The NBA playoffs are starting Sunday morning here in Manila, and like a lot of other basketball fans
, I'm rooting for the Suns to win it all. There's just so many reasons to like this team, aside from the obvious fact that they're the best offensive team in the league. They play a style straight out of the '80s, they have a likeable bunch of players, they're very unselfish on the court, they hustle and play hard, and their 12th man has the coolest blog in all of sports
Also, their leader, Steve Nash, has been my favorite player in the NBA for the last five years, way before he emerged as the most unlikely MVP candidate in NBA history
this season. Before this season, I was rooting for him in Dallas, where he made a mark for himself as the engine of the Mavs' offense.
But even though he's a whirling dervish on the court which makes him really fun to watch, I became a fan because, well, he's cool.
He looks like a rock star
, and listens to Radiohead and Coldplay. He's was born in South Africa and grew up in Canada. He comes from a soccer-playing family, which was his first sport before basketball. He reads Marx and Dostoevsky during road trips. And a couple of years ago, he was the most prominent athlete to speak out against the war in Iraq, wearing a protest shirt
during the NBA All-Star Game. "I'm not embarrassed by America. I'm embarrassed by humanity. More than embarrassed, I think it's really unfortunate in the year 2003 that we're still using violence as a means of conflict resolution. That's what I'm speaking out against."
And he's a hell of a basketball player too. How could you not be a fan?