Knicks, Raptors, or Another: Who Should a Scottish Italian Support?

Giancarlo RinaldiCorrespondent INovember 19, 2009

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31:  Danilo Gallinari #8 of the New York Knicks shoots against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on October 31, 2009 in New York City. The 76ers defeated the Knicks 141-127. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

While you are sleeping, we catch up on your sporting action. And as we are heading to bed, you are usually settling down to watch the day's big game.

By necessity, the UK-based fan of US sports is an unusual creature.

You could argue that we have to be even more dedicated than your average American, due to the time-difference issues. We are certainly an idiosyncratic bunch.

For me, it all began with the San Francisco 49ers.

British Channel 4 snapped up the rights to screen the NFL in this country and Joe Montana hooked me. As a Scottish Italian, he had the kind of surname that hinted at some kind of Mediterranean ancestry.

It did not hurt that the boys in red used to win a lot.

Next, much later, came the St. Louis Cardinals.

This time it was all down to fantasy sports and Albert Pujols. He was a powerhouse for a couple of my teams and dragged me into having an interest in MLB.

It was two down and two to go in terms of major US sports.

My problem with basketball, however, is that I have yet to decide whom to furnish with my loyal support. I have a couple of nominations, but I am not entirely sure.

The Italian connection tempts me towards the Toronto Raptors. Andrea Bargnani and Marco Belinelli are among the ranks there, so should I give them my precious backing?

On the other hand, there is Danilo Gallinari at the New York Knicks. Should I try to get behind the struggling Nets?

Perhaps there is another team I am blissfully unaware of that I should be backing. What is the team of choice among American Italians?

I have an Irish friend who swears by the Celtics, is there an equivalent for a boy whose family hails from Tuscany?

At this point, there are a couple of things I should make quite clear.

My soccer teams are Fiorentina and Queen of the South so, by and large, I am used to failure. Not for me becoming a fan of some mega-successful franchise.

However, I am a high-quality supporter who dedicates a lot of time and effort (and money on merchandise) to the team I follow.

In short, I am a sports nut.

I know it would transform my enjoyment of the NBA if I had a team to follow. League standings and matches become more exciting if you invest that kind of time and energy.

I may just toss a coin and let it decide between the Raptors and Knicks.

And then I could turn my attention to the NHL.