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Fantasy Hoops & The Decision

Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Estabrook Group

I am a fantasy sports junkie.  I’ve played fantasy football since 1999.  I’ve been doing fantasy baseball since 2006.

But I’ve reached a new level of my “fantasy geekdom”….

I’m actually playing fantasy NBA basketball!  That’s right, I’ve begun to actually follow the NBA so well now that I can tell you who the back-up small forward on the Portland TrailBlazers is (it’s Nicolas Batum by the way).  It’s gotten so bad, that I even have the Fantasy Basketball App on my SmartPhone now.  Yeah, it’s that bad.

So why did I get into Fantasy NBA this year?  It’s simple.  The Decision.  I was riveted when LeBron James told us he was “taking his talents to South Beach” back in July.  It was compelling television - so much so that it got better ratings than the ALCS between the Yankees and the Rangers.

I don’t care if it made you mad that LeBron left Cleveland that way - you just had to watch his one-hour made-for-ESPN infomercial.  For the record, I was a fan of the way he did it.  Break-ups are never easy.  There’s never a “correct” way to tell someone you’re leaving them for someone else.  Are you shocked that an NBA player that makes over $50 million dollars a year and has a giant 8-story billboard of himself in a major downtown area has an ego?  No really!!?!??

But I digress.

LeBron and the Miami Heart are the new enemy in the NBA: that’s great.  Every professional league needs a villain.  It’s what every good soap opera needs.  The NFL has one in the Dallas Cowboys.  MLB has one in the New York Yankees.  Villains are magnetic.  They make you care because you want to see them fail.  Without a villain in your soap opera, you end up with “Leave it to Beaver” – a boring and predictable show for the kids.

When the Heat play on the road now, it’s like the Beatles touring across America.  They’re a sideshow.  The NBA hasn’t seen anything like this since the Chicago Bulls of the mid-90’s.

It’s good for the league and great for my free time.  I just hope this NBA season can get me to April – that’s when Fantasy Baseball starts!!

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