We're just over a month away from the start of the 2009-2010 NBA regular season. Freaking finally. Hallelujah. As we countdown, I thought I'd go through a list from A-Z of things I am excited for this season. Unfortunately, the alphabet is only 26 letters and I've got about 26,000 things I'm looking forward to. Here are 26 to get you excited.
llen Iverson. Call it a fresh start, a gimmick to fill seats, a Memphis revival. Call it whatever you want. The important thing here is that Allen is playing bball for at least another season. I wasn't nearly ready to let him go and now I don't have to for at least 82 more games.
randon Jennings. This rookie is ready to show the world that a rocky road in Italy, Joe Budden being a trickster and a bad rep won't stop him. Things are not always as they seem. Look for B. Jennings to do it his way (as always) but make it a lot of fun to watch him as he does. Also, pairing him with Scott Skiles? That's a reality show I'd pay to see.
hris Paul. Between the legs
(of Jason Terry) beauty in motion. He's got a book out, too.
raft class of 2009. Sure I've heard over and over again that this class isn't overly deep, but you've got to understand, this is my class. My rookie class. From pre-draft workouts, to the draft in NYC to summer league in Vegas and now throughout their careers, these are my rookies. So excited to follow them and see how it unfolds for them.
venings spent with league pass and court surfing. Especially those heavy Wednesday night line-ups with 10+ games on the slate.
ridays spent yawning. Yes, yawning because we all stayed up far too late on Thursday watching the NBA on TNT and then struggling to keep our eyes open while back to reality.
ilbert Arenas. I don't have enough words to describe how thankful I am for Gil that he's able to be back on the court.
air. Who is going to break out the 'fro (Big Ben in Detroit maybe?), Iverson goes back to the 'rows? Which player will send shock waves through the league with a new look, like Melo did to start the season last year?
nk. Miami Ink. Denver Ink. New York Ink. It's not directly related to oncourt, but I love looking at the new ink that guys get each offseason. My favorite is still the "Black Jesus" that is adorned along the side of Amar'e Stoudamire's neck. Actually, neck tattoo's in general. I think because they only work in a select few (million-dollar) professions.
esus Shuttlesworth's jumper. My little piece of heaven this past NBA season? Showing up early (about three hours early), to watch Ray Allen shoot. That three-point stroke is so sweet it leaves you waiting to exhale until it cleanly rips the net.
obe Bryant. Could this letter really be anything or anyone else? Of course not.
-O-V-E. For Letters A-Z a million times over, there is so much to love about this game.
VP races starting in November when it is pointless to speculate on how things will shake out in April, but it's fun and we do it anyway.
ash, Steve. Our Canadian Golden boy is just one of the reasons why I can't wait to watch the Phoenix Suns this season.
op. Here's to hoping Emeka can learn to be the oop to Chris Paul's alley because I'm still lamenting the loss of the CP3 to TC connection.
retty passes. I know that dunks are power and grace and excitement come to life. I know that blocks are gritty and grimy and steals are smoothness in motion but can you honestly tell me a pretty pass doesn't make you fall in love with the game all over again?
uestions are not only answered, but punctuated with exclamation marks. For all the doubters who wonder if Vince can still get up, if Melo can score as easily as the other stars, if Ron Ron can keep it cool in LA or if Brandon Roy can lead the Blazers deep into the playoffs - No words are needed as the answers will be revealed on the court.
aja Bell. I know, I often love players that go beyond the mainstream superstars, but Raja really, what isn't there to love? He's got the underdog story, he's funny and laid back and he plays that gritty defense that every team needs. He also gets to call Nash one of his best friends. Also, the layup in Game 1 against the Lakers in 2001? Yeah.
tephen Jackson. One of the most misunderstood and underrated players in the league who might be the nicest NBA player I've ever dealt with. He's why I am @stackmack (one of the SLAM guys came up with the nick since Jax is known as Stack Jack and I have to say I love it), and he is the reason why the Warriors are must-see for me.
riple-doubles. Oh, how I delight in seeing a player accomplish this feat, and in rooting for it when they get close. Lamar Odom, I'm shouting you and your ridiculous talent/skill set out for this one!
stream. While we've already had an eventful summer with NBA players "going live" on Ustream, it's sure to get even crazier during the season after games when guys are holed up in a hotel room in Milwaukee in the dead of winter for a Tuesday night game. Bring it on!
ictory. Sweet, sweet victory and the smiles, screams of joy and satisfaction it brings along with it.
ade, Dwyane. Remember that game winner
in double-overtime against Chicago to cap off a 48-point, 12-assist night, six-rebound, four-steal, three-block night?? I do.
's and O's. No, not hugs and kisses, although I'd gladly show my appreciation to the game if I could. We're talking Hubie Brown's x's and o's. Game plan. Strategy. Offensive/defensive sets. Clipboards, playbooks and dry-erase boards.
our favorite player.
aza Pachulia. Nothing Easy, Nothing easy. We going to game seven, baaaaaay-by Gme Seeeevvvvvvvven.