These were some of my favorite moments from this season, my first with lockerroom access.
As the Oklahoma City Thunder exit the main stage of the playoffs and go on to a summer that I’m sure will be stuffed to the brim with Call of Duty and Capri-Sun, the young outfit from the Midwest likely takes the last shred of indie credibility that this tournament had left. Yes, for the hipster set, they can all now pack up their Odd Future digital releases and Kevin-Durant-backpacks and go home as the mainstream (groan at your own leisure) takes its typical spot in the NBA Finals. There will be those who will stick around long enough to see some Dwyane Wade Eurosteps and LeBron-run fastbreaks, but the status quo seems to have fully taken precedence this June.
For those who have no idea what I’m talking about when I use the words “indie cred” or “hipster appeal”, allow me to clarify my nonsense. Similar to an earlier discussion this year about “buzz teams” in the first round of the playoffs (when all was right because everything was wrong, and Chris Paul could be easily mistaken for God), the idea of an “indie” team runs along the same vague, arbitrary path, although while “buzz teams” generally need some respectable level of success (a winning record, a trip to the playoffs in the East), a team that appeals to the scenesters need only have some fascinating angle, such as a star with strange tattoos that thinks he’s Jewish or a collection of screw-ups assembled by a mad man. Oh yes, almost any team can have its own crowd of Tweeples and bizarre devotees… except the Houston Rockets.