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Starter Jacket
Posted: Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014, 9:52 AM
by Alison

On Monday, I was asked my multiple people if I had connections to Washington Wizards tickets for this weekend. Oh, so nowww the Wizards have fans! After all these years of not being able to give away tickets and then boom, everyone’s a Wizard fan around here.

If I’ve never heard you talk about “your” team, I don’t feel obligated to do you any favors just because ‘your team’ is now in the playoffs. Then, I was asked who my NBA team was and I said I love the game, but I root for players, not a team. There was a confused look staring at me. It was like a what’s wrong with you (why are you still wearing a Starter jacket) kind of look. So I had to break it down and justify my fanhood.

I’ll be honest, just because I currently live in the DMV, it doesn’t mean that I automatically root for the local teams as “my team”. (But I will never turn down a chance to go to any live sporting event.) Growing up, I was a Phoenix Sun’s fan. I still have my Sun’s Starter jacket at my parents’ house that I got while I was in middle school and yes, it still fits me!

I was eight years old when Sir Charles was traded from Philly to Phoenix. Even though a basketball was HUGE in my little hands, I still remained the only girl in the league and just knew that once my growth spurt kicked in, I’d have a full ride to play for Coach Summitt. (To this day, I’m still waiting on that growth spurt to kick in.)

I was attracted to Chuck on the court. I was in awe of his strength and dominance on the boards. Ah rebounding, something I was never able to do. But, just like Sir Charles, I wanted to be aggressive and show those boys I wasn’t scared. (I was more scared of my father who (coached most of my rec teams) would yell at me if I “played like a girl”.) Chuck was no lady, he is a comedian, but he was a beast and I loved watching him in the paint and in post-game interviews.

Once Barkley left the Sun’s and the NBA, I felt like I couldn’t pick another team. I was team Barkley and that team was on the couch eating Doritos. So I waited until there was a player who could captivate my attention. And then in 2003, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James were both drafted and for me, the NBA became exciting again. In 2007, while watching Duke vs. Davidson, I was basketball smitten by a kid who had the smoothest shot and a cocky, but humble swag about him. I was a Stephen Curry fan at first sight.

Can you just be a fan of individual players in the NBA and not have a team? YES! Is it wrong that I also root for Mark Cuban on the bench? Of course not! He’s the coolest owner in the NBA! Will I ever be loyal to one NBA team again? Do they still make Starter jackets? The simple answer is probably not. (But if Starter jackets make a come back I’m getting my twin brother and both Big and Lil Bush one for Christmas.)

Just because I don’t name an individual team as “my team” it doesn’t mean that I’m not a fan of basketball. I’ve never judged someone based on his or her NBA affiliation, I will totally judge you on being a bandwagon fan and by your NFL affiliation.

Calhoun's Atop Bearden Hill
6515 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN

Calhoun's on the River
400 Neyland Drive
Knoxville, TN

Calhoun's at Pellissippi Parkway
10020 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN

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