I know, I know. Who wants to hear about the freaking NBA, right?
I do, for one. And though I may be just one of about 17 people left who care (count Herald sportswriter Randy Quis and myself, and that makes up a whopping 11.7 percent of the nation’s NBA fans right here in Sanford), I love the NBA. And this season, more than any other in recent memory, has the potential to be that much more enthralling.
Granted, the regular season is tedious and too often games are decided by the two teams only playing hard for the last half of the final quarter. But the storylines, nonetheless, are terrific.
1). The ongoing saga of the will they/or won’t they trade Kobe Bryant.
2). The continued emergence of Kevin Durant, the most anticipated rookie to enter the league since LeBron. They’re letting him shoot it in Seattle, and I’m betting he goes for 50 at least once this year.
3). Speaking King James, any game he’s involved has a chance to be special. (Remember the 48-pointer in Game 5 against Detroit, the one where he scored the last 25 points to carry Cleveland? Yeah. Let’s just say he brings me back to the tube when the Cavaliers are on. Now, if he starts coasting through the regular season like he did last year, I’m gonna get angry. But he delivered in the playoffs.)
4). Give me any late-night game involving the Spurs, who play brilliant basketball, as fundamentally sound as the 1980s Celtics’ teams, and the Suns, who are the closest things any of us have to Magic’s Showtime Lakers. Toss in the Mavericks and their waves of offensive talent and the Warriors when they’re hitting on all cylinders. Now that is fun hoops. (The Pistons and Heat need not apply.)
5). As much of a black eye as it is on the entire league, it will still be interesting to watch how games are officiated this season following the Tim Donaghy debacle. Things are bad now, but this could lead to better officiating over the long run, and that’s a good thing.
6). The Big Three in Boston. No player is more intense and plays as hard as Kevin Garnett, and it’s always a good thing to see Paul Pierce’s radiant smile when things are going well in Beantown. Like the Cowboys in the NFL, Duke in college hoops and the Yankees in baseball, the NBA is just a little more interesting when the Celtics are good.
7). The NBA on TNT. If you don’t get home from work after midnight like some of us do, then you probably are missing out on the best sports studio show in the land. Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley are great preceding games, but at 1:30 a.m. after a thriller from the West coast, they’re off the charts.
8). Rooting against Isiah Thomas and the Knicks. Maybe this is just something I do. But I live for it. Sometimes it’s just as much fun rooting against teams as it is rooting for them.
Surely there are more, and I may think of some later. If I do, I’ll add a few more. As always, feel free to help me out here.