I believe in the NBA again.

I've been a basketball fan ever since I was introduced to the game at 10 in school in Lagos. A little more specifically, I've been an NBA fan ever since. But over the last five or six years, I have drifted away from the game. Its funny: I actually started watching lesser basketball once I came to the U.S. Part of my lack of interest was the post-Jordan syndrome, but a lot of it was that the teams I was drawn to always seemed to lose! And not just once or twice, consistently year after year. The type of teams I loved to watch play, that ran, that were offense-driven, whose players' stories got me pumped, were year-after-year beaten in the playoffs by more disciplined, more talented, more experienced, more defence-first, more aggresive teams.

But over the last two years, driven by the success of the Phoenix Suns (and the Mavs), run-n-gun basketball has made a comeback, and this year, finally it feels like its that style finally has a chance to win!...and the pundits believe that as well.

However, my own personal moment was different. My passion in the NBA was inflamed again thanks to Game 4 of the Phoenix-Spurs series. It seemed like history being repeated yet again. The flamboyance and offensive-focus of the Suns was going to be beaten by the efficiency of the Spurs. I'd seen this play out so often, especially with the Sacramento Kings in years past, that I'd truly come to believe that the minute I fell in love with a team, it was destined never to win a championship....ever.

Here, once again it looked like the Suns were about to do the expected and bow down to the cool, calm veteran efficiency of Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Steve Nash, damaged nose and everything, decided not to follow the script. In the most personally exhilarating and satisfying four minutes of basketball I've watched in ages, the Suns took and then maintained the lead as the Spurs fell apart: causing this incident, which led to the Suns losing two players for the next game. Losing Stoudemire and Diaw is a huge deal for the Suns; this makes them big-time underdogs for Game 5, but still ...I believe again....even if for a little bit.

In other news, I get to be present at the United Center for Game 6 between the Bulls and the Pistons. I'm excited!!


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