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Sunday, November 1, 2015

It's Here! NBA Season Is Back In Full Effect! #NBA #SportsAndStuff

It's Here! NBA Season Is Back In Full Effect! #NBA #SportsAndStuff

All pictures and logos courtesy of the NBA unless otherwise stated.

So, as you all may or may not know, while I enjoy reading, writing and watching a ton of TV and movies, I also enjoy the occasional sports competition where the finest young men and women come together for rousing games and displays of strength and dexterity known only to the gladiators before them. But I am rather particular about my sports, as in only sports that are included in the Olympics (sorry, Football). Listen, it's not that I don't like football, I just don't get into it as much as other faster-moving sports. Do I watch the super bowl? Doesn't everybody? Well, no, I only sometimes will watch the bowl but only if I have nothing pressing on my DVR.

My sport of choice, as you can tell by the title of this post, is basketball, even more specific the NBA. College ball I never got into. For one, I've always loathed college in the first place even when I attended. It always felt like a bit of a ruse on many levels and collegiate sports felt like the biggest con. But I digress. Suffice it to say that I also can't get into the fact that the best players leave after a year anyway.
No, the NBA is where it is at for me with the occasional look across to baseball once every six years or so. But I love the Olympics--summer and winter--and can't wait for the 2016 Rio games. There's something about those track girls that I can't seem to shake.

Ahh! How many tangents am I going to go on? Sorry about that, but now that you know my sports loving history... sort of, we can get down to what really matters right now, here, at this moment!

The NBA where, uh... stuff happens. Sorry, I don't know the motto/theme for this year. The where [insert stuff] happens theme was half a decade ago, wasn't it? With that said, what are you looking forward to seeing over the long haul of the next nine months. Wait, nine months? Is the NBA season really that dang long? End of October, November, December, January through June--goodness gracious! That's frickin' ridicurus! Whatever. I'm in it for the long haul. Here are some of my most anticipated stories for this year.

I'll put my most anticipated one last as who I want to win the championship is of the utmost importance and therefore deserves the "last but not least" literary drumroll. I will start with one of the stories that has plagued me for the last few days: Will Lebron's new mustache seek out world domination.

Bottom picture courtesy of Family Matters, an ABC studio production.

Forget about the fact that the new lip hair looks like it is a genius attempt to grow his own Groucho Marx Halloween costume disguise, or that he looks more and more like Carl Winslow every day, I have to commend him on his new fashion statement. Just the fact that he is bold and daring enough to come to work with yet another questionable, side-eye-inducing folicular choice after last year's "suddenly I'm not balding any more" headband-gate is praiseworthy in itself. I also think that if he continues to grow it out, it will soon take on a life of its own. Seeing how it is now Movember--an ode to not shaving for a good Cancer cause--I hope he doesn't shave it off. In fact, I hope he gets some of that expensive mustache wax and enters one of those woolly stache competitions they're always talking about on that show Whisker Wars (side note: If you're not hip to the stranger corners of reality TV, yeah, it's a show that actually exists; long live Beard Team USA!). Maybe 70s porn staches are the new way to go. If that be so, then so it be.

You are going to ignore the fact that I did not have a proper way to end that last paragraph and we are going to move on to a second most anticipated story: Will Derrick Rose aka Fragile Knees, Kevin Durant AKA Broken Foot, and Kobe Bryant AKA Black... and Blue maintain their health for a full season. I know that Kobe and Derrick have been oft-injured as of late but Durant has maintained much of his healthiness until last year. I should give him a break, right? Wrong! Though he doesn't play the position, he is technically a very big man coming in near to seven feet tall. And we all know just how troublesome lower body injuries can be when it comes to the tallest players in the game. I'm worried that his case could become something similar to Rose's where he looks good after returning from an injury only to re-injure himself in another crucial part of his body.

And as for Fragile Knees and Kobe, I feel bad for Limp Rose. The official season hadn't even started yet and he got hurt, busted in the face in an accident that would see him turn into the NBA's version of the Phantom of the Opera. Just because you have double vision shouldn't give you the right to miss twice as many shots, 8 for 19.

That goes triple for you, Kobe. Listen, this is not to stomp on your greatness, but take this year as a time to chill. Still play good basketball, try to wow the fans with a few "I still got it" moves and school the rookies in everything but breathing. We know that you know that we know that everybody knows that there's no way you're even going to sniff at a championship this season. Be the parade princess--erm, prince that you are, sit in that slow moving car wreck called the Lakers, and wave and smile at the flocks of fans come to see you play one last time. Do not drag this out for another year or two. It is not worth it.

My third most anticipated story of the year: Which lyrically un-talented baller will grab the mic this season. We all know that if there's anything that almost any professional athlete wants to be outside of their sport it would be a rock star or a rap star. We've seen it countless times, decade after decade. From Shaq and Kobe to Kevin Durant, every baller (football isn't immune to this) at some point pauses from dropping shots to dropping rhymes and it is quite often hilarious. While there are some who have actually made a decent track or two like Portland Trailblazers' Damian Lillard or Cleveland's Iman Shumpert, most players are not rappers.

No matter how hard they try, Paul Pierce is not going to miraculously stand up out of his wheelchair and turn from limp legs Jimmy into Drake. It doesn't happen!

Picture courtesy of Degrassi

Speaking of the Shea Buttery Don from the 6, my fourth most anticipated story of the year: How many times will we catch Drake grinning, laughing, chumming it up and being super-duper starstruck over every NBA player that comes to Toronto. For that matter, how often will we see Drake at a Raptors game? Seeing as how I don't know if Jack Nicholson still goes to Lakers games, there's always a pedantic "oh, there's Billy Crystal" reaction when watching Clippers games, and Spike Lee sadly hasn't been relevant since Inside Man (Old Boy does not count!), the teams are sorely lacking in celebrity mascots. And outside of the Clippers, I really only watch scrub teams' games to see what tortured soul of a famous person is also stuck watching the scrub team live. Yes, there's a caveat there for Toronto; they're decent. But until they can make it out of the first round, preferably not being swept, they still earn a spot on my crap list.

