How can you tell if you're a basketball fanatic? Well, does the picture in this article look familiar to you? Yeah, you've seen it before in a dream or two, or three, or if you're like me, you see it in your waking hours. Okay, maybe you're not as dedicated to the sport as I am, but you get my meaning.
The season has been over for awhile now. No longer can I impatiently but happily anticipate the possibilities of all the scheduled games. The excitement and disappointment of the playoffs is no longer a major part of all conversations. The draft came and went, mostly went. There was the brief excitement of the free agency trades. "Shaq going to Cleveland? Oh Snap!!" Faithfully watching all these events does in no way categorize you as an obsessed basketball freak. Not at all, this is all normal everyday interest in something you like.
Now, if you've found this article, you are most definitely a sick obsessed puppy. Yeah, you've just read through all the articles written by all the usual top of the line sports writers, and I bet you're doing it in the first hour of work online? You've analyzed and re-analyzed everything written today about the game and your favorite players and you realize they're all saying the same damn thing. They're just copying and pasting articles. That is just not right. So you're in search of something new, something fresh. You need more, and more, and more, and, okay stop.
Take a deep breath. Everything will be fine. There will be more basketball news. There will be further trades, mindless tweeting, surprising DUI arrests (yeah right), runaway grooms, player maneuvering, owner temper trantrums, SEC violations by owners, newer and more colorful tattoos, name it and you'll have it. This is the NBA where amazing is never in short supply. Just because the season is over, it doesn't mean the sideshow has stopped as well.
Odom, Boozer, and Iverson will sign with the Heat. Okay, that may be wishful thinking on my part. These and other trades will continue to keep you occupied until something else comes up. Who knows, it may be news of the Birdman getting a hair cut, Artest asking for time off to sing "love songs" instead of rap, Dunleavy leaving the Clippers? Okay another shot at wishful thinking. There's always the WNBA? Your kids' summer league? Your summer league?
Like it or not, once the game of basketball has gotten under your skin, whether you're a player or a spectator, you will be a fan for life. You may not come close to being a fanatic or even a slightly obsessed face painter, but you will find yourself coming out of your seat and yelling at the top of your lungs at least once in a great while if you're lucky enough. After all, we all need to go "whoooooo!" at least once in awhile and it's okay, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I actually recommend it. When was the last time you went "whooooo!"?
Later today I am heading over to the park for some pickup games. I'll take my time lacing up the high tops while checking out the little dudes learning the game as their coach tries to keep from laughing in front of the parents. I'll watch a regular at the park, a dedicated 60 year old practicing free throws for a game he'll never ever play again. I'll put on my old trusty knee brace and stretch for a good twenty minutes while I contemplate how many years of playing I have left. The swaggering young and the limping older players will come drifting in. The teams will be chosen, the ball will fly in the air, and this unavoidable maniacal grin will appear in everyone's faces. Yeah, it's like that.