But, once each year, I give it another shot. I know a handful of pretty smart, likeable sports fans who love the NBA. I've never understood what they see in it, but once each year I do my best to be open-minded and see if there's something I've been missing.
Last year I sat through two Bucks games, sucked in by the hype that followed Brandon Jennings' 55 point performance. This year, inspired by a TV slate that featured nothing else of interest, I sat down Friday night and watched the Bucks-Timberwolves game.
The Bucks lost this game, sleepwalking to a double-digit loss against a team that won 15 games last season and hasn't won more than 33 games since 2004. In the middle of the game, though, my in-laws stopped by and we had this exchange:
I notice Ersan Ilyasova has checked into the game.
ME: Ersan Ilyasova is the embodiment of everything I hate about the NBA. He's sloppy, selfish, he takes terrible shots and he's defensively worthless.*
MOTHER-IN-LAW: Which one is he?
Ilyasova catches a pass on the perimeter and immediately jacks up a three that barely draws iron.
ME: That's him.
At the other end of the court Ilyasova picks up his fourth foul, in the first half.
* - I've watched him play three times over the last two seasons. I suppose it's possible I've just seen him at the wrong times. But man, has he ever been awful when I've seen him.
See you next year, NBA.