My fifth most anticipated story of the year: Who will be the winner for dumbest play of the season. Looking beyond the seven foot centers around the league that will mysteriously find themselves outside the three-point line and take the shot that they've never shot in their lives, who else will make the dumbest play of a lifetime? The one play that makes everyone go, "huh? Did this dude just did this?" If this could somehow be turned into a betting pool, my money would be on Javale McGee or Nick Young as seasons past have shown either of them to be a fountain of "what the hell-ishness?"

'My bad. I thought that was my knee.' "Um... right." 

My sixth most anticipated story: How will the NBA try to get us to care about the All-Star weekend dunk contest this year? Just the fact that most of the competitors don't even have a shoe deal is troublesome to me. Not to say that any of them are scrubs, but most of them the casual fan doesn't know, and the diehard fan just asks themselves why the hell this guy is dunking and not Blake Griffin or Lebron James. #WhoDatDunkin? Most of the dunks we've already seen before so what we usually come to see is the trash-talking coupled with the dunk. But how is that one guy that guarded Lebron that one night and only held him to 32 points after he let the man repeatedly break his ankles really going to gloat about his so-so dunk when we don't even know his damn name? Hell, we've had dudes that hadn't even dunked in a game before stepping up to claim the title of best dunker. Like, what? No! Get at least one really good player. Hell, convince Kobe to do it for old time sake.

Number seven: How many ridiculous three point shots will Steph Curry make this season. Scratch that, how many ridiculous shots will we see period. With Steph Curry starring in his own version of Angels in the Back Court with seemingly every shot he throws into the air going in, I'm more shocked when he doesn't make an insane shot. Dropping 40 on opening night is just an embarrassment of riches. But then following it up against the same team last night with 53 leaves me speechless. Hopefully a match-up between the Warriors and the Thunder will render ridiculous shots from KD, Steph, Klay and Westbrook because I need to have my mind blown at least twice every year.

Number eight: What player will end up wearing some "what are those" or another questionable fashion choice? Who will have the most clown-worthy outfit in a post-game presser that will blow up the internet? This is not taking into account the misguided new uniforms for teams--I'm looking at you Atlanta--but the off-court clothing that the players actually chose to wear themselves... like, nobody made them wear it. They actually chose to have people see them wearing it... in public. For some strange reason, I keep having this vision of a wooden shirt.

With Michael Conley having rocked the wood-brimmed hat and wooden bow tie, a shirt can't be too far behind. Backpacks; glasses with no lenses; tight pink, red, purple, fuchsia, indigo or other ridiculous-colored pants and/or leather shirts--all of that should be in the past now. Outside of Iman Shumpert still trying to do his best rendition of Kid and Play, I hope to see some real fashion and not some stuff the players are trying to pawn off as high-end when they know they bought half of their outfit at Kids-R-Us. And for goodness sake, Dwyane Wade, wear some dang socks with your shoes.

Most anticipated number nine: Which player and/or coach and/or team owner will get into the most off-court shenanigans. With Matt Barnes beating some gray into Derek Fisher's beard before the season began, Iman Shumpert and Kyrie Irving impregnating fine but really young women, and no baller checking for Rihanna for pretty much the first time since she broke up with Chris Brown, who will have the most distracting sideline story for their team. Could it be Ty Lawson's inability to not drive while under the influence? Will Mark Cuban finally bitch-slap somebody because, you know... he's Mark Cuban? And will Steve Ballmer finally get on Dancing with the Stars? Only time will tell.

And finally, who will win it all? What team will take home the ultimate trophy that is the NBA championship? What Cinderella will finally get her crown? What city and fan base will have the bragging rights of playing Queen's "We Are The Champions" from summer 2016 until summer 2017? For those who may not know, my hope is in the Cleveland Cavaliers. We went to the finals last year and almost got the crown even with two of our three best players out. Given even more time to gel this year and a bolstered bench with the additions of Richard Jefferson and Mo Williams (they don't have to do a lot, just maintain the score), and with Varejao back from injury, I think we have a favored shot at the trophy.

What do you think? What is your most anticipated story line for this season? Which team are you rooting for? Whose health is the most important to you? Are you looking forward to any hilarity the season might bring? Are you a balding man like me who still wants to know what the hell Lebron did to his hair to get it back? Let me know in the comments below (hint: click the no comments button if you see no comments).

Check out my new comedy novel Yep, I'm Totally Stalking My Ex-Boyfriend. #AhStalking
If you’re looking for Halloween scares check #AFuriousWind, #DARKER, #BrandNewHome or  #ThePowerOfTen. For those interested in something a little more dramatic, check out #TheWriter. The full first season is OUT NOW exclusively on Amazon. Join us on Goodreads to talk about books and TV, and subscribe to and follow my blog with that Google+ button to the right side.

Until next time, “we're playing bas-ket-balllll! We're playing bas-ket-ballll."

P.S. Yes, those are lyrics from Kurtis Blow's classic rap song "Basketball." I'm sure you've heard it before in your life but have you seen the video? Not to be racist, but that was a lotta white people for a 1980s rap video about the blackest sport of the time. 

P.P.S. Shout out to Lolo Jones for coming up with one of the best Halloween costumes. Yes, she is really hurt and will be losing the crutches in a few days. I see you senorita.

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