What made you fall in love with the NBA?
I think if you were born in the 90's MJ is the main reason or one of the main reasons to why you watch basketball.
My real love came when Vince carter was popping off and becoming the most popular player in the NBA. I'm a Toronto kid so he was real big over here.
VC led me to start watching full games not just highlights and to start picking apart a nba game.
I voted for every NJ based team in sports, and I just watching the nets one day, and instantly became excited about the sport, The main players I loved watching were Kobe,Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, KG, I Loved MJ as well but I only got to see him near the end of his career, but I was still a big fan of him as well since I saw replays of his games.
Many hockey diehards switched sports during their lockout. I think if the NBA locked out the season I would jump back. I stopped watching hockey completely but have started back in the last year. I would think it would take maybe a year to forgive the league if they lockout.
Watching the '04 Pistons
My first player I really liked was Magic Johnson, but shortly before the Bulls won a championship, I became a Michael Jordan fanatic. When I started getting REALLY deep into basketball was in 1992, I must have been around 8 years old. My favorite player immediately became Shaquille O'Neal, who I still count as my favorite. So, apologize if it appears I have bias there, but, I think I have some justified arguments with his place amongst the All-Time great Centers as well. When I was in 4th grade, I became "the basketball kid", not so much for my abilities, but for being completely entrenched into learning as much as possible about NBA and basketball history. That rep has pretty much stuck with me to this day, for better or for worse.
03 Spurs + Manus hair
I think I first fell in love with the game when Reggie Miller went wild on the Knicks and did the choke symbol vs Spike Lee lol.
I'll never forget it... My mom is friends with Landon Turner (former IU player who got seriously injured in a car crash after he was drafted... look up the story) and he friendly betted me the Pacers would lose vs the Knicks because they were down so many points. I betted him 20 bucks. Then all of the sudden Reggie just goes nuts and the Pacers end up winning lol. He couldn't believe it and actually paid me 100 bucks just because of the wild ending lol.
2000 NBA Finals Pacers vs Lakers
Just fell in love with Reggie Miller's game and been hooked on the Pacers and NBA ever since.
Mr. Allen Iverson. Pretty much if you from the Philadelphia area and were remotely interested in basketball, you caught a glimpse of A.I. and then fell in love with the game and league.
Jordan helped too, but I've said it b4 and I'll say it again...A.I. was such a representative of the city that he almost felt like he was your brother. He was an ambassador for Philadelphia to the NBA.
Watching T-Mac yam it on Shawn Bradley in the 2006 Playoffs. HIGHlarious!
Like the OP, Vince Carter
i never had cable tv growing up so those nba on nbc games that came on were everything to me. oh yeah and hearing marv albert scream MICHAEL JORDAN about 30 times everytime the bulls played helped too.
In the 90's I had a vague memory of watching Michael Jordan. I only got really interested in the NBA around 14 yrs old seeing the Suns play on TV. My coach told me to watch some Suns games so I can learn to play in a run and gun offense. I really enjoyed watching it especially Steve Nash's passing skills and how they can score in less than 7 seconds.
It was a misty January evening in 2003, I was at my grandma's house watching Blues Clues and Elmo, and then my grandpa, uncle and dad make me change the channel................. to the Rockets-Lakers game. It was the first game between Shaq and Yao, and seeing two big guys(just like myself at the time) really inspired me, and since I have been in love with the game of basketball..
i started following the nba when i was in third grade
and became hooked in 4th grade lol
Same here David Stern and the fact that i grew up in detroit
What really got me into basketball was David Stern calling out player's names at the draft... lol, just kidding
What REALLY did get me into basketball was Andrea Bargnani's smooth shot. I was a big fan of him, lets just say my game translated into his.... Big man inside a shooting guards body. I can drop 20 easy, but boards are hard for me.
Living in Australia they didn't show many games here for much of my life, but we got our equivalent of cable during the 08-09 season and I fell in love with the Celtics and the NBA after just one game. I loved the idea of three players on the tail end of their careers sacrificing their stats and importance to compete with the young guns and win as a team. I still remember after Rondo crossed someone up and made an easy lay-in the call Mark Jackson (I think) made, "I'm Rondo.. I'm makin' plays... Excuse me, I'll be back in a minute".
Suffice to say, Rondo is my favourite player, and the Celtics my team.
I live in the same place where Steve Nash grew up, so seeing the Run and Gun Suns with Stevie running the show was what got me hooked.
This is probably my first moment I ever really paid attention to the NBA...
I was really young, but it was during the Bulls vs Suns Finals series. My dad and his friends were all watching the game, and I sat up and watched it with them. Call me crazy lol, but the player I REALLY liked was John Paxson lol. It was the game he knocked down that big three lol. I think I just loved the way he shot the ball.
One of my dad's friends asked me who my favorite player was and I said "#5... Paxson" and my dad looked at me like what was I doing liking anybody other than MJ lol. I'll never forget that.
For me it may be through basketball guys appearing on Leno, with Rik Smits and Micheal Jordan also playing a big part in that.
Plus our nations only daily sportsshow on Sundays had highlights of a game.
@Adum: Why the Dutch lion?
Jay Z said it best....
"And with the third pick, I made the earth sick. MJ, hem Jay, fade away...perfect."
I moved to the States when I was 7 from Nigeria and didn't even know what basketball was, but knew the name Michael Jordan. He started it all for me. Then when Allen Iverson cross him that first time I was absolutely hooked. I was still learning the game at that point, and seeing anyone get MJ was unthinkable to me.
I was 8 when Iverson came in the league, and the way he just took it by storm from day one, I remember thinking he was like some new breed of basketball player lol. From 98 on he was always my guy.
I am old enough, i watched him battle Magic, that was truly epic, a feeling that i havent felt again.
I used to HATE Kobe Bryant. Loathe him. The peak of this fiery hatred was the decisive game 6 where the Celts blew the Lakers out 131 to 92 and all I could do is sit back and laugh as Ray Allen (I don't even like the Celtics, not by a longshot) just sat back and played sniper the whole game... embarrassing LA from outside and ended up hitting seven of nine, and bagging 26 points. With Bill Russell courtside, in the most heated and historic rivalry in the game all I could do is laugh at Kobe Bryant's misery.
When he turned it around, and I saw more and more interviews and articles about the Lakers and their mettle, and whether they had what it took; I kind of gained respect for Kobe. He's never been one to mix his words, but you could tell he was pretty pissed off. He knew what he had to do. He went out and did his thing and beat Orlando for the Lakers 15th title after having a pretty good season. And the next following, despite all the injuries he had (I respect a guy in any sport who [if he does it within his limits without shortening/endangering his career] plays through injuries/pain) they went out and repeated.
That's what it's all about... the scrappiness and hustle and the pride and respect that is the game. I love basketball. Best game out there by far. Me going from hating Kobe to respecting the hell out of him is what really did it for me. I've always been a big fan, but now basketball is definitely one of my bigger passions. Kobe Bryant made me love the league.