My first basketball game was here in Portland when I was twelve years old. My dad and I watched the Washington Bullets and their three point shooting center Manute Bol get rolled by Clyde Drexler and the rest of the Blazers. We moved to Southern California shortly after that and I watched Magic, Kareem, Worthy, and Scott of the Lakers at the Great Western Forum and much to my dad’s disappointment became a Lakers fan. While in California my dad and I went to a couple more games together, mostly Clippers games because we weren’t crazy rich, and it has always been fun.
My dad and I could go to any NBA game and have a great time because we are two of the last twenty NBA fans left. I learned the game from watching basketball with my dad. Not just following the ball but seeing how guys got open, where the rotation came from on double teams or help defense, and who used smart playing to overcome athletic deficiencies. Almost all of the guys in our Fantasy Basketball league grew up playing basketball on our driveway court and getting schooled by my dad’s old school tricks.
Last night I got the chance to see a game again with my dad and this was the best of them all. The game was great but we had great seats behind the visitors bench, wrist bands that got us free food and beverages from the Club level buffet, and a parking pass for the good lot. We arrived an hour early, loaded our plates with rosemary mash potatoes and pot roast, and sat in our seats watching the guys that weren’t going to play get their workout in. Seeing what the Blazers want Luke Babbitt to work on is as interesting to us as seeing who will be guarding who. We watched the early games on the jumbotron, checked out the slowly arriving crowd, and talked about life. It was a really great time with my dad and scene I hope to recreated with my boys when they are older. I don’t know if they will love the game like my dad and I do but I hope so.