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The 2019 NBA Playoffs: Hopkins’ Loyalties

Teddy Glover ’21
As late May turns to early June, excitement fills the air: school begins to wind down, summer starts, and the NBA playoffs are underway once again.
As late May turns to early June, excitement fills the air: school begins to wind down, summer starts, and the NBA playoffs are underway once again. As the first two rounds are now completed, Hopkins students were sometimes forced to change their loyalties to accommodate the four remaining teams: the Portland Trail Blazers, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Toronto Raptors, and the Golden State Warriors.

Spencer Littman ’21 is a diehard Duke fan. In fact, he even picked the team he would be supporting the rest of the way based on his Blue Devil loyalties: “I’m supporting the [Portland Trail] Blazers because they have two Duke players on their roster whom I really like.” Other Hopkins students also selected their favorite of the remaining teams based on the players. Yahn Galinovsky said, “I support Steph Curry cause he’s just a flat out animal and–hot take–the best player in the NBA.” Evan Alfandre ’21 explained, “I’m rooting for the Milwaukee Bucks because I think Giannis Antetokounmpo is a great player and a great person.”

Hopkins’ geographic location has contributed considerably to anti-Bucks sentiment. Many who follow basketball in this area are Boston Celtics fans, so when the Bucks bounced the Celtics from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference semifinals, fans like Ayuka Sinanoglu ’19, who “was supporting the Celtics because they were [his] team” and Colin Gernhardt ’20, who was sad that the “Celtics are out,” just want to see the Bucks lose. Josh Seidner ’20 explained
this position clearly: “Unfortunately I was sup- porting the Boston Celtics, and they lost second round to the Bucks, so I’m not rooting for anyone anymore. If anything I’m anti-Bucks.”

Other fans chose to remain neutral, such as Fiona O’Brien ’21, who said “I don’t follow the playoffs but go New York Knicks,” and Ella Zuse ’21 who stated, “I am not supporting a specific team this NBA playoffs because the Mavericks are not playing, the outcome does not matter much to me.”

However, if Hopkins students can agree on one thing, it is the hope that the Warriors do not win the playoffs. Emma Maldon ’22 “[doesn’t] want the Warriors to win but I think they will anyway.” Alfandre agreed, saying “I want a change from the Warriors winning constantly.” However, Alfandre also acknowledged the sad truth that many other Hopkins students realize: “I think that the Warriors will win because they have too many stars on the team and they have experience in the finals.” Galinovsky added another hot take: “The Warriors are going to win because they are a dynasty and the best team since the ’96-’97 Bulls.
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