Sunday, February 12, 2017

How Dare You Hate

Cake Time
Tonight in Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant made his first appearance as a visiting player, having signed a free agent deal with the Golden State Warriors in the off-season. Not surprisingly, the fans booed the living hell out of him, brought cupcake signs to try to rattle him, and cheered as if their lives depended on it, or as if their team really could keep up with the best basketball team in the world. It stayed competitive throughout, and star guard Russell Westbrook put up a 47/11/8 line for the home team, but the Warriors won by 16, and would have won by more if the scrubs had kept up the momentum in the dying moments. In three games this year, the Warriors have rolled the Thunder in every game, and while anything can happen in a single game of hoop, it's hard to see how they wouldn't roll them in the vast majority of encounters.

Which means that we turned, with speed, into Not Game, and for ESPN's cavalcade of Not Gamers, it was how unfortunate it was that Durant's 9-year career for his former laundry wasn't going to ever have the feel-good moment of Thunder Fan thanking him for the memories in a highlight reel of goodness.

Which leads me to the following and final point, and I'm sorry for the following moment of screaming, but...


Look, NBA tickets are expensive. Sports are something where you can buy a ticket, root for your laundry for a few hours, and think almost exclusively about the dumb thing that everyone else is thinking about. It's a release, escapism, maybe even (just maybe) FUN. Doing something that some media elite tells you to do, because you might hurt the feelings (oh, and by the way, you won't) of some dude who makes more in a single game than anyone in the stands will make in a year...

Well, Screw That. With as much urgency and lack of discretion as humanly possible.

Thunder Fan does not "owe" Durant anything. They don't have to cheer for him if they don't want to. If they ever decide to, maybe in five to ten years if he chose to return to end his career where it began (and even that's not true, since his career started in Seattle), that's on them. You buy your ticket, you get to decide what you want to do, within reason, in the arena. Bring cupcake signs, cheer respectfully in warm-ups than boo him in the game, turn your back on him with a pointed display of disciplined silence (a protest that, I think, would be wildly cool if ever executed)...

it's entirely up to you. Buy the ticket, take the ride. Your ride, your way.

And if any media person wants to tell you any different?

Perhaps, next time, you should bring some signs addressing how much you respect their opinion.

Not that those will get on camera, of course...

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