Stationary on my bike at the intersection of Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard, I watched the lights turn green against the darkness. But instead of continuing southwards I swung round and started cycling back the way I’d come–otherwise I was going to miss the final minutes of the NBA Finals’ deciding game.
I’d been at a friend’s house for a dinner party but unfortunately there wasn’t a T.V on which to follow the seventh and final game in the series. I’d tried getting something on her computer but could only manage a site updating the score, which proved maddeningly frustrating. Some friends were watching the game south of downtown Austin and I decided to try and make it there to catch the end of the game. But at the lights I realized I wouldn’t make it in time.
A few blocks back up northward I found a bar jammed with San Antonio Spurs supporters. I wanted the Miami Heat to win. Having no affiliation toward either, I decided on Miami based on the fact I’d been to that city more times than San Antonio and had good memories of it. Also, I’d rather come under the sway of LeBron James as well as the fact that both his and the Heat’s sometimes tempestuous nature had resonated with me.
Anyhow, after the clock had run out and Miami had clinched it 95-88, I didn’t actually feel that great. It had been so close and both teams had given so much that I felt bad for the Spurs players and staff. You could see it on their faces–devastated.
After growing up watching England’s football team continually losing, I got sick of how most of the players often never seemed that bothered. That was one of the reasons I’d got drawn into the NBA finals, you could see how much it meant to all the players on both sides.
You can extrapolate from it wider issues such as America’s competitive–perhaps overly–nature, etc., and whether that’s always a good thing, but at the end of the day no one likes to lose. And having had enough of sports stars in Europe not seeming to care about losing, I felt a great respect toward these American sports stars who weren’t afraid, as LeBron James put it, “to leave it all on the court.”