Instead of an extremely long comment, I bring you the Reprise.
Favorite teams are a great thing. They definitely give people a reason to enjoy sports on a new level. I don't care if you even enjoy the sport, it makes life better to have a favorite team (Other than the NBA, my favorite teams are the Minnesota Vikings, the Colorado Avalanche, the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto FC if we want to go that far. However, this is an NBA blog....) Just last week, my co-worker was in my office and said, "I need to pick a favorite football team so I have someone to cheer for this season." He was trying to decide between the Titans and Vikings. Lucky for him, Rule #1 states that he can choose one for any reason at all.
My first memories of the NBA are very blurred. My cousin, Greg, once gave me his old Phoenix Suns baseball cap and told me that Charles Barkley was one of his favorite players. I still vividly remember the poster he had on his bedroom wall: Larry Bird, sitting in a giant birds' nest, on top of a basketball rim. He didn't look like much of a basketball player but I assumed he must be good to get his own poster (and his own nest). Somewhere along my childhood I discovered The Utah Jazz. I don't remember where, when, or how. I remember loving Stockton and Malone because they were the best at what they did and they didn't seek any additional attention. Anyone who acts like they are better than anyone else (even if they are) instantly becomes my least favorite player (eg. MJ & Kobe. As much as people want to put LBJ on that list, I don't think his TV broadcast necessarily equates to him acting like he's better than anyone else. He knew people were interested in his decision. Why not let everyone who wants watch him make it? Also, I guarantee you'd have more fun hanging out with Lebron than Kobe).
I love Rule 1: You can pick a favorite team for any reason at all. Why not, right? Why do you need a good reason? You don't. I also think that whatever team uses your favorite color is one of the top reasons for choosing a favorite team. T-Wah's favorite teams in the year 2000.....Jazz, Raptors, Suns (The Matrix was my favorite player for a while), Bucks (think Glen Robinson, Sam Cassell and Ray Allen). Did you notice the common thread? Purple. Or maybe your mom grew up in Minnesota so you like the T-Wolves. Or maybe you enjoy hunting so Gilbert's gunslinging makes you a fans of the Wizards.
I agree with Rule 2: You must stick with that team no matter what. If you didn't, then you're obviously not a fan. You're just a guy (or girl) cheering for some team. Here's the biggest question of all, that needs to be addressed in form or another....At what point, or under what circumstances, can you change your favorite team? I understand the "sticking with them no matter what" but what if you don't even like the team anymore? What if their colors have changed? What if their players are cocky (which I hate, as mentioned above)? Is there a minimum number of years/months that you have to stick with your favorite team? Once again, I think Bill Simmons covered this point too but I don't remember the circumstances warranting a change in favorite teams. (I used to think The Grey Nathan liked the Celtics because he shares a last name with Employee #8. Was that at least part of the reason you liked them?)
I want to put a spin on Rule 3: You can only have one. "You can only have ONE favorite team, but you can also have a secondary favorite team." It's sort of like having two favorite teams but you clearly cheer for one over the other when they play each other. Everyone knows the Jazz are my favorite team but I lived in Toronto for 2 years. How can they not be my secondary team? Instead of needing exceptions, which still make perfect sense, just have a secondary favorite team. Easy.
Haha, Exception 2: Steve Nash, makes me laugh. Canada has got to have the largest percentage of Suns fans outside of Arizona. And why not? We finally have somebody to call our own who is one of the best players ever; 2-time MVP, in fact. However, how many of these people are real NBA fans? It makes me wonder. I talk to people all the time who love the Suns yet they know next to nothing about basketball or the league. I'm not complaining, though. I think it'll take a few years after his retirement for some of these people to even realize he doesn't play anymore. Then they'll be back to being Lakers (a person's default favorite) or Raptors (Canada's team) fans.
Rule 4: Every year everyone gets one bandwagon team. I like this rule because it gives you a chance to cheer for someone who got you excited in the offseason. I mean, especially if some of your favorite players get traded, or sign elsewhere, you don't necessarily have to change favorite (or secondary favorite) teams, you just have to pick a bandwagon team that season. Half my Jazz are on the Bulls this season so I'm leaning towards them. Obviously Miami is in close contention for my BW team but they'll have enough bandwagon fans to last them a century.
Miller Regent, The Grey Nathan and Fats: to address your comments, I created Rule 5: "If your team (or secondary team) isn't in the playoffs, then you get to choose 1 'playoff favorite team.' If THEY get knocked out, then you can still choose a 'series/round favorite team.'" You need to cheer for someone, right? Otherwise, why watch the playoffs/finals? Just don't go trying to pretend that you've been their fan all along when next season begins.
Fats, I agree that if you're a true fan, then you probably have a haunting moment of your team's past. Oddly enough, I relieved that moment last night....Game 6 of the '98 Finals in Utah. MJ drains the shot that wins them the championship. However, if you're a recent fan, then you likely won't have a haunting moment so I don't think it deserves its own rule at this point. Haha, although I DO like the defining quality of a true fan that you brought up: convincing/persuading your wife/gf to remember and like your favorite team. There's no way in heck that Janae would ever not cheer for the Jazz. She even owns (and occasionally wears) her very own pink Jazz jersey and feels proud wearing it (or at least doesn't feel silly).
Alright fan friends, we're getting closer to our 10 commandments if we're going to keep using these rules and just build upon, and modify, them when necessary.
Happy back to school everyone except me.