Of all the sports I could comment on, pro basketball is probably the least likely to draw my attention. My upfront disclaimer: next to tennis I can’t think of a more boring sport. I actually have flipped over from a live Timberwolves telecast to watch a tape-delayed Minnesota Swarm (professional lacrosse) game. Nevertheless there must be some male gene that causes me to take a rooting interest in the local teams, even the Woofies.
That interest, however, can now be safely extinguished for the forseeable future. From an entertainment standpoint this team has become unwatchable. They’re too good to take an interest in them as plucky losers trying to be overachievers, and they’re too bad for me to have any hopes of seeing any sporting virtuousity unless it’s by the other team — and I don’t root for other teams. True, it has been good to watch Kevin Garnett — one of the best players of his time — play his heart out regardless of the stiffs around him, but I can’t even do that anymore because it’s just too painful to see such a marvelous player so totally wasted in the cause.
I don’t know how much of a chance the Wolves had to land Ron Artest before that headcase* ended up being traded to Sacramento, but it was their only chance to sell some tickets this year. He could have been the missing ingredient as a defensive presence and legitimate offensive option that put them into the playoffs. Yeah, his flakiness and volatility could have killed the team as well, but face it – this squad is already half-dead. Whether it dies by self-immolation or by ennui, it’s still dead. At least with him they had a chance to give their fans a little return for the big bucks they’ve shelled out to watch two-bit performances. The only appeal the team has left is the sick fascination of looking at a road accident, and we had our fill of that last year. Move along, people; there’s really nothing to see here.
* And really, Ron, you tried to veto the trade because you didn’t want to play in Sacramento? Have you forgotten that you live in Indianapolis? What, you were hoping for Milwaukee? Dude, seriously, get some help.