So I figured that since almost everyone had commented on their favorite teams and the rules behind them, I would add to that. Like everyone else I don't remember my first basketball memories very well. I'm pretty sure that it had something to do with NBA Jam, the NBA on NBC theme music, and the Jazz-Bulls finals. Like Gray, I cheered for the Jazz out of a combination between my liking of Stockton and Malone and my dislike of Jordan. But after that 1998 Finals which the Jazz should have won, I think I began to become a real fan, but not of the Jazz. I decided that I would become a Dallas Mavericks fan, and from what I can remember I had two main reasons, both of which were players. They had my favorite player on their team (Michael Finley) and they had the tallest player in the league, who also happen to be a mormon (Sean Bradley, who also had a sweet role in Space Jam!). I like to think of myself as a true fan, as I have loved the Mavs through some tough times, and have to continually endure their loss in the 2006 finals and then the biggest upset in the first round of 2007.
But I didn't write this post to talk about the Mavs. I wanted to comment on a continuing thread of our rules of being a true fan - when can you change your favorite team? This has been a tough question and I've been thinking it over for a while. I will freely admit that I am pretty strict in the reasons for changing your favorite. It shouldn't be an easy thing to do if you are a true fan. I've come up with a few reasons for being able to change, as well as some reasons that you cannot use.
First off, you can't change your favorite team based on players or coaches. If you are a fan of the team, it doesn't matter who is on the team for you to like them. My best example would be if the Mavs traded Dirk (my favorite player on the team right now) for Kobe (who I hate). I would be obligated as a true fan to not only continue to cheer for the Mavs, but to cheer for Kobe. As a side, this actually happened to me in the NFL. My favorite team (the Vikings) signed Brett Favre, who I can't stand, and I had to cheer for him. Players and coaches change too often for you to base you favorite team status on them.
I also don't think you can change your favorite team because of a logo or color change. I agree that you can have any reason to choose your favorite, but once you have done that, it should be deeper than a color. T-wah loves purple, but he didn't stop cheering for the Jazz once they changed to blue as their main color.
A tough one is the crappiness of your team. I think that you should cheer for them even if they suck, but I'm still not sure how long that has to go on for. Possibly forever (true Clipper fans are a good example!). With such a big league that constantly changes, the fortunes of most teams improve over time.
Now there are a couple of reasons that I feel are acceptable for changing your loyalities. The first, and best one would be if your favorite team moved cities. I think that if you were a fan of the Vancouver Grizzlies, Charlotte Hornets or Seattle Sonics, for example, you would not be obligated to be a fan of Memphis, New Orleons or Oklahoma City. You could be if you really wanted to, but I feel that those types of situations are a break in the trust from the team and can free you up to choose another favorite. Going along with this rule is if you happen to move to a city with an NBA team. I feel that cheering for the hometown team is pretty important, and could qualify as a reason to change favorites. This one is not as strong as the previous one, but it could be an acceptable reason, if you wanted it to be. There would be nothing wrong with Miller Regent living in Portland and being a Raptors fan.
When it comes down to it, I think that once you've chosen a favorite team it should be your favorite for good, with a few exceptions. It's all about loyalty, and unless your team breaks that loyalty, you should be a fan. Now I realize that I may be missing somethings, or you might not agree with me, but I think these are some good base rules for changing favorites. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.