Losing takes its toll on fans. It makes you ask a lot of tough questions about your allegiances, your intelligence and your willingness to absorb pain for the slim hope that things will better at some point in the future.
Lee, Knicks fan extraordinaire and a man who used a Larry Bird jersey to signify all that was wrong with the world in "Do the Right Thing," is rooting for the Celtics. It's not because he's worked with Ray Allen in the past and it's not a deep love for Nate Robinson that's driving the train, either. Lee thinks that James will leave Cleveland if the Cavaliers lose to the Celtics in the playoffs, which means that he's swallowed deep and embraced the dark side.
"But listen, I'm not putting on any green and I'm not going to kiss the Blarney Stone or do the shamrock thing. I hate the Red Sox as much as I hate the Celtics and the ghost of Johnny Most and all those guys. This is the first and last time I root for Boston on anything, but for this one possible result it's worth it."
Interestingly enough, Cleveland fans appear to agree with him. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is running a poll asking readers if they think LeBron will leave and the current leader is that he'll bolt if the Cavs lose to the Celtics. When you combine that with those who think he's leaving under any circumstances, it's well over 50 percent which indicates that Cavs fans are feeling the kind of playoff pressure that used to be a rite of spring around these parts.
Wanting that feeling to return is nothing to be ashamed of and the bargain you're making calls to mind Andy Dufresne's prison escape in "The Shawshank Redemption." He was willing to crawl through five hundred yards of sewage because the temptation of freedom was so great. Compared to that, what's rooting for the Celtics for a couple of games?
Not too much, as long as you know that you're going to have an awfully hard time looking at yourself in the mirror if this doesn't wind up with James in the Garden.