Hello, everyone. My name is Damon. I’m from Pittsburgh, PA, I’m currently irrationally upset at myself for taking 33 years to discover the awesomeness of shrimp and grits (Seriously, why didn’t anyone tell me about this???), and I’m most likely the biggest NBA fan any of you know.
Tonight is game seven of the NBA finals. I imagine that many of you will be watching. It’s likely that some of you are NBA novices. For others, this may even be the first game you’ve watched all season.
Now that we’ve gotten that welcoming shit out of the way, I’m here today to give you all a quick and easy guide to ensure that watching tonight’s game will be an informed, engaging, and all around fun experience for all involved.
1. Shut the f*ck up
There’s nothing wrong with being an NBA novice. Basketball isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so it’s perfectly understandable if you just don’t happen to possess a working soul or the mental and emotional capacity needed to appreciate it. Different strokes and shit.
Anyway, novices are basically tourists. And, while there’s nothing wrong with being either, there is something wrong with being a tourist who acts like they’re f*cking tour guides. Basically, now is not the time to start arguments about shit you know absolutely nothing about but think you might know something about cause you happened to watch First Take yesterday morning. You wouldn’t go to the Guggenheim and start debating curators during exhibits just because you happened to read a damn pamphlet about Frank Lloyd Wright would you? Own your tourism by cheering, asking appropriate questions, and respecting the fact that you don’t know shit. The tour guides you’re watching the game with will appreciate it.
I understand that shutting the f*ck up may be difficult if you’re an opinionated person who is used to each of your generally inessential opinions being acknowledged. But…I don’t care. Shut the f*ck up.
2. You should be aware that Lebron James is the most important athlete of the 21st century, and by rooting against him, you’re kinda rooting for White supremacy.
He is not the most famous. (Michael Jordan still is.) He’s also probably not the most dominant at his sport. (That would likely be a five way tie between Serena Williams, Floyd Mayweather, Usain Bolt, Lionel Messi, and Mizz Twerksum.)
Lebron, though, is important for the same reasons he’s so polarizing.
A) There’s no other famous person (maybe President Obama and maybe Kanye West) who consistently provides an equal amount of perfectly useable ammo for both his fans and his detractors. There’s also no other famous person whose legacy is defined, erased, rewritten, redefined, erased again, and redefined again every time he performs. Basically, he is the world’s greatest troll.
B) Most of the animus towards him stems from being in complete control of his career. Yes, there are people who may have a distaste for his game or his on-court demeanor, but the epicenter of the Lebron hate is largely due to him stacking the deck in his favor—something a player/worker bee isn’t supposed to be able to do—and possibly winning—something someone arrogant enough to stack the deck in his favor also isn’t supposed to do.
You know which demographic is mostly likely to hold the most hateful feelings towards him? I won’t name any names, but it’s the same demographic that’s mostly likely to have negative feelings about empowered Black men, and I will say that it rhymes with “bright fen.”
It’s not that all bright fen hate Lebron, or even that race plays a significant role in every bright fen’s feelings. But, if you decide to root against him tonight, ask yourself if you’re really comfortable having the exact same rooting interest of every racist bright fan anxiously waiting for him to receive his comeuppance.
3. There will be a group of very tall guys wearing black uniforms on the court with the Heat tonight. They are called the “San Antonio Spurs.” They are very, very, very good at playing basketball.
Please remember this.
4. Basketball is not football
It is better. Please remember this as well.
5. Regardless of who wins or loses tonight, there will be at least one person in your viewing party who will blame the outcome on the referees.
If you are a woman, make sure to never accept a drink, date, or compliment from this man. If you are a man, make sure to never let this man borrow a pencil or order a pizza with your debit card.
(Each of these also apply to men at sports bars wearing game jerseys with no t-shirt underneath.)
Thank you for reading. If you’re a beginner, and you have any other questions about the NBA finals, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When receiving the email, I will reply sarcastically, asking you why I’d answer your questions when I just wrote an 800 word long post about it, and then I’ll send you a picture of an orange.
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)