LOCICERO: Great, the NBA is back

Michael LoCicero

So apparently the NBA season starts tonight. And wouldn’t you know it: it’s a doubleheader of Heat-Celtics and Mavericks-Lakers on TNT.

It was such a wonderful break not having to hear about where LeBron ate lunch or what puppy he rescued from a tree every day, but alas, sports fans, that’s where we are again.

From now until June, the only teams playing any games in the Association will be the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Knicks and Nets (until the latter’s shine of moving to Brooklyn wears off).

We’ll get to hear a detailed account of every second of D-Rose’s knee rehab, all the way down to what his personal trainer is eating for breakfast.

Don’t forget (and I’m not sure how you could seeing as it’s all ESPN has talked about the last week) that Steve Nash and Dwight Howard were traded to the Lakers in the offseason.

Actually, let’s make a drinking game out of it, shall we? Watch the Lakers game tonight and after every reference to one of the trades, take a shot (if you’re 21 or older). You’ll be bombed by the time Kobe hits double digits.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Ray Allen switched allegiances. He went from the dark side to the darker side when he signed with the three-ring circus from South Beach in the offseason.

Hey, if you throw in a shot for every Allen reference, you’ll be hammered before LeBron throws his baby powder into the air.

My point in all this is that while I’m not fond of the NBA (if you couldn’t tell already), it’d be nice if a few other teams got some recognition once in awhile.

I’m not asking for any Bucks coverage whatsoever. The fact that they are on ESPN even once this year (a Dec. 19 contest at Memphis) is borderline laughable.

It’s just gotten to the point where the only reason I watch the NBA is to see one of six teams – those ESPN has anointed as champions before a game has been played – lose.

People are saying the Derrick Rose Adidas commercials are “awesome” and “get your blood pumping.” Please. The only thing I notice about those commercials is those kids letting the fire hydrant run and not jumping around in it. I know how hot it was in the Midwest this summer. No way that would happen!

In case you missed it (again, not sure how you could have) the Heat won it all last year and gave LeBron James his first title. Now he’s only five behind MJ and four behind Kobe.

Yes, the excitement of Dwyane Wade winning his second NBA title was undermined because he won it with LeBron. Anything that happens with LeBron should come with an asterisk. The guy isn’t “The King,” and he never will be.

I asked my dad the other day if he was excited that the NBA was starting again. He told me he watched a total of two quarters of pro ball last year.

I remember going to 10 to 15 Bucks games per year with him when The Big Three was a game away from the NBA Finals.

Now he tells me he hasn’t watched a full game in more than a year. I’ll admit to turning on the Bucks once in a while just to see how far they’ve fallen. How Scott Skiles is still their coach is beyond me, but I digress.

The apathy of fans who don’t have allegiances to one of ESPN’s six favorites is what interests me the most. I may have been alone in defending Lance Armstrong last week, but I know I’m not alone in this.

The biggest thing that gets to me is the bandwagoning. You were not a Heat fan before LeBron came to town. Yes, you support Dwyane Wade as a Marquette student, and that’s great. So do I. But once Mr. “I’ve decided to take my talents to South Beach” ripped the heart and soul out of Cleveland to join the bikini models and $25 cover charges in Miami, that’s when you all became Heat fans.

I’ll give you Bulls fans one thing, though. The bandwagoning isn’t as bad as what you do when the Blackhawks make the playoffs. That stuff is just wrong.

So go ahead, settle in tonight and watch KG and Paul Pierce take on the Big Three and see Kobe, Nash and Howard (the Bigger Three?) duke it out with Dirk and the Mavs.

Just know that in a month, maybe even less than that, you’ll be sitting there saying, “Only a few more weeks until pitchers and catchers report.”

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