Sunday, June 28, 2009

From the team I love to cheer to the team I love to watch.

So, for the second time in his career, Vinsanity is on the move. My first reaction was "damn, no more reason for me to make that 1.5 hour trek to New Jersey!" My second reaction was "wow, I'll never hear DID YOU SEE...VEEEE CEEEEEEEE" ever again.

Naturally, I understand the whys of this trade; that's not what I was reacting to. Sports, like music or any other entertainment, should have some level of emotion attached (most people take said emotion to ridiculous heights, but that's another post...). For those of us who're actually in control of our emotions, VC is simply one of the best players to watch, especially when he's having one of "those" nights. Even on off nights, when he's merely human, he manages to do two or three things that make the game worth the price of admission. I just happened to take a woman who'd never been to an NBA game to the contest verses Atlanta this past January where Vince sank a 35-foot OT-game winning shot. You could spend all day on YouTube watching his highlights (trust me, I've tried).

But this is not a career eulogy. The guy's still only 32, and can still ball with the best. This is rather merely the end of an era for a team I like to root for simply because of their ancient Long Island connections and their continued NY-area ties. The end of having my pick of 41 games over 6+ months to see the most amazing finisher the game has ever seen. (Yea, that's right, I said it). I mean, I'll still be the begrudging Knick fan not-so-silently rooting for the Nets; I'll still count Devin Harris as one of my favourite players; and the Nets now have another good young talent to pair with him in Courtney Lee for whom I'll be rooting.

Yet, the 2008-2009 Magic were a team I couldn't get enough of on NBA League Pass. Now they get the estimable Vince Carter. Every day, twice on Sundays. (ok, I don't know what that means either; it just fell off my fingers). In a way, with that annoying local-market restriction robbing me of an opportunity to watch Knick AND Net games on League Pass, perhaps I'm gaining something here. Wow, actually I am! (Sorry, it literally just occurred to me as I was typing this).

So, from the team I like rooting for, to the team I can't get enough of watching, goes one of the best and most exciting players of this generation. Vince Carter goes to a team bulging with talent, a team right at the top of the conference, for the first time since -- ever. This should be interesting, and most certainly will be fun to watch.

In any case, thanks Vince, for all the work you put in for your four-plus years in Jersey. I initially told myself I had much less reason to make the long trek to the whatever-they-call-it-now Arena for the Nets, but I realize now that's a lie. I'm gonna check the schedule, and make it a point to be in the house, if it's at all possible, to be part of that standing ovation you're guaranteed to get when you make that first trip to Jersey wearing Orlando blue. Good luck VC. Do your hometown Orlando proud. And don't forget to drop a game winner or two more on the Raptors for old-time's sake.

No comments: