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Hi, uhm I’m not really sure how to start but I feel I have to say something about my dear interest before we say goodbye to him. I was there at the beginning and I think its better if I will be the one to tell how it went. 

It all started back in 1996, I happened to have turned on the TV and ESPN was showing the NBA finals then. I mean I used to watch it, but not with so much gusto, in short it was a passing interest. This was game 4 of the finals and then I saw this happen. 

Power!!! Explosivenes!!!

Number 40 is Shawn Kemp (Seattle Supersonic’s Superstar Power Forward) dunking and riding on number 91 Dennis Rodman (Chicago Bull’s Superstar Power Forward). I was amazed, what grace what power. I got hooked. And so my interest was born. 

It did not take much to make it grow. This was the year we first had internet at home. (@ 56.6 kbps woohoo!!!) The information highway gave endless means to research on the NBA’s storied past. (@ 56.6 kbps woohoo!!!)  The information came. Here’s a few. 

Did you know that there are only two players who won MVP and ROY in the same year? 

Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld.  (Benjie Paras don’t forget Benjie Paras. NBA you idiot.) 

Did you know that Scottie Pippen was drafted by the Sonics first and was traded to the Bulls for their 9th pick the versatile F/C Olden Polynice and a second round pick? (What a steal!!) 

Did you know that the NBA logo is a silhouette of Jerry West? (Really? Whooah!!) 

And so it went and a few months later 1996 draft came. It was exciting, the first draft I followed, it turned out to be one of those drafts with a plethora of future stars. Except for that 13th pick, right off the bat I felt there was something wrong with that guy. (Minute Hatred) 

I even started collecting basketball cards. Of course I did not treat them like Pokemon. (Gotta catch em all) I went only for one player. Guess Who? Shawn Kemp, who ELSE!!?! 

It was no insert card. But definitely one of my favorites.

Well it was beginning to be an immersive experience for me. I was collecting cards, I read the history, watched the games,  and kept tab on players (except for that 1996 13th pick -Hate Him). 

Of course I have a tendency to like players that are not really out of the norm, but who perform beyond the stereotypical types we see. Just to show you the categories and to name a few of them. 

The Under Sized Super Defensive Big Man (Alonzo Mourning, Jason Williams, Ben Wallace, Shawn Kemp,Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman)  (Wait Barkley was big?) 

The Ultra Versatile and Defensive Small Forward (Scottie Pippen, Ron Artest, Josh Smith, Gerald Wallace) 

The Explosive Big Man (Shawn Kemp, Dwight Howard, Chris Webber(younger), Antonio Mcdyess, Kevin Garnett) 

The Give Up My Body For My Team Heroic Guy (Dwyane Wade, Michael Jordan, Gerald Wallace) 

The Passing Big Guy (Arvydas Sabonis, Chris Webber)

Naturally, if you notice by now that 1996 13th pick is not in any of my list. Let me say this outright that I have always been one of the first bashers of this guy. Naturally I know some of my friends like him. But that does not stop me from labelling them as lower life forms. 😀

Of course the coup de grace to this entire fiasco is of course I decided to play basketball. (What?!? At the age of 18? Aren’t you a bit late?) And yes I was. But I like the sport so much I could not allow myself to just not play the game. Of course the functioning word here is try. Note the word try which of course means not doing it that well. Oh well. At least I gamed.

That’s how it went for me. I collected cards.(I have an album.) I watched the games. I kept tabs on who would come into the league. (Draft dates used to be so much fun.) I was aware of every trade transaction. I checked the history. And I played. (abysmally)

 And then it started slipping for the first time in 2000. That 1996 13th pick won a championship ring. Not only that but he won it with that mutant 7 footer. Mutant due to the fact that he has limited obfuscation. Referees do not see him stay in the key for more than 3 seconds. Trust me I counted up to 6 seconds sometimes.  And he won it for 3 straight years. Yuck.

But then 2003 came and my good friend Erik invited me to join a yahoo fantasy basketball league. I got hooked again. The interest grew but in a different way. I was having fun. But my interest in watching the games wasn’t the same anymore. My first team had Webber on it. (Oh Good a fun player.) And the first time I watched a game after I realized that I could never watch an NBA the same way again. Here’s how my thought process went.

