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Picking a favorite NBA team (ugh)

So I don’t have a favorite NBA team. I like using that as a source of pride, but there was once a time that I didn’t really watch TV shows either. I’ve decided after the most recent playoff exits that I needed a favorite NBA team.

My current real life favorites:

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays
NHL: New Jersey Devils
NFL: New York Jets
MLS: Portland Timbers (but honestly I don’t care all that much...but if I had to pick a team it’d be them. Screw the Red Bulls for having a dumb name, screw NYCFC for being Man City Jr without the results and I like Portland over Seattle.)
EPL: Swansea City

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I cheered for the NJ Nets when they made those Finals back to back, but as form of being from NJ and not as a real fan per se. Then they left and moved to Brooklyn so fuck them even though it’s close and it’s a good fan experience and I even think it was a good move for them I don’t care.

So I tried to come up with a model for choosing an NBA team that would be my favorite. I decided to enlist NBA2K15 or whatever to help me with that task.

Here are the rules for narrowing down the field:

1. Can’t be a team that has won a title in the past 10 years (no bandwagon rule)
DQ: (Spurs, Heat, Celtics, Lakers, Mavericks)
2. Team has had to have made the playoff at least once in the six years. (It’s the NBA. It’s not that hard.) DQ: (Timberwolves, Kings)
3. Needs to be in a city I don’t mind visiting: don’t actively dislike or dislike visiting: DQ: (Bulls, Bucks, Hawks, Hornets, Thunder, Magic, Rockets, Grizzlies, Jazz)
4. Brooklyn Nets DQ’d because they left New Jersey and I just can’t support that even though I’m a half-time Brooklyn resident now.

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Here’s who we have left after the first cut:

Atlanta Hawks  Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Hornets Chicago Bulls  Cleveland Cavaliers Dallas Mavericks  Denver Nuggets Detroit Pistons Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets  Indiana Pacers LA Clippers LA Lakers  Memphis Grizzlies  Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota Timberwolves  New Orleans Pelicans New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder  Orlando Magic  Philadelphia Sixers Phoenix Suns Portland Trail Blazers Sacramento Kings San Antonio Spurs  Toronto Raptors Utah Jazz  Washington Wizards
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Now we need to winnow this list down further. Let’s eliminate teams that I just can’t see myself rooting for either due to ownership, location or some combination of those things:

That eliminates the NY Knicks.

Atlanta Hawks  Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Hornets Chicago Bulls  Cleveland Cavaliers  Dallas Mavericks  Denver Nuggets Detroit Pistons Golden State Warriors  Houston Rockets  Indiana Pacers LA Clippers LA Lakers  Memphis Grizzlies  Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota Timberwolves  New Orleans Pelicans New York Knicks  Oklahoma City Thunder  Orlando Magic  Philadelphia Sixers Phoenix Suns Portland Trail Blazers Sacramento Kings San Antonio Spurs  Toronto Raptors Utah Jazz  Washington Wizards
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I feel weird jumping on the bandwagon of an existing team’s good fortunes this year. Left in the post-season are Golden State & Cleveland on this list. I’d love to see either of those cities win a title — Cleveland due to a long suffering fan base. Golden State (soon to be San Francisco) because of how that community has rallied around that team. But I’m annoyed they’re leaving Oakland for San Francisco, so I’m going to have to nix Golden State off my list even though Steph Curry is easily my favorite NBA player and has been for years outside of Jeremy Lin who is #2.

The Cavs I can’t see rooting for if LeBron wasn’t on the team. And once he leaves, I can’t see honestly admitting to being a Cavs fan. Plus I dislike them for the same reason I dislike the Knicks their owner is a jerk.

Atlanta Hawks  Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Hornets Chicago Bulls  Cleveland Cavaliers  Dallas Mavericks  Denver Nuggets Detroit Pistons Golden State Warriors  Houston Rockets  Indiana Pacers LA Clippers LA Lakers  Memphis Grizzlies  Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota Timberwolves  New Orleans Pelicans New York Knicks  Oklahoma City Thunder  Orlando Magic  Philadelphia Sixers Phoenix Suns Portland Trail Blazers Sacramento Kings San Antonio Spurs  Toronto Raptors Utah Jazz  Washington Wizards
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So if we rank the last ten teams in order to narrow the list down to five, based on what we know about the teams now, we’d have the following “gut check” list:

1. Toronto Raptors
2. LA Clippers
3. Detroit Pistons
4. Philadelphia 76ers
5. New Orleans Pelicans
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Washington Wizards
8. Denver Nuggets
9. Indiana Pacers
10. Portland Trailblazers

Okay, so let’s drop Portland. Supporting one team in that city is enough.

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That leaves us with 9 teams. We’re going to drop the Nuggets too. I lived in the Denver area for almost a decade and never became a fan of that team even when Melo was there, so I can’t see changing to become a Denver Nuggets fan AFTER I left the city. Plus Denver fans really irritate me. So that puts us at 8 teams. I picked the Suns because I like going to Phoenix, but only as a proxy and if i’m gonna go there it just feels like I should be in LA. Phoenix is fine if you’re not in LA and want the sun but I’d just prefer LA always.

Let’s also drop the Pistons because they don’t play in Detroit proper and eschewed the chance to do that as recently as a few years ago. So no fan support from me.

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Atlanta Hawks  Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Hornets Chicago Bulls  Cleveland Cavaliers  Dallas Mavericks  Denver Nuggets  Detroit Pistons  Golden State Warriors  Houston Rockets  Indiana Pacers LA Clippers  LA Lakers  Memphis Grizzlies  Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota Timberwolves  New Orleans Pelicans New York Knicks  Oklahoma City Thunder  Orlando Magic  Philadelphia Sixers  Phoenix Suns Portland Trail Blazers  Sacramento Kings San Antonio Spurs  Toronto Raptors Utah Jazz  Washington Wizards

Our final six are: Raptors, Clippers, Wizards, Pacers, Sixers, Pelicans

So I dunno. All of these feel weird. If the Sonics ever came back (or ever do come back) I reserve the right to become a Sonics fan immediately. I thought that was going to happen sooner, so I was holding out. But since that doesn’t appear to be on the radar for at least 3-5 more years at the earliest...I’d like to start identifying a team and if I have to change so be it, I have legitimate reasons for that swap.

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Raptors because Toronto connections. Clippers because they’re the underdog LA team even still, Wizards because I feel like they’re fun to watch and I could be a fan of them even if they’re not as good for whatever reason, Pelicans because they’re basically an expansion team on the rise in a city that could use extended support, Sixers because they almost moved to Jersey and I have a regional claim to them sorta and because they’re a legacy franchise and Pacers because they’re the closest team to me geographically at the moment and I could easily dive into fandom (even tho that’d be mad weird for me...)

So anyway, we’re gonna fire up the game. I’m gonna play six playoff seasons with each of these teams and we’re gonna see how I do with each one. Not with their current rosters, either. The idea is to see if I can get immersed into a playoff run with them — like real life — and see if I can get invested in the team much like with footballmanager​ where you end up rooting for some EPL team based on your experience running a FM team with them.

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We’ll see how it works and then I’ll report back with 1) my results on the simulations, who was on those teams and how far they went and then 2) whether it managed to narrow down the list or not.

I can’t say I’d choose any team right now which is why I’m doing this.

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