When I was a kid, I believed in imaginary things. I would talk about them with a vigor and reality that you would think that they were as real as air we breathe or Herman Cain’s ridiculousness. It was fun though, and somehow to me it made valid sense that Stone Cold Steve Austin could punch The Rock in the face 15 times in a row, and Dwayne’s nose did burst into a pizza sauce style platter. It made sense that the winner of Batman fighting Superman had more relevance than the Easter Bunny arm wrestling the Tooth Fairy. These things were real to me, so they really mattered.
Somewhere along the line, the NBA jumped the fence into this zone. And actually it happened in late spring when they decided to not play basketball until business became “fair” (fair remaining the most ridiculous word ever created, right before “equal”). I’ve been down this path with David Stern and his guys before. Back in ’99, when I was transitioning out of my imaginary stage still, I was a HUGE NBA fan. I sat on the edge of my seat and waited out every detail of the Lockout and rejoiced when it was worked out. I was thankful for that horrible little piece of a season they tossed us, and hoped it would never happen again.
Well, again happened, and I’m not up for playing the fool two times in a row. But this presents a huge dilemma for my inner sports fan: because the NBA has the most interesting subplots of any league. It’s easy to compare, fun to talk about (even if morbidly repetitive) and fills in the weeks between football Sundays masterfully. Eventually, it’s going to really suck not having it to both debate, complain about and be in awe at.
However, I’m grown now. I don’t believe in imaginary things, and right now the actual NBA, and any topics around it’s play, is just that: a figment of our very vivid and starved imaginations. BUT if I was going to talk about the NBA around this part of the year, this MAY be what I would be talking around…
1. Will the Lakers get right? Like the Yankees and Patriots, you feel like they can do it any year they take the court. Kobe is still there, he’s mad and he’s more well rested than he’s been in like the last half decade. Time for that late career push, time to go for Mike’s numbers, time to cement that legacy for good baby!!!
No, wait, it isn’t. Because the best player the game has since the Jumpman took off his kicks and put on his zoot suit pants isn’t playing in LA, rather he’s watching soccer in Beverly Hills and deciding if he wants to go hoop in Borat’s homeland. So I can’t talk about any of that other stuff, so I won’t.
2. How long will Dwight Howard be in Florida? Hell, when will his time start in Florida again?
3. Do the Mavs have that in them over a whole season? They’re the champs, but come on now, they just got hot at the wrong time. If Dirk played like that over the whole year, he’d be the best player in the game, and we all know that isn’t true…not at this point in his career. But, hey they are the champs, and they beat Kobe, Durant and Wade/Bron to do it, so let’s see if they do it again.
And wait we shall, because….
4. Who’s better at the point? Best debate in the league: who’s the best at the point? Well, I dig D. Will, cause what doesn’t he do? But Rondo hands the rock around like nobody else and plays the best D. But nobody since Stockton has got the ball around like CP3, and he almost took the Lakers out last year. Russ Westbrook can’t be guarded, and once he picks his shot better…man! But hold up though, you gotta miss me with all of that because D. Rose had the best record in the League AND won MVP, he gotta be that guy.
Well….guess what? We’re all right and we’re all wrong right now.
5. Is Kyrie the answer? The Cavs where flat out terrible last year, but yo, they landed two picks in the top 5 of the Draft. They GOTTA be at least fun to watch now, right? I’ll get back to you on that.
6. Why doesn’t St. Louis have a squad? I mean I’m only explaining this because I live here and a whole lot of folks don’t get why that isn’t happening until either a) either the Rams or Blues are gone and/or b) ever rolls around on the calendar. But since cities that have them already aren’t even watching their squads, I’ll chill on that too.
7. Will Melo and Amare over a whole year be a problem? I would talk about how the Knicks are putting up numbers and giving up a ton of em on the other end. I mean, with Melo and Amare, somebody’s getting cooked and they gotta be one piece away from rocking with the Heat and Bulls right? Well, actually no. No they aren’t.
8. Did you see Blake Griffin last night? Nawl, I didn’t see Blake dunk the entire Staples Center last night, including the championship banners that don’t belong to the Clippers at the roof. Nope, I missed all of that. Shoot me the You Tube link if you come across it though.
9. Who’s going #1? It’s going to be an amazing college basketball season, but why would I talk about if Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Percy Jones or Austin Rivers is going #1. Why would they go anywhere? So they can chill and play rec games and flag football? Nope. I’m just gonna let them live on their college games like they have four whole years to do it.
10. The Heat: No matter how annoying it gets or how many good points you I’d see, I won’t be able to talk about LeBron being the best player in any game he’s in until (insert your own choke line here). Or why comparing him to Kobe (or anybody else) is (insert another line of choice here) as well. I can’t talk about what would happen if the Heat and Lakers finally played a game that mattered. I can’t see them take on the Dallas again and try to pick their faces up off the ground. Nor is there any point in the constant “What if’s” about who should be doing what, who’s squad it is or if Chris Bosh even has a pulse.
Nope. I can’t talk about any of that. So I won’t until a gym is actually unlocked and/or a check is cut. Peace.
Follow me on Twitter as continue to rebel against any and all things imaginary at @CheapSeatFan.