Recently I went to a Dallas Mavericks game and was confronted with a challenge. 

Who do I root for? 

 I’ve never really been a fan of the NBA and only came to appreciate basketball through the glory that is Duke Basketball.  So what do I do when I go to or watch a professional basketball game when I have no particular team loyalty?

I live in Dallas, but I don’t really feel beholden to the Mavericks.  I grew up in New Jersey but never got excited about the NETS (plus they have that thug, Vince Carter, on their team).  Here’s what I do know.  1) I love Duke Basketball and all things related to it AND 2) I hate UNC and all things related to their basketball program.  So I came up with a point system to determine which team I should cheer for in any given situation.  I’ve posted it on my blog for the 2 of you out there that actually care.

Teams with Duke Alumni get points:

+2 points for all Duke Alumni, +1 bonus point if the person played while I was at Duke, +4 bonus oints for Shane Battier because you can chant his name in a way that sort of rhymes with “who’s your daddy”

Teams with UNC Alumni lose points:

-1 point for all UNC alumni (note, my love for Duke is greater than my disdain for UNC), -1 additional penalty for Vince Carter on account of general thuggishness and -6 additionaly penalty for Rasheed Wallace for excessive thuggishness and jerkmanship…the opposite of sportsmanship

Special bonus: players from my NBA 2k9 Team

My friend David and I play 2k9 on our Xbox 360s and I’ve grown a general fondness for said players.  They each give a +1 lift to their teams.

Putting it into play:

We’re in the midst of the NBA playoffs.  Here’s how the system works:

Rockets vs Trailblazers…I root for the Rockets

Rockets  8   (Battier +6, Mutombo +1, +1 sympathy point because of Mutombo’s injury)

Trailblazers 1 (+2 for Shavlik Randolph, -1 because I can’t stand Steve Blake)


Mavericks & Spurs…I don’t care who wins

Mavericks 0 (-1 for Jerry Stackhouse, +1  for Gerald Green on NBA 2k9)

Spurs 0

 Pistons vs Cavaliers…Go Cavs Go!

Pistons -7  (Rasheed Wallace…need I say more?)

Cavaliers    (+1 Ben Wallace from my NBA 2k9 team)

So there you have it.  My completely scientific and rational approach to the NBA.  (I’m so glad that my Duke education is worth something)

PS – Henderson, stay at Duke.  If you can’t score two buckets against Villanova, you’re not readyfor the NBA.