The NBA is back, Merry Christmas

The Christmas season is always one of the best times of the year. Families are brought together, Santa puts even more presents under the tree, and a feeling of love is in the air. This Christmas season should be extra special to those of us who have a favorite NFL team in the playoff hunt, or those who can’t wait for the NBA to arrive Christmas morning.

Yes, whether you have been naughty or nice, Santa is coming to everyone this season.

My favorite professional sport, basketball, is back in the mix.

I will now say bye-bye to watching the NFL and unranked college basketball teams and hello to the glitzy stars of the hardwood. There almost wasn’t a season, but at a last seconds notice the Grinch (David Stern) gave us back our basketball. There truly is a Santa Claus out there. This NBA season will not disappoint.

If you remember where we left off last season, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks were celebrating on Miami’s home floor. LeBron James had a few tears in his eyes while teammate Chris Bosh collapsed back-stage, crying like a “baby”. This season will feature the same type of intensity. A 66-game season in 123 days for 30 teams is like Black Friday. It will be a mad dash to the finish line. This is a sprint, not a jog. I hope the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics can keep up.

LeBron chasing his first title isn’t the only story line this season.

Los Angeles has a new sheriff in town and he plays for the Clippers: Chris Paul.

If you remember correctly, Paul was thought to be headed to the Lakers, but Stern said that would make the Lakers too good and nixed the trade. Then, the Clippers offered up a deal for Paul and after thinking about it for a few days, Stern accepted the deal to go through. Now Paul will team up with high-flyers DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin. Sprinkle in some Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler and you have a pretty good starting five. Do I think the Clippers are better than the Lakers? You will have to check out my ’11-’12 Preview to find that out. I don’t think Kobe Bryant is too happy about that.

Bryant isn’t the only one feeling left out this season. Former Laker, Lamar Odom got emotional when he found out that he was involved in the trade to New Orleans. I know Lamar, it’s shocking that you could be the turning-point in a deal and that you are actually worth something. Not only are you a reliable 6th man, but at 6’10 you can handle the ball and knock down three-pointers. Just shocking. So the Lakers decided to trade him to Dallas for two second-round picks. I guess you weren’t really worth much at all, Lamar.

“The City that never sleeps” also thinks they have something good going on. That’s right, for the first time since Patrick Ewing and Latrell Sprewell were on the Knicks, the Knicks are contenders in the Eastern Conference. It’s amazing that the only player they were missing was Tyson Chandler. Not another superstar, but a very good defensive, role player. Chandler played stellar defense in the NBA Finals, but is he really worth all that $$$ they gave him? Plus they let go of [Chauncey] Billups, their only true point guard on the team, to get him. But I suppose Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire can take all the shots.

There are more storylines, but I would rather have you read my preview so you can see my picks for MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, 6th-Man of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year.

There is no better way to spend Christmas morning. Let’s be thankful, not only for basketball and the fact that it is back, but for our families and the ones that love us. Tomorrow will be a great day.


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