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I Once Broke Up With A Girlfriend Over An NBA Live Game

It was February 2006 and I was living in the Estabrook residential tower at beautiful Hofstra University on Long Island in New York. I was in my first relationship and had been seeing this girl for 3-4 months at the time. Things were good and it was a big few weeks for us with my birthday and Valentine's day coming up.

My buddy, who was actually my RA, Ronnie, lived a few doors down. He had the old NBA Live so we would play that competitively pretty often. I don't know what it is about playing sports video games with my friends, but that is when I'm at my absolute most competitive. I one hour session would often result in some of the biggest pit stains you've ever seen.

Ronnie was a fantastic NHL video game player, decent at Madden, but not great at NBA Live, a game I was very good at it. As friends and competitors, we would even things out. In NHL, I would get a 1.5 goal spread most times. In NBA Live, I would use the worst team in the game, the Utah Jazz. They were horrendous. The worst team by a mile. I think they were a 63 overall or something putrid like that. The starting lineup was:

PG Carlos Arroyo

SG Raja Bell

SF Andrei Kirilenko

PF Carlos Boozer

C Mehmet Okur (before he was really good)

Bench: Matt Harpring, Howard Eisley, Jarron Collins 

I would let Ronnie play with the West All-Stars. They were a 99 overall. Their starting lineup was chock full of future first ballot Hall of Famers:

PG: Tracy McGrady

SG: Kobe Bryant

SF: Kevin Garnett

PF: Tim Duncan

C: Yao Ming

the bench included the likes of: Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki, Amar'e Stoudemire, Steve Nash, and more. 

We had played this matchup about a dozen times and I had never really been close. But that day was different for a few reasons. I was feeling good. It was my 20th birthday. We were DEEP into a video game session and my pits were drenched. I had made the switch to bring Carlos Arroyo off the bench and moved Kirilenko to the 1. With a mix of screens and quick passing I was able to bring the ball up effectively against a brutal full court press. Moving Matt Harpring into the starting lineup gave me just enough shooting to survive. I was on fire that game. Okur was money from deep and AK47 did enough on the defensive end to keep us competitive. Harpring was a revelation and hit 3 after 3 for me. I was up around 8 or 10 points with just over 3 minutes left when we got a knock on the door. It was my girlfriend. She wanted to surprise me with a cake she had just baked for my birthday.

Again, we had been dating for 3-4 months, so she didn't know everything about me. She had never really interrupted a video game session before, especially as one as heated as this. I am typically a very cool, calm, and collected person, but when someone is interrupting a key game that I'm trying to burn clock and survive the final three minutes of, I imagine I can come off rather abrasive. I explained the situation last week on Picks Central.

Am I an asshole for that? I can certainly be seen as one and won't argue that. But am I also a legend? Definitely as I completed the greatest victory in Basketball (real or virtual) history by defeating the best team ever assembled with a roster you'd think is tanking. The Utah Jazz played the scrappiest game you've ever seen and went toe-to-toe with Goliath and won in a game I will never forget. I regret nothing.