Tomatoes, warm carrots, cranberry juice; all things I’d prefer never to have in my mouth again. Why? Simply put, taste and texture. Joe Montana, Shaq, any San Francisco Giant, and the over-sized 12-year-old kid who dismantled our offensive line en route to pancaking me in the backfield of a Pop Warner football game more than 25 years ago; all people I’ve disdain for. Why, again? They either did directly or were indirectly responsible for causing me pain and suffering in a past life I refer to as my youth.
Sports are a funny thing. Often fans of the games are accused – and rightfully so – of overreacting to what occurs on the field, court, ice, or any of the other arenas athletics are contested on. If you’ve ever followed a team, you’ve likely been guilty a time or two of getting slightly worked-up over a game which ultimately had little meaning, but at the time felt larger than life.
I dislike the Houston Rockets. Let me rephrase that: I really dislike the Houston Rockets. From Dwight Howard’s awkward attempts at “being the man,” to James Harden’s beard. Patrick Beverley’s antics, to “Lin-sanity.” And Chandler Parsons; everything about that guy screams Steve Sanders from the ‘90’s Beverly Hills 90210. But is my disdain for all things Rockets universal to the behavior itself, or is it merely a byproduct of said behavior combined with being the “enemy?” After-all, tomatoes, warm carrots, and cranberry juice are detestable independent of all. But Joe Montana, Shaq, every San Francisco Giant, and that 12-year-old ogre all had something in common … they were the enemy.
Yes, the Rockets are the enemy, and due to such they’re unlikeable to a point. But the Spurs are the enemy, yet I have little problem with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, or even Gregg Popovich. I’m not a Dallas Mavericks fan, but I’m okay with Dirk. And the Miami Heat, the way they came together, and their obvious winning ways kindle jealously to an extent, but I harbor no ill will regarding LeBron James, Chris Bosh, or Dwyane Wade individually on or off the court. However, the Rockets are different.
Houston wants to be “it,” without having to put in the work “it” had to put in to get there. Harden is completely disinterested in playing even the least bit of defense. Dwight Howard wants to be what Michael Jordan was and Kobe Bryant and LeBron are, but lacks the attitude adjustment necessary to take that next step. And the organization and fan base as a whole, talk the talk, but fail to walk it when the rubber hits the road. They want to win, but aren’t interested in getting dirty doing it. That’s why I don’t like them, and that’s more than just being the enemy.
If Portland can finish what they started in Houston and finish the Rockets in this first round series, I will forever be in their debt. I’ve never liked Dwight, like James Harden less every year, and comments like “we played terrible and still should’ve won” following a Game-1 loss, are expediting Chandler Parsons meteoric rise up my list of least-liked. I want this badly, primarily because I can’t stand the Rockets, but also because they are in fact the enemy … for at least 2 more games.