Webber Rebounds! (Good a rebound.)

Bibby give the ball to Webber. (He will score and create more stats.)

Yes!!! Webber has the ball. (Time for him to score.)

No!!!  Webber don’t pass the ball!!!

Oh good, Peja made the shot. (Yes!! An Assist!!!)

And that’s how it went. Every time a game was on, first question would be. Do I have a player in my fantasy team playing in this game? If yes, I would watch just to see how his stats would rack up. If no, I would not watch it.

I did not even know who was up in the standings, I just did not care. I mean let’s put it this way. There was a one time I could not answer someone if the Timberwolves won on one particular game that day, all I know is that for that game Kevin Garnett gave me 24 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal and a trey all at 59%FG and 87%FT, I was happy with that info.

Trade news are worse. If I hear or read a trade happening the question that comes to mind is. What are the possible fantasy ramifications? And does it affect any of my teams? (Note: I play at least 2 leagues a year)

It was fun, yes. It was another way to enhance my interest in the NBA. But I could only enjoy watching a game if it was the playoffs already. This is due to the fact that fantasy season ends when the regular season ends.

Of course the way I pick was still based around a core of fun players that evolved through the years.

But lately there are less and less of them now. And since last year the drive hasn’t been in me to be active in the leagues I have joined. Interest levels were ebbing. I was only active in my former office league due to the fact that I managed to draft 3 of my fun players.

But at the start of this recent season I did not draft any. (Absentee draftee) I did not even watch any of the games. I got busy with other things. The drop became more exponential when my interest for my philantrophic/charity group the Nurturing Flagellant Lunatics was rising. (NFL? What?!!?) I even watched the yearly culmination event for the charity live in a sports bar. (You took a leave to watch the Super Bowl?)

This recent playoffs I did not even know who qualified, I only knew that the finals was between the green team and that 1996 13th pick. (Oh God. When will be rid of this rapist?) It was nostalgic, yes. But it failed to perk my interest.

And so I think it just died. I’d like to take this space on the web to say sorry to my league mates in fantasy basketball. I don’t think I won’t be able to join any of you this year. I just think my interest in the NBA just isn’t there for now and with it I don’t think I can compete this year in Fantasy Basketball. I do hope it comes back. I do hope something happens that perks up the excitement level for me. I do hope also that this is just a Fantasy Basketball Sabbatical. But until then I have to show you this tombstone.


Authors Note:

I could not believe it myself, being an avid fan of the NBA a few years back. A lot of thought and effort (from my two friends) was taken to create this post.  A big thank you to a lot of people, through the years.

Shawn Kemp for being so explosive above the rim.

The people I played Basketball (real and in digital NBA Live)with.  (Robin Vallecera-The Shooting Guard, Joel Locaylocay, Jonas Locaylocay, Earl Magale, Carlo Soliven, Nestor Tan Jr., Peniel Jason Lim, Prince Joses Lim, and of course a whole lot of others to put in here. Don’t worry guys I know who you are.)

Erik Ong for inviting me to my first Fantasy Basketball League.

The managers at Philippine BBall Boyz Liga  for having the most competitive league in Fantasy Basketball.

The managers at FSCB and Beyond League for keeping it interesting for a while, despite the fact that only a few of you have the balls to trade.

A BIG BIG THANK YOU to the guys who created the side bar articles on this post.

Jotay –  is one of those rare people that I happen to call the best of my friends. Jotay is currently a professor at some school back in Cebu. Right now he is currently armed with his hip shit camera (yes hip shit is a word I came up) and is currently blossoming his way to become the ultimate photographer. Click here to see his journey and some of his poetry at Experiments with Light and Verse.

Erik – is yet another rare person. (Wow. Two in one post.) He is the premier expert in Fantasy Basketball here in the Philippines. Although he has given up his personal blog. He is still contributing at Give Me The Rock to give the latest and the best fantasy basketball advise out there in the Wild Wild West (www). Click here to see any of his posts at Give Me The Rock and Points In The Paint. Don’t forget to check out the links on those pages to find Erik’s articles on ESPN and Yahoo Sports.

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