On October 27, 2015, I decided my hiatus as an NBA fan needed to end permanently. Although I once worshiped the air Michael Jordan glided through as a child, I never really developed ties to the team he played for, at least not once he left them. That was more a case of choosing an athlete as an idol, but in the years following Jordan and the Bulls, I did turn into a legitimate basketball fan who knew much about the players around the league and the strength of the teams that played in it. As the post-Jordan years passed, this became less and less true, and I’ve always wanted to change that. I wanted this season to be the season that made it happen. All I needed was a team.
After doing the equivalent of putting all 30 NBA teams into a hat and blindly plucking out the lucky franchise that would help me become a basketball fan again, I was baptized as a member of the Dallas Mavericks fan club. The transition was sure to be a long one filled with memorable experiences, and I decided the only thing left to do was blog about it.
As a newfound Mavericks nut, I had to go back and brush up on my history. The franchise dates back to just 1980, when it entered the NBA as an expansion team. Dallas wanted UCLA product Kiki Vandeweghe, a strapping 6-foot-8 physical specimen, to serve as the face of the franchise, but after taking him with the 11th pick in the 1980 draft, they learned he wanted no part of an expansion team. The organization had no choice but to trade him, and he would eventually go on to play 13 seasons with the Nuggets, Trail Blazers, Knicks, and Clippers, averaging nearly 20 points per contest in his career. He would also go on to be booed mercilessly by Mavericks fans whenever he had the audacity to show up at their home court in a visiting uniform.
Since I’m a Mavericks fan now, I figured I might as well continue the tradition. Booing Kiki was born.