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With little left to root for, I've found myself rooting against everyone. Well, almost.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Wade EvansonIt's true: I'm a "hater."

The Trail Blazers made an early exit, but sure, I'm still watching the NBA playoffs. But even with Portland out of the running, the playoffs have been an emotional roller coaster for this basketball fan.

With no one truly left to root for, I'm left only to root against the players and teams I can't get far enough from the NBA's Larry O'Brien Trophy. So, I suppose that makes me a hater.

Terrible? Probably. After all, what good comes from wishing bad on others?In fact, I'm sure your mother — like mine — taught me better when it came to saying nothing if not for something nice.

But it's not like I'm projecting injury or, God forbid, worse on the players and teams I figuratively burn in effigy. I'm simply wishing them nothing but the worst when it comes to their performance and their team's outcome in the interests of my petty disdain.

You might think that sounds ridiculous, but allow me to let you in on the secret: It's working.

The Los Angeles Lakers? Gone in the first round.

Lakers star Anthony Davis? Non-factor due to a lame hamstring.

Global superstar LeBron James? Salsa dancing on TikTok and promoting "Space Jam 2" opposed to further closing the gap on basketball's GOAT, Michael Jordan.

Star-studded Brooklyn Nets? Just exited "stage left" in a stunning Game 7, second-round loss to Milwaukee after two-thirds of their three-headed superstar monster were lost or compromised due to injury in the past two weeks.

And Utah's Rudy Gobert — you know, the guy who ended sports more than a year ago when he tested positive for COVID-19 after jokingly and purposefully wiping his spittle allover a press conference table and microphone, in an effort to make light of the virus that severely altered the lives of countless people across the globe? Curled up in the fetal position on the banks of the Great Salt Lake in the wake of his top-seeded Utah Jazz being eliminated by a broken Los Angeles Clippers team playing without their best player, Kawhi Leonard.

Now, however, with the knowledge of the power my negativity undoubtedly wields, I'm left with deciding just how to responsibly wield that power in the disinterests of the objects of my aversion.

Do I take aim at the aforementioned Clippers? After all, much like the Lakers and Nets before them, the prime cut of their roster manipulated their way to Los Angeles in an effort to poach a title.

What about their Western Conference Finals opponent, the Phoenix Suns? After all, lost in the present day lovefest that are the circumstances surrounding veteran Chris Paul's quest for a Finals appearance, let alone a title, is the fact that Paul has popularly been known as one of the biggest whiners in the game.

Or Milwaukee? Well, they have little to hate. After all, they're in a small market, like us; are led by a superstar player who chose to stay in said small market despite the noise around him suggesting differently, like us; and have little to no one rooting for them outside of their home state, also like us.

We may have a winner. Or, in this case, one team even I can't get behind hating.

Pettiness is in fact, petty. I don't claim otherwise, nor am I proud of my behavior. But like any good loser, it's important to do so badly. So, on that note, go Bucks. You may not be the best, but you're not the worst — and that makes you a winner in my world.


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