The Bulls have had quite a heated rivalry with the Indiana Pacers through the years. It dates back to the battles between Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller in the 1990s.
So, like a lot of people from the Chicago area, I don't have a lot of love for the Pacers. However, with the Bulls eliminated early from the NBA playoffs this season, I've adopted Indiana as my rooting interest moving forward. I have two reasons for this:
1. The Pacers are currently playing the loathsome Miami Heat, a whining, crying, flopping bunch of prima donnas who represent everything that is wrong with professional sports.
2. The longer small-market Indiana lasts in the playoffs, the lower NBA commissioner David Stern's precious TV ratings get. I'm quite sure commissioner Stern is salivating over a possible Lakers vs. Heat matchup in the Finals. You know he wants that Kobe vs. LeBron storyline. I, for one, would like to see that all go to pieces. How about Indiana vs. Oklahoma City instead? I think that would be awesome.
I was hanging on every play down the stretch of the fourth quarter Tuesday night as the Pacers held off the Heat, 78-75, to even the best-of-seven series at 1-1. I couldn't help but think of my formal colleague Michael Lush, a diehard Pacers fan who must have been cursing Paul George's ineptitude at the free throw line as Indiana struggled to put Miami away.
But the Pacers did manage to hang on. To celebrate, let's have a little song: