I'm going to counterpoint myself because like Harvey Dent, I am of multiple minds.
A lot of people simply pointed out that there are likable players and perhaps even entire teams in the NBA. Obviously, this is a matter of opinion and with the way we pretty much hate the NBA around here, you can imagine how skeptical we might be.
However, if I'm being fair, it's true. Last year's Mavs team, to me, is a good example. A bunch of guys who seem to genuinely like each other (rather than just for the cameras). I even wrote about how much they made me sort of actually like NBA basketball if only for a few nights. Guys who are thrilled and humbled to have won a championship, rather than immediately think of a way to scream out a tagline of one of their sponsors (and yet do it incorrectly).
This year, teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder fit the bill. Some might argue the Pacers also are likable. So why don't teams like this get promoted? Oh, right. Because they're not the Celtics or Lakers or the Heat. And just to remind you of what kind of guy LeBron James is, in case you find yourself rooting for him, from a Wojo column last June:
There’s nothing real about James’ world, and never has been. He’s a
prisoner of a life that his sycophants and enablers and our sporting
culture has created for him. He’s rich and talented and something of a
tortured soul. He’s the flawed superstar for these flawed times. He’s a
creation of a basketball breeding ground full of such twisted priorities
and warped principles. Almost every person who’s ever had to work
closely with him, who has spent significant time, who’s watched him
belittle and bully people, told me they were rooting hard against him.
That’s sad, and that’s something he doesn’t understand and probably
So yes, there are actually likable guys and teams out in the NBA. There are charitable guys and considerate guys and guys who play because they love playing and care about their fans. But the faces that the league chooses to promote heavily are not the kinds of guys I can possibly think about rooting anything but against.