Choke artists

I’ll be on the road tomorrow, but I’m hoping to catch Game 7 of the NBA playoff series between the Sacramento Kings and the Minnesota Timberwolves. This prolonged matchup is the type of riveting encounter that makes the NBA so special these days. I must admit, however, that I often find it difficult to pick a team to root for, since most of NBA squads have at least one high-profile player that I can’t stomach.
Minnesota and Sacramento have two of the worst as far as I’m concerned — Latrell Sprewell and Chris Webber (it figures that the two were pals when they were starting their careers at Golden State). Sprewell, of course, is the hombre who once choked his coach for the sin of urging him to pass the ball with more gusto during a practice. Webber (who perjured himself during an investigation of wrongdoing in connection with his college basketball team) was such a jerk when he played here in Washington — drug issues, wild parties the night before big games, and world class arrogance — that he essentially forced the team to trade him for a fraction of his value. Although Wizards fans realized that the trade was a disaster from a player personnel standpoint, most of us were just happy to see him leave. Webber seems to have matured in California, but misfortune has plagued him and his team in the post-season. I’d like to think it was the curse I put on him when he left Washington, but considering his famous time-out during the NCAA championship game in 1993 (the one his team didn’t have), it may be that he has been cursed all along.
So who to root for tomorrow? For me, it’s an easy call. Sprewell just choked a coach. Webber choked my team.

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