The Pacers played the Knicks for the first time in the playoffs in 13 years today and came away with a win after traveling to the most-famous arena in the world. The guys who were supposed to play well for the Pacers and Knicks did so- George and West led the Pacers as Anthony and Smith countered for the once-hated Knicks.
Following the game, local Indianapolis TV stations tried to capture the mood in Indy bars about how the fans felt in the wake of the Pacers not allowing NY to defend home court...the apathy was palpable. I empathize with the meh feeling.
15 years ago, I like the NBA...and I loved playoff basketball. I really loved when the Pacers played the Knicks. Not only could you feel the energy in Market Square Arena, but you could feel it in the city. Miller, Davis and Smits...Starks, Oakley and Ewing. Sure I sound like an old guy, but it's not the same anymore (and get off my lawn!).
J confessed the other night during a Half-Handsome Hour that he actually is more of a Rangers fan that a Purdue fan; surprising, kinda...but he's been a Rangers fan much longer than a Purdue fan. He didn't start rooting for Purdue until he decided to go there back in the early-mid 90s. But the same thing might have been said at one time for the Knicks (I'm putting words in his mouth right now, mind you). I can assure you that it wouldn't be said today; J doesn't care too much for the Knicks, or the NBA for that matter anymore.
As for me, I was brainwashed to be a Purdue fan and can never remember not rooting for Purdue. BUT, before I ever went to a Purdue game, I went to Pacers games. My Grandfather owned the Pacers in the 70s and 80s...my family sat courtside. I can remember kneeling on the court and coloring on my seat during games when I was bored. Willard Eason, my Grandpa, sold his interest in the Pacers after building Market Square Arena and moving the Pacers from the ABA to the NBA...and when he died, actually well before that, he had no connection to the team. But that didn't stop me from watching and caring about the Pacers during middle school, high school and college.
But like my pal J Money with his Knicks, I don't care too much for the Pacers anymore...or the NBA for that matter.
There are only so many hours in the day and sports year...and time is more precious the older my kids get. If I'm going to
waste spend time watching sports these days, it's generally not going to be NBA basketball, except for some playoff basketball maybe...I just don't care about it. But, for some reason, my seven year old son does like the Pacers...so we watched the game this afternoon.
I can honestly say, I don't know many of the players on the Pacers roster...and I'm OK with it. I feel about the Pacers kinda like I feel about Purdue's womens' basketball team- since they represent something close to me, so I want to see them do well...but it doesn't bother me at all when they lose.
They lost me at the brawl...but if I was being honest, I was already on my way out when that happened. When I lived in the Northeast in the late-90s and the NBA was pimping guys like Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady as the generation to replace Jordan and company, I wasn't on board. I didn't like the personalities or the style of play anymore and my gaze was shifting full-time to Purdue and everything around it.
It really doesn't matter why it happened, but it happened. Anymore, I probably wouldn't pay more than $15 for a Pacers game; in fact, I think I payed around that last year when I took my son to see JJ and E'Twaun sit on the bench for the Celtics. It was boring, the regular season is passionless and the NBA didn't really rekindle an old flame that day.
But it used to matter; J and I used to talk trash about the Pacers v. Knicks...we used to care and actually move our schedules around to watch those games on TV...not-so-much anymore.
In the wake of watching the IndyCar race from Brazil on TV, on a rainy Sunday afternoon; TBD was napping, Mrs. BDowd was working, and LBD and I watched the Pacers take a 1-0 lead over the Knicks...and no one really cared (around here, anyway).
|In case you didn't watch, this definitely didn't happen today.|