As you may have heard, I’ve been on a quest to find my next NBA bandwagon. It’s been a tough offseason and a tough decision, and I totally get why guys like LeBron and Kevin Durant spend so much time to make sure they get it right. Free Agency has changed for bandwagon fans just as much as for players. I mean, has there ever been a more heavily recruited fan?
The Prompt staff opened up doors I had never considered, and every single pitch was persuasive. I met with representatives of the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, 76ers, Wizards, and Warriors fan bases, and even heard from College Basketball and the WNBA in order to come to my decision. When the contending teams were announced, even my hometown Hawks jumped in, helping their cause with the addition of a backcourt duo of Linsanity and Vincanity.
Either way, seven teams and two alternate basketball organizations is a lot to consider, so let’s start with what I immediately put in the discard pile.
Lippy, you made a strong case, but I don’t want people burning my stuff in the streets and calling me a cupcake. MY NAME RHYMES WITH SNAKE.
Following LeBron to the Lakers is just a bit too mainstream for me, and really, the Lakers have always been a bit too mainstream for me. Sorry Tommy Boy, but I’m sure you won’t even miss me with the rest of the bandwagoners hopping aboard.
I flirted with the idea of John Wall and the Wizards back in the day, but while it’s no one’s fault besides that Bryce Harper and his handsome hair, I hate Washington sports. OK, MK?
You are my hometown team, but you will never be my team, no matter how many bandwagoner icons you acquire. It’s hard enough to root for two hometown teams in this choke-filled state. Go Braves and Atlanta United though!
And that’s where things got tough. On one hand you have Miami, the home of the Dan LeBatard show, which I follow closer than any team. On another hand you have Boston, which I believe to be the greatest sports town in America. On a third hand, which would make you an elite basketball defender, you have Philadelphia, who is the only team that sells merchandise with Ben Franklin dribbling a basketball. Oh yeah, and then two other basketball entities. So I’ve narrowed it down to a cool 365 teams.
After narrowing down to only three NBA teams, I realize these were my only options all along.
Bandwagoners come to Philly for The Process and stay for the Joel Embiid Twitter, but you can enjoy both without committing to this team. I’d love to have Pablo S. Torre at my wedding, but marriage isn’t in my immediate plans so I won’t be marrying myself to the Philly bandwagon, either.
Miami is the perfect atmosphere for a bandwagon fan. Miami is a fun, carefree place where winning is great, but losing doesn’t get them down. Sure, they’re not the best fans, but I’m not the best fan. And who doesn’t love D-Wade? He was the first NBA player I had even heard of. Before LeBron and maybe even before Jordan.
AND HAVE YOU SEEN THOSE MIAMI VICE JERSEYS?! I’m not even old enough to know or respect whatever it is they’re paying homage to, but man, do they look amazing. These are the things bandwagon fans would die for. It was the perfect landing spot for LeBron during his decision and it’s the perfect landing spot for me.
Which is why I will not be taking my talents to South Beach.
I know you had to reread that and it’s not a typo. It feels like I misspoke, prasing Miami for its greatness and then yelling “Wade Jones” at the top of my lungs before realizing that my brain took a break and that I really meant to say I’m coming home. I am coming home, but that home isn’t Miami. It’s Boston.
Boston is sports heaven for me. Growing up with Atlanta sports fans made me envious of Boston sports culture, which is everything we are not. Baseball welcomed me into the sports world that would eventually consume me, and David Ortiz held the door. I loved that man so much, I made a thousand-mile road trip to watch him play in his final season. I still wear the wristband they gave me at the gates of Fenway Park—America’s oldest and best baseball stadium—to remind me of the atmosphere when he launched a first inning pitch over the right field fence.
I got to be a Boston fan for just a second, and it was the best sports moment of my life.
The Celtics similarly welcomed me to the world of basketball fandom, as my first memory of caring about the sport was watching their Finals battles with the Lakers in 2008 and 2010. I wanted to be a Boston Celtics fan then, but that would’ve been the bad kind of bandwagoning.
Only a select few are born into the fraternity that is Boston sports fandom, others become lucky enough to move there and join the movement. You have to prove you’re worthy just to be a fan, and after initiation you get to be enshrined into the elitist group. Opportunities like this don’t come about often, so when you get a chance to join a storied franchise like this, you have to take it. So, I am.
Thank you Josh, for the invitation to greatness; I’m shipping up to Boston.
Buuuuuut there’s also a catch. Unlike LeBron, in the fan free agency, I’m not tied to making just one decision. So while I’m officially a Celtics fan, I’m also joining another bandwagon. Maybe I’m a sucker for someone telling me I’m not a sucker. Maybe I’m a sucker for feeling important. Maybe I’m a sucker for wokeness. But one thing is for sure….
I’m definitely a sucker for Skylar Diggins-Smith.
So what if I didn’t even realize the Dallas Wings were a thing before Kelaine’s pitch? Skylar Diggins is the most baller lady on this earth and I love an independent, successful woman that can rock a headband. The only bad part about the WNBA pitch is that I didn’t realize she was married now. She was always out of my league, but I’m officially pledging myself as a fan of hers. WNBA, you also have won my decision. Now off to buy jerseys.