Growing up in the sports world with a father as a former West Indies Cricket player and having a mother with the television on the NBA Playoffs or Wimbledon instead of Lifetime or Home and Garden TV, I had no choice but to grow up loving sports in general as well.
I had my own cricket bat from about 4 years old to go and practice at the Kensington Cricket club. I was a tomboy, used to be on the Track team, I played Tennis, I am a frequent fan at the stadium for Athletics. You name it. But over the years, though I enjoy most sports, my favourite sport to watch is Basketball. It gets me the most emotional. I will go to a bar alone and watch it, I will forego meeting family at the airport, my studies back in the day used to be delayed, not to mention last year I left my own Surprise Birthday party to catch the second half of the game without opposing fans present. My Birthday is in early June, helllooooo.
Over the years, whether its general face to face conversation or social media, I have noticed initially that men are surprised that I may even make a comment on a sport. It is either ignored, gasped at with surprise or faced with the question of ‘What do you know? You watch sports? or Is it your partner’s team that you are defending?’ Then after a short debate on a topic, they tend to realise I actually do know something about sports. I am not an expert, but anyone, whether male or female that not only watches a sport but follows a sport, listens and understands the commentary or has actually played the sport themself should be free to make any sensible statement or argument about the sport, a match, the players, the team or the coach. Thankfully my actual friends unlike ‘social media friends’ know how competitive I am and how serious I can take a game or anything for that matter.
Most of us are busy, so may not know 100% of the stats but as a fan should know enough and appreciate the sport enough to make certain statements. I have been in many enjoyable ‘social media wars’ over sports but this year the comments faced so far take the cake. They are not even worth a ‘war’ but a mere shut down because there is no argument put forward, just careless, senseless remarks. Ironically, these comments on my posts have just begun in the end part of round one of the NBA Playoffs. Where were the comments on my posts ALL season? Have they even been watching?! This led me to start thinking that it might not only be because I am an outspoken fan but because I am an outspoken female fan. How is it that when my male friends show support for teams that couldn’t even make the playoffs or were eliminated already do not face these kinds of comments? Isn’t the current success of women in this country and larger female to male ratio at the Universities an indication that women also have the inclination to have good perception and views once interested in any particular subject? At least one culprit admitted that they just saw my post and was playing devil’s advocate. That I can acknowledge. But to say a team is ‘lame’ twice with no reason is beyond me. The defending Western Conference Champions whose four NBA championships are the fourth most in history behind only the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls. Yes, the San Antonio Spurs that I have been a fan of from 1999. The same team who has made the playoffs every year since they drafted Tim Duncan. The team that went on a 19-0 winning streak during this season. The stats could take up a whole book. But ‘lame’? You must be kidding me. Any average Jo that watches basketball seriously should have respect for the Spurs team and their fans too. Now if its the personality of the players one finds ‘lame’, I could somewhat understand that. Everyone is not going to swing on a hoop like a monkey or beat their chests, want to fight and have lots of tattoos. They may simply choose to give a long stare like Timmy Duncan or roar like Tony Parker. The Spurs do have soft personalities, they are not an extremely physical team. Manu is not as great as he used to be, I can hardly shout GINOBILIIIIIII anymore, and wish he would wear glue on his hands sometimes. However there is nothing that can deny the displayed quality and potential of the team from their passes, Timmy Duncan’s ability to obtain core rebounds, Parker’s drive down the lane, now you see him now you don’t, score!!!!
So people may not want Timmy on a cereal box anymore or have Tony speaking a lot in an American ad with his French accent, but the Spurs are a great team. They are a dynasty. Whether they are eliminated in the first round this year or not, the ball is round and they are better than the majority of the teams out there, if not the best. In the Playoffs, its who wants it most, who is the most hungry. There is no way to pin point who deserves a ring more than the other, the talent and effort this season has been phenomenal. Let a girl support her team in peace. I love this game!