Well, who in the heck do we want to win this year's NBA championship now?

Or, maybe the real question is, who do we least want to take the title this year?

In the Eastern Conference, it has come down to the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, who will begin their best-of-seven showdown today.

And how in the world are we gonna root for either one of those teams?

I mean, in Chicago, you've got the much-maligned Carlos Boozer, a former Jazzman who is a superb scorer and rebounder — when he's healthy and motivated, that is — but didn't deliver too much postseason success during his injury plagued six-year stint in Utah.

But now, thanks primarily to his MVP teammate Derrick Rose, Boozer and the Bulls — whose lineup also includes two other former Jazzmen and solid role players who we actually like and respect, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer — are on the verge of reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 1998, when Michael Jordan & Co. spoiled Utah's best-ever chance at an NBA championship.

And really, after all the frustration that Boozer put the Jazz and their fans through, how can we possibly pull for him to win a title now?

OK, come on now, get serious. Let's don't carry this whole forgiveness thing too far.

Standing in the Bulls' way are the Heat — or "Hate" as some resentful folks have referred to them over the last few months.

After all, superstar LeBron James, realizing he couldn't and probably wouldn't ever get it done in Cleveland, bolted last summer and famously took his talents to South Beach, where he joined forces with longtime Miami go-to man Dwyane Wade and fellow free agent Chris Bosh.

The trio of All-Star performers joined forces in a bid to build what they hoped would be an unbeatable superteam which, in James' bold, boastful words, would win "not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven ..." but perhaps even more championships in that disgusting pep rally they staged in Miami last year.

If you watched any of that disgraceful display, you certainly hoped that LeBron and "Miami Thrice" would fall flat on their collective faces this season.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

So now, after LeBron bailed on his hometown team and essentially admitted that he needed the help of another superstar like Wade to win a title — some columnists even went so far as to call James a coward — can we wish him the ultimate success now?

Nope, sorry, can't do it.

Which brings us to the Western Conference.

The Dallas Mavericks have never won a championship, and they've only been to the NBA Finals once before.

Their star forward, "Dirty" Dirk Nowitzki, might be following in the unfortunate footsteps of another former Jazzman, Karl Malone, as one of the game's all-time greats who never won a title.

Mavs' billionaire owner Mark Cuban, who the TV cameras love (even if none of us in Utah do), makes it sort tough to pull for Dallas.

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The other two remaining teams, Oklahoma City and Memphis, are a couple of up-and-coming franchises who've never won anything, either, although the Thunder did win an NBA championship way back when as the Seattle SuperSonics before relocating to OKC a few years back.

So it comes down to this — I'm pulling for the winner of the Oklahoma City-Memphis series to win the whole dang thing, even though I know they won't. And if they can't, then go ahead and let the Mavs claim their first-ever crown.

Because there's just no way I wanna see Boozer or LeBron pounding their chest, hoisting that title trophy or spraying champagne in a few weeks.

And if that glorious day never happens for either one of them, hey, that'd be even better.

email: rhollis@desnews.com