The Non-Haters' Guide to the NBA Finals

June, 12, 2012
6/12/12
2:03
PM ET
Kevin DurantLayne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Durant stopping to hug his dear mother may be the greatest thing about sports in 2012!
Basketball fans are excited for a Miami Heat-Oklahoma City Thunder matchup in the NBA Finals. But the excitement is mixed with a lot of negativity.

The entire NBA playoffs have been marked by accusations of choking, cheating and conspiracies. It’s tiring.

So as these 2012 NBA Finals get under way, let’s take a moment to cleanse the palate from all the Haterade and instead be positive about everyone and everything with this Non-Haters' Guide to the NBA Finals.

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LeBron James says he is going to learn from his past mistakes in the Finals and give his all. “Whatever the results, I’m going to be satisfied with that.” Isn’t that all we can ask from someone in life? To simply try to always better themselves and those around them? LeBron is an example to us all on how to live the right way.

Erik Spoelstra may not be the best coach in the NBA. And that’s OK. His first head-coaching job in the NBA was one with great pressure. The fact he has been the coach of a team that has reached back-to-back NBA Finals is an accomplishment of which he can be proud. The results aren’t always there, but the effort is. It’s a joy and a privilege to watch him learn his craft on the job.

Chris Bosh looks very awkward, even funny, to many. But every human life is a miracle. It’s the differences in all of us that make life interesting. Without “weird” movements and facial expressions, everyone would look the same. Who wants that? Come on, you guys! Let’s celebrate Chris Bosh, not mock him.

My vote for the greatest thing in sports in 2012 is the hugging between Kevin Durant and his mother. The only way to make it better is if NBA games were stopped after each basket so the scoring player could hug his mom. Let’s make it happen! Games would take a long time to finish, but family bonds would be made stronger. Plus, who would complain about longer basketball games anyway? Basketball is awesome! The longer the better!

Kendrick Perkins' surly exterior is likely just a fašade to mask the joy that consumes him at all times. He doesn’t need to turn that frown upside-down. We need to turn ourselves upside-down to see him smiling at us!

Great job by Eddy Curry losing all that weight. It was just step one on a great return. Before we know it, he might be a contributing member of an NBA team!

NBA officials don’t get every call right. So what? No one is perfect. But if there is some vast, NBA conspiracy, it’s this: a conspiracy to make games interesting for us, the fans, and give us something to talk about during our non-basketball-watching hours! Thank you, officials!

Mike Miller’s body is a work of art. Some of the greatest art ever was deemed ugly (or maybe even smelly or unhygienic-looking) in its day. Today the greatness of that art is recognized. The very same thing could happen to Mike Miller. Don’t wait to appreciate the canvas that is him.

Each shot that Serge Ibaka blocks is a double positive. He prevents his opponent from scoring, while at the same time teaching them that they’ll have to shoot the ball higher next time if they wish to score. Let’s put Serge in charge of the American education system!

[+] EnlargeWade/James
AP Photo/Wilfredo LeeIt's really neat that superstar players have the opportunity to show off their sartorial splendor.
Dwyane Wade and other NBA players often put on lens-less glasses, wear scarves around their wrists or carry tiny purses. So what? They are young and wealthy and trying to create an identity for themselves off the court. Don’t hate them because they want you to see them in a different light. No one wants to be defined simply by their profession. These basketball players aren’t just jocks who wear gym shorts all day and run and jump for your entertainment. They are complex individuals. The prescription lenses they aren’t using are for us to hold up and see that truth.

Juwan Howard has forgotten more about basketball than most people will ever know. Hooray for our elders!

People say James Harden flops all over the court. He’s simply playing the game within the rules as they are currently written. To not play within the rules would be cheating, no? Thank you, James Harden, for not cheating. Your ethics are greater than your beard could ever be.

Many residents of Seattle still root against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Why? Oklahoma City has proven to be a great city for NBA basketball and the Thunder fans are wildly supportive. Not to say Seattle isn’t a great city, too! It is! With a great, marine climate! One day they’ll get another NBA team and have a great team of their own. In a perfect world, every city, town and village across this blessed country would have an NBA team! Everywhere is great in its own way.

Even Cleveland! Cleveland has Lake Erie, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a winning baseball team in a great stadium. What more could they want? They don’t need to let the negativity of rooting against LeBron James spoil the 100 percent positive vibe that is Cleveland!

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See? Didn’t all that NBA-related positivity feel good?

Now your system is all cleaned out and ready to hate with greater intensity than ever. You’re welcome, friend!

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