For The Love Of Basketball And Why This NBA Season MattersBasketball, J. Tinsley — By J. Tinsley on October 29, 2013 at 9:53 am
With the return of a new NBA season, love is in the air. Even if said love brings its fair share of frustrations, heartaches and hurdles. The love of basketball is just like any other abnormal relationship. Because as we all know, a “normal relationship” is the greatest oxymoron ever written.
I’ve spoken on them before, but the names of this older couple evade me. And perhaps such is the way life intended for it to be. The couple, whom I met at a wedding over a year ago, reminded me of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. They had been married for decades, became parents and later grandparents. The natural order of things in life, I guess. We began speaking at the reception long after the speeches had been delivered and food served. Couples married for 50+ years are rare, and it’s the reason why I love picking their brains. How do you make something work that’s been alive as long as yourself? How do you not go crazy waking up to the same face? What if the other person asks for your last sip of juice? Most importantly, what the hell is love?
What I took to heart most from Ossie and Ruby was this: Love will piss you off. Love will make a person contemplate the limits of his or her sanity. But love remains the most unique gift attainable because, in its most honest form, love never relinquishes an opportunity to teach you a lesson about yourself.
Basketball season tips off today. A week ago, a buddy of mine asked what story line I was anticipating the most. The answer was simple — all of them. Every single last one.
I’ll enjoy watching a league that is as talented across the board with superstars, all-stars and players who are fun to watch as it’s been in any time of the past 20 years. We’re in a talent boom. The worst thing we, as fans, can do is not appreciate what’s in front our eyes in order to continue to praise the legends of yesteryear. It’s actually possible to do both. The generational beef between basketball fans — the ones with no regard for the rich history of the game and the ones who go out of their way to blast any and everything associated with today’s product — has to stop. Nothing gets accomplished. It’s the basketball debate equivalent of a government shutdown.
I’ll enjoy watching Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and the Pelicans because they’re still in the “young, fun and still trying to learn their way around” phase. In other words, they’re the NBA version of a college freshman.
I’ll enjoy watching a full season of a revamped Golden State Warriors squad. The shooting garners all the press (as it should), but it’s their fast-break offense that could literally morph Oracle Arena into the Roman Coliseum. Steph Curry leading the break with Klay Thompson on one wing and Andre Iguodala on the other preparing for some sort of aerial theatric that would’ve given him a dunk contest crown in 2006, and David Lee trailing … that’s nuts. I’ll also enjoy watching Curry earn his first All-Star berth, which should really be his second.
Believe it or not, I’ll enjoy watch teams tank for multiple reasons. One, because placing bets when teams actually decide to mail it in is yet another meaningless topic to wager money on. Two, hearing uncomfortable interviews with coaches and executives as they try to convince us all they’re not tanking is bound to produce a laugh or 12. Plus, it’ll be like hearing someone try to sound convincing that they aren’t sleeping with someone when everyone knows they are. And three, because of the innovative promotional packages teams like the Sixers, Magic and Suns come up with to draw people in to their respective arenas. When the highlight of a team’s season may not actually take place during the season, we’re bound for fireworks. All the wrong fireworks. I’m here for that.
I’ll enjoy watching the Pistons because I’ve got to see a Brandon Jennings/Josh Smith combination work with my own two eyes to halfway believe it.
I’ll enjoy watching the first relevant season in Cleveland basketball in four years. There’s a sense of excitement around the team this year with one of the more young and promising rosters in the league. No one on the planet knows what to expect from Andrew Bynum, not even Andrew Bynum. But there’s always Kyrie Irving. That alone is enough to play the “Kyrie Crossover Drinking Game” with.
I’ll enjoy watching the Knicks despite being anything but a Knicks fan. Carmelo’s going to be asked the free-agency question roughly 10,569 times this season. Plus, #KnicksFansTwitter is the single greatest basketball Twitter known to man because of the contrasting styles and personalities. Also, if there isn’t at least a YouTube vlog series of J.R. and Chris Smith this year, this Knicks season is a total waste of time, regardless if hell freezes over and they win a championship.
I’ll enjoy watching DeMarcus Cousins come into his own this year. He’ll average 20-10 on a Kings team that is loaded with sneaky talent, including Ben McLemore, who’ll challenge for Rookie of the Year. Why I’m so enamored with the Kings, who won’t make the playoffs in 2013-2014, the same way I am with eating cereal at night, I’ll never know. But the best-case scenario is Boogie Cousins makes the All-Star team this year, begins to convince fans everywhere he is the best big man in basketball and sheds the “loose cannon” image that has become associated with him. Then he becomes the fifth member of Uncle Drew’s team going by the character “Bosco.”
I’ll enjoy watching Gordon Hayward swiftly rise up the White Guy Power Rankings currently dominated by Kevin Love and Chandler Parsons. He’s going to make a half-court shot to win a game this year to make things right in the universe. Book it.