With NBA training camps kicking off earlier this week, there's one question on everyone's mind: really? Again?? Already???
The NBA never goes away. The season is a long one: 82 games stretch across 6 months. The NBA post-season is relatively lengthy too: 4 series last 2 months, going deep into June. Add in the 1 month preseason, and you've got a league in full operation for 9 months of the year. But even in the offseason, basketball doesn't go away. The draft happens right after the Finals end, the NBA Summer League somehow pollutes Sports Center's morning highlights every July, and the free agent frenzy blows up, then lingers. Basketball, it seems, is always there.
Frankly, I think it's a disservice to the sport. September is a magical month for football because we've fought through February, March, April June, July, and August waiting for kickoff. Opening Day is so exciting in baseball because we've made it through a 5 month off season with tarps on the fields. But when basketball rolls around, it's hard to be enthusiastic. Another October, another season.
This year, basketball has been especially frustrating. The LeBron saga sunk its teeth into the offseason, clamping down and refusing to let go. We'll be badgered with this story for years; the Miami Heat will define (and ruin) the sport. Not for Lakers and Celtics fans, who still have a chance, but for everybody else. We even got full coverage of the FIBA World Championships, because yeah, I definitely wanted to see USA play Angola.
I'm not trying to say basketball is never fun to watch. But it sure would be a lot more exciting if we had to earn it. If we were allowed to forget about basketball for a while, story lines would be so much more compelling when the sport rolled around again.