plus, he’s maybe the sleaziest looking player in the NBA. If they made a porno version of “Pirates of the Caribbean” (or, technically, a second), Noah would play Orlando Bloom’s character.
I have nothing against James’s actual decision (it’s not like the Celtics didn’t do the exact same thing four years ago in bringing in two superstars to help their existing one win a ring), it’s “The Decision” that pissed me off. It’s unethical for a news agency to pay to broadcast the news, and James made ESPN pay to watch him basically take a crap on his home state (plus New York). Normally I don’t mind ego from an athlete as long as the talent matches, but James may possess an ego so large that no amount of talent can justify it. Also, the Heat’s Mike Miller looks like the biggest douche in the NBA.
I haven’t really followed Nowitzki’s career, so he might be a perfectly reasonable guy. I just don’t trust German people. Never have, probably never will. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop with Nowitzki.
So that just leaves the Thunder. I started liking Durant during the FIBA World Championship, where he averaged nearly 23 points and six rebounds per game. It takes commitment to try that hard in a tournament that no one cares about.
Problem with Durant is, all of the sports media feel the same way, and I don’t want to be part of a pack. But that really isn’t a knock against Durant, and the Thunder do have former Celtics Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson.
So I’m rooting for the Thunder. But really, I’m just gonna watch more of the Bruins.

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