40 Nights Of Hate: Watching Basketball Without Your Friends

(Editor's Note: Today's article kicks off our 2017 NBA Playoffs basketball coverage called 40 Nights of Hate, as the next two months of our lives will be devoted to the greatest postseason basketball tournament known to mankind. Some of our arguments will be rational, many others will be irrational. To hate is to love, as the basketball gods toy with our lives like James Harden does oafish 7-footers on switched pick-and-rolls. Enjoy our 40 Nights of Hate coverage, or despise it. Either is acceptable.)

It’s 4:26 p.m. on a Saturday and my phone buzzes twice in my pocket. It’s Davion and he has a question.

“Why the fuck does Teague keep getting matched up on LeBron on so many switches?” It’s a fair question, and regardless of the answer, Davion wants Nate McMillian fired.

Dhevin chimes in to let us know Thaddeus Young is playing well every time he’s matched up on LeBron James and that Paul George is surgical.

Davion tells a Thaddeus Young inside joke, because yeah, we have Thaddeus Young inside jokes.

There’s a back and forth about whether Lance Stephenson should be shooting in crunch time, before Dhevin hypes up JR Smith for no other reason than to hype up JR Smith.

Davion shares why he hates Mike Conley, Dhevin hypes up Allen Iverson and I try to understand the petty.

We’re watching playoff basketball on a Saturday afternoon and I’m in Texas, Dhevin is in Arizona and Davion is in California.

The jokes are pouring into my 4.7-inch screen, but I can’t hear them, I can’t see the faces, I don’t feel the tone. We’re connected, but so far apart.

I always knew being an adult would suck because I was one of those loser kids who listened when adults spoke, and when enough of them tell you to being a grown up isn’t fun, you kind of just get it when you’re me. I expected working to be trash and relationships to be a challenge, but they never told me about texting your best friends several states away because life happens.

This isn’t to say that life is terrible by any means, but I just miss watching basketball with my boys. I miss being called ugly to my face and the way sarcasm feels when you say something stupid.

The distance is tangible, but doesn’t feel as heavy when we talk about basketball. We picked things back up on Sunday, and will continue to do so as the postseason continues to roll along.

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