By Stephen D. Riley, Special to AFRO
In 2007, “I Think I love My Wife,” a comedy starring comedian Chris Rock and my then-crush, Kerry Washington, hit theaters nationwide with good success. Rock played a family man in a relationship that had grown stale while his attention swayed heavily toward the dangerously attractive Washington, an old friend who was looking better than ever before. That summarizes my life right now as it pertains to my relationship with my beloved Washington Wizards and the dangerously attractive Philadelphia 76ers. I think I love my Wizards, but man, I’m really liking “the Process.”
From the Bullets to the Wizards, I’ve been down with the home team. But when Allen Iverson broke into the NBA, everybody had the 76ers as their second team no matter your favorite squad. Now, here the Sixers are again, back in my life with even more talent than before, drawing me into their games and making me smile every time I see them. Maybe it’s Ben Simmons, the 6-foot-10 Magic Johnson clone who flirts with triple-doubles on a nightly basis. Or maybe it’s Joel Embiid, the prototype new-age big man who can post, play on the perimeter and block shots. Or maybe it’s just the classic 76er blue and red jerseys that’s always been a good fashion choice. Whatever it is, I’m starting to question my love for the Wizards.
John Wall is nice, but Simmons has more potential. I’ve never been crazy about Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr.; I prefer a dominant big man on my basketball teams. I’ve gone as far as to check out train schedules from the Metro area into Philadelphia with hopes of catching a game. This isn’t my first time cheating on the Wizards/Bullets. Back in ’94 I fell hard for the Orlando Magic because Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal were impossible not to like. Maybe I’m just a sucker for oversized point guards and big men who can breakdance and run the floor.
Or, maybe I should just go back on home. In the movie, Rock came within a hair of taking things to the next level with Washington but he came to his senses and got home as quickly as possible to his wife and kids. I’m married to the Wizards for better or worst. There are times I can’t stand them and times I want to call off the whole thing. Other teams are better, younger and possess more potential. But, similar to how Rock felt in the movie, no matter how attractive that new shiny piece is, it just wouldn’t be the same if it’s not the one you’re married to.