When I was 5 years old my dad took me to see Michael Jordan and the Bulls take on our hometown Toronto Raptors. It was the inaugural season of Raptors basketball and we shared a set of season’s tickets. This was big, my dad was taking me to see the greatest player in the world, in his prime, play in Toronto for the first time ever… I couldn’t have cared less. For me, sports games were about the food. Hotdogs, icecream bars, popcorn, everything. I can honestly say I don’t remember anything that happened in the game. I don’t even know if I looked up to watch Jordan or if I was too focused on my Ketchup and ice cream covered fingers. What I do remember vividly was the plastic souvenir cups that were being thrown into the crowd. It was a cheap plastic cup, with tacky branding on it. I wanted one. Let me rephrase that, I needed one. With cups on the line my dad came through. He caught not one, not two, but three cups! Three! Who knows what Jordan was doing, but my dad was coming up clutch with these cups. After that I was happy for a while, but lo and behold, I ran out of food and my attention started to dwindle.
It was late in the fourth and the game was tied. The upstart Raptors were going toe to toe with his Airness. Rookie sensation Damon Stoudemire and the rest of the squad were matching bucket for bucket with a team that finished a staggering 70-12, maybe the best team ever. The greatest regular season in league history with a championship to top it off. Everyone is glued to their seats… “Dad, I’m bored can we go home?” And we did. I might as well have never seen Jordan play because I’ve been told I did, and I know I was at the game, but I don’t remember any of it.
History has a funny way of repeating itself. This season I got some redemption through Steph Curry and the Warriors. I got to see the best player in the world right now and his team that is poised to break the record held by Jordan and the 96 Bulls. Just like all those years ago, the Raptors fell just short. This time around though, as a true die-hard fan I was at the edge of my seat, watching Kyle Lowry and Curry trade 40 point nights. It was a phenomenal game and at least this time I was old enough to appreciate it.