An ode to playoffs

Steve and Dirk, a long time ago.

When Dirk Nowitzki was a rookie and Steve Nash was freshly traded to the Mavs, the Dallas fans mercilessly booed them.

They booed Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash in Dallas.

Can you believe that now? After two MVPs for Nash and a nearly inevitable one for Dirk this year?

I just read that in a fantastic article about Dirk and Steve in Sports Illustrated. And it reminded me of one thing: It’s playoff time in the NBA.

This is more than just an excuse to post a picture of rookie Dirk and sophomore Steve. With the Pacers out for the first time in years, I’m ready to fully appreciate everything that the games will bring – the uncertainty and the sure-shots, the tremendous match-ups and star players. I’m ready for another Mavs/Suns series. And I’m ready for one of the two teams to finally step up and win it all.

I’ll admit — I’ve been a little lax in my Pacer fan-dom this past year. After all, they didn’t give me much to root for. It’s been all about watching these two new style teams – the new 80s Lakers and Celtics. The Mavs and Suns could play every night of the season, and it would be fine by me.

If I can’t watch, I’ll at least follow every shot, every dunk, every no-look pass and thundering alley oop, every botched play and drastic recovery, every launched trey and every clanked free throw. Baseball won’t get interesting for months. Football is a season away. This is it — the end of my personal sports season, the twilight of the year, when everything comes together.

The World Series is a teaser. The Super Bowl is like an All-Star Game. The NCAA Tournament, my personal playoffs, rife with intensity and worked to perfection. The NBA playoffs — the ultimate ending.

This is what it’s all about. I’m kind of totally excited. Bring on the action. Bring on the spectacle of my favorite sport at a time when everything counts and everything is brilliant.

Bring on the playoffs.

This was lovingly handwritten on April 24th, 2007