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Can you enjoy another team's superstar in the playoffs?


Well, it only took one loss, but I am over Dwyane Wade, which I am pretty sure makes me a bad loser.

And I had a whole rant lined up ridiculous it was that he stared down Joe Johnson after hitting a three on a lucky freaking bank and how he guards the weakest defender on the Hawks and how superstars should demand the toughest defensive assignment. It was going to be great, mostly unfounded hate.

But the more I thought about it, the bigger the actual issue seemed to be. In today's NBA, is it possible to enjoy the play of a superstar wing when that player is playing against your team?

See I think Dwyane Wade is awesome. I have always enjoyed watching him play. During the Olympics, dude was a revelation. I had no ill will toward him going into this series. Just fear. And yet, two games in, and I have begun to loathe him.

A game here and a game there playing super stars allows fans to gear up, get excited, enjoy the show. The small annoyances do not really have time to settle in, but a seven game series makes these opposing players like family you cannot get rid of. And Dwyane Wade's act has already begun to wear thin.

That fourth foul on Joe Johnson last night was a dumb risk by Joe, but the flop by Dwyane Wade was just loserish. You got made fun of for that kind of stuff when I was eight. A few minutes later Dwyane was called for an offensive foul and played hurt for the next possession. The crowd cheered as he lay on the ground. I don't think maliciously as much as they just knew he was not injured. You did not even make fun of the kid that faked injuries back in my eight your old world. You just talked about him behind his back.

And it is not just Dwyane Wade. Watch Paul Pierce or Chris Paul. And you know what I blame? The hand checking rules. They have given birth to flops 35 feet from the basket. They have created whiners and people that are skillful at drawing fouls (and notice how I didn't say contact). Everything is a complaint because literally everything can be a foul, and if you are a superstar, you are just used to getting fouls called when you are fouled. And the whole thing just builds on itself to where you are faking injuries for a possession and falling down 80 feet from the basket. If you are the fan of the other team, it all just piles on top of the awesome so that you forget about respecting the skill and start asking, "What's to like about this guy again?"

I remember when the superstar call was Michael Jordan pushing off. Did that dude ever flop? The only reason he wanted to be fouled was so he could get that third point. It is why I have loved watching Derrick Rose in the playoffs (and granted the Hawks are not playing against him), but the man just goes at it. Sometimes the shot goes in and sometimes it doesn't, but he lets the skills speak, and it makes for great basketball. And it is not that you need to be shy, I actually think Kobe models the old style of play quite well.

Anyway, the argument sounds so sour grapes. In a way, it is. The Hawks do not have a superstar. The closest thing we guy we got only allows himself to speak three words a game. Plus, Dwyane Wade is a great basketball player. Let's work out a trade and get him on the Hawks. But if you are rooting against him, he angers you for more than the great shots he hits, and that is a shame. But what can you do, the NBA made him that way.