I didn't watch the NBA until last season. I'm from Chapel Hill, and I have a whole bunch of UNC alumni in my family, so I've been a massive Heels fan my entire life. Right now, I'm a freshman at UNC. I swore by college basketball, and I barely paid any attention to the NBA. There wasn't much relevancy for the NBA in NC. I grew up rooting for MJ on the Bulls, but I was very young, and mostly motivated by my love for Space Jam. Yeah, I'd watch the finals most years and stray games here or there, and be happy to see Rasheed, Brendan Haywood, or Vince Carter, but I wasn't a real fan.
Last year, after the college basketball season ended, one of the ones I followed the most closely I ever had, because of UNC's legit title hopes, I felt awful not having any basketball to watch. I'd heard about Jeremy Lin, because no one hadn't. I started checking out the Knicks, and the NBA in general.
New York was already my favorite city, even though I only have a few relatives there. Whenever I visited, I loved everything about the place. I'm a massive jazz and hip-hop fan, and most of my favorite artists from both were/are based in New York. Everything about the city made me fall more in love with it: the people, the food, the strange way I felt more energized, the hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs where my favorite players sometimes just dropped by to jam...
Combine that with my favorite sport, and the fact that one of the first full Knicks games I watched was Melo hitting those insane shots at the end of the Easter Sunday Knicks-Bulls game, and I was in. I started talking shit to all my friends who followed the NBA that the Knicks were a good team, and they would give the Heat an interesting series in the first round as long as Jeremy Lin came back.
But as awesome as that game was, and rooting like hell against the Heat, and taking a big liking to J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler over the course of the end of last season into the playoffs, nothing really brought me in like this blog. Simply put, you guys are the best. Pretty much everyone here is openminded, intelligent, and hilarious. Seth is a superlative Master of Ceremonies (and I feel like that isn't a good enough compliment), Joe Flynn offers an unbeatable mix of humor, intelligent argument, and analysis. And what more can be said about bluecheese999?
Thank you guys for welcoming me with open arms to the P&T community. Thank you for teaching me how to properly hate the Celtics and the Heat. Thank you for introducing me to the world of advanced statistics. Thank you for prompting me to spend hours watching old youtube clips of Bernard King, Allen Houston, John Starks, Anthony Mason, Patrick Ewing, Latrell Sprewell, Jamal Crawford, Clyde Frazier, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, and, of course, Renaldo Balkman. Thank you for putting up with my regular comments of 500+ word as I try to figure out how to write well. Thank you for being the best damn NBA community on the web. I hope I can meet some of you guys someday.
If the Knicks ever fall back to being a shitty team, I'm going to be right here with you guys, I promise. This place is too special to abandon. But for now, let's just hunker down and hope the Knicks wreck every team they meet in the playoffs. I couldn't be more excited to share this experience with you wonderful people.