It probably shouldn't have taken a triple double for NZ Breakers star Cedric Jackson to finally win me over.
Everyone else fell for this guy long ago. His demeanour balances a combination of daring showman and quietly-spoken recluse that should make him instantly endearing to all, but the most cynical.
Sometimes those traits can sometimes be mistaken for something more sinister, like someone with their own hidden agenda.
Like padding their reputation for a tilt at bigger things, perhaps, so I guess I've been more guarded in my assessment of him.
But first, the triple double.
Most of those at the North Shore Events Centre last Friday would have been blithely unaware of the drama unfolding before them. The Breakers, reeling from a big defeat inv Perth the previously weekend, were dropping a sizable can of whoop-ass on the hapless Melbourne Tigers, whose biggest crime was simply being the next team in the path of the wounded rhinoceros.
Melbourne brought with them a formidable foe for Jackson to measure his NBA aspirations against - former Minnesota Timberwolves lottery pick Jonny Flynn, who had been highly touted before his selection, but hadn't quite measured up.
The 4000 NSEC faithful could see their guy running rings around the visitor, but they probably weren't aware of what kind of numbers Jackson was putting up. In the cheap seats on press row, we could see it all - the action unfolding on court, the live online stats and the historical data at our fingertips.
The "triple-double alert" went up at halftime.
Live updates on onenews.co.nz had already noted Jackson's 15 points/six rebounds/five assists and the prospect of a statistical milestone, but he had teased us like this before, only to drop a couple of rebounds or assists short.
For the un-initiated, a triple double is when a player records double-figure numbers in three stat categories, most commonly points, rebounds and assists. It's pretty rare in the Aussie NBL and even rarer in NZ.
As the result became more of a foregone conclusion, the only interest left was whether coach Andrej Lemanis would leave him out on court long enough to realise the dream.
Sure enough, with just under four minutes left and needing one more assist, Jackson and shooter Daryl Corletto were replaced by the Webster brothers - Corey and Tai - to a loud ovation.
But wait, courtside announcer Andrew Dewhurst had consulted with the stats crew and relayed the news to coaching staff. Or maybe the coaches had simply heard the lamenting cries from the press bench to leave Jackson on.
He was immediately re-inserted and within seconds, he found rookie Reuben Te Rangi cutting to the basket for the telling lay-up and assist.
As I say, it's become too hard for me to harbour my doubts.
I think I was discouraged by his fascination with the NBA and we've seen it happen here before - Americans come to NZ with their sights set on their next contract, putting up gaudy numbers (often to the detriment of their teams) and moving on.
Jackson has had a taste of the NBA through short-term deals with the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards. Over the NZ winter, he returned to summer leagues and never really got a chance to show his wares, before re-committing to the Breakers.
Let's be fair - he probably should have been named Aussie MVP last season and for his club not to even nominate the league leader in steals for the defensive award was somewhat insulting. That said, sometimes steals can be a sign of someone gambling a little too much within a defensive system and reaping individual glory, while leaving his team-mates exposed.
Perhaps moving Alex Pledger into the starting unit was an admission that Jackson needed the added security of a shot-blocking centre guarding the basket behind him if he was to carry on doing what he does best.
But when a player leads the league in assists - the epitome of unselfishness - two seasons in a row, that just becomes too hard to argue against.
For me, the most pleasing aspect of Jackson's triple double was his reaction to it. When asked how satisfying the performance was, his first comments were about his team executing the game plan to perfection and how much fun it was to play on the same wave length as his mates.
His next comments were about the realisation he couldn't make this encounter about himself and Flynn if the Breakers were to win.
And that was probably his biggest assist of the night.
Could Jackson make it in the NBA? Possibly.
But from a distance, that league doesn't seem like a very caring environment. Generally, players are treated like pawns and so their priority becomes looking after No 1.
It's filled with journeymen who could be stars if they were given the chance - just see how the Spurs benchwarmers almost beat defending champions Miami last week.
Similarly, world basketball is filled with players who could be very solid NBA performers if they were also given the right opportunity - and our own Kirk Penney is another pretty good example of that.
Jackson is a very good player and seems like a good person, who deserves to find an environment that will appreciate him and support him through his career, wherever it takes him and without him ever having to wonder what might have been.
Welcome to the Breakers, son.