A Dozen Reasons I’m Crunk for the NBA to Return

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Sports

The NBA is coming. . .the NBA is coming!  I feel like leaping onto my non-existent horse and galloping through the streets to alert people.  Not that anyone in Nebraska truly cares about the NBA besides a handful of die-hards like myself, but I feel like I should probably start flashing a lantern from the window of my house to make sure people are aware that the NBA lockout is over.

Greed begets greed, that much is certainly true and was witnessed during the long, arduous offseason in the NBA during which the players locked out, the owners sat back and swam in their Scrooge McDuck-style piles of cash, and fans all over were relegated to eating pints of Ben and Jerry’s and sobbing about “what could have been.” 

Now that the Millionaires V. Billionaires prizefight has finally ended in a split decision.  No longer will I be forced to sing along to Adele songs while flipping past TNT on a normal basketball night and seeing a re-run of Bones.

You may be saying to yourself, “Who cares about the NBA?”, or “Psssh, football is still on, who needs the NBA?” or, “Wow, Chris, you sound like you turn into a 10th grade girl when you don’t get your way.”  To which I’ll respond, respectively: you should, we do, and you’re probably right.  (*Author’s note: I’m cuing Adele as we speak so I can bury my face in some Kleenex)

Here’s why I’m crunk as a mofo for the start of the NBA Season, and why you should be too:

1.  The best athletes on the planet

Yeah, football guys are good athletes.  Sure guys as big and fast and strong as Ray Lewis are freaks of nature, but I would argue that NBA players are the best athletes in the world.  Maybe it’s because we’re able to see them unencumbered by helmets and pads that their raw grace, speed, power, and athleticism seem to radiate through the screen like the waves that old wives, in their tales, claim give you cancer if you sit too close to the TV.

Watch what Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, John Wall, Blake Griffin, LeBron and D-Wade — or any of the other top-20 level talents in the game– do on a night-to-night basis and they will steal the breath straight out of your chest with greater proficiency than the Grim Reaper.

2.  Alley-Oops

Alley-oops, which I would argue rival any homerun or any kick return for a Touchdown as the most exciting play in sports, have become so good that I usually just find myself screaming in Cromagnon Man-like grunts and howls when I see them executed by professionals.

Bad alley-oops are even better.  When they’re poorly thrown they cause the players going up for the dunks to adjust mid-air with an airborne dexterity that would make a Moscow Ballet dancer jealous and if they succeed in catching and slamming it through the hoop all you can do is jump backwards and shout, “OOOHHHHH-AHHHHHHH!”

3.  Pau Gasol’s Dirty Euro-Beard

This one’s self-explanatory.

4.  Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson

And really any of the other members of the crew that broadcasts for TNT.  They’re funny, insightful, unafraid to criticize and stand by their opinions, and they have so much fun you can’t help but enjoy watching them.  As a unit, the only other group that is as much fun to watch would be the crew for College Gameday.  They act like you and your buddies would act if you were all supremely talented, former athletes.  Minus the swearing.  Sometimes.

Barkley’s the best commentator on TV for any sport.  I got so desperate to watch these guys in action, and to hear Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller breaking down games as well, that I began to think about launching a campaign to get them to do at least one of the football broadcasts this fall.  I can only imagine how great it would be to have Chuck Barkley calling Tony Romo a knucklehead.

5.  Dwight Howard’s Impending Free-Agency

The best big man in the game, who I also think might be one of the biggest tools in the game today, albeit a harmless d-bag. 

(*Author’s note: ladies and gentleman of the Burnpoetry jury I submit to you exhibits A and B. 

A: 

B: 

The first pic is from the cover of his musical album that he recently cranked out.  The second one. . .well it kind of explains itself.)

Speculation has run rampant that Howard no longer wants to play his hoops in Orlando.  With a Shaquille O’Neal sized scar where Orlando’s last favorite, dominant big man used to be, the Magic and their fans are worried that Dwight might want to jump ship.

Will he leave?  Will he try to make his own version of the Miami Heatles by joining Chris Paul as some experts have theorized?  I can’t wait to find out. 

6.  Derek Rose

Can he make a case for a second straight MVP award?  Even if he only kind of deserved the first MVP on his trophy case?  Steve Nash and his back-to-back awards in 2005 and 2006 think that Rose’s award seems a little suspect.

7.  John Wall, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook et al

The young crop of players in the league is insane.  Kevin Love may be the best American-born honky since Larry Bird, John Wall is the basketball version of Sonic the Hedgehog, Blake Griffin has more hang time than a California condor on a hot day, and Russell Westbrook plays like he has a pre-game I.V. drip which is a mixture of Mountain Dew, cocaine, Red Bull, and a half cup of 4Loko.

(*Author’s note: Glen Davis’ pre-game I.V. drip?  A mixture of Aunt Jemima syrup, Coca-Cola, and mescaline.  Why mescaline?  Because I just really don’t like Glen Davis.  That’s all.  On that note:

)

I’m also extremely excited to try to force my Blake Griffin nickname onto more people: The Cold War.  Because when Griffin goes up for a dunk people duck and cover like they’re preparing for an inevitable nuclear war with Russia.  Seriously.  People at the Staples center have been seen building fallout shelters while Griffin is in mid-air.

8.  Kobe’s Last Hurrah

Kobe may only be 33 years old, but his body is going on 45.  This offseason he went to Germany and got an experimental procedure (*Author’s note: read: illegal?  Crazy?  Ineffective?)

Kobe going overseas for a secret knee operation?  Here’s how I picture the whole thing going down:

Cut to: Kobe sitting in an underground bunker where a doctor who sounds exactly like Hans Gruber pulls back the curtain and reveals a bunch of glistening tools, Kobe grits his teeth.  He pulls out a well-worn and faded picture of Michael Jordan holding up his 6 championship rings from his Gucci wallet and nods grimly.  He says something in German, which the subtitles reveal, “Hit me.”

We’ll see if Kobe has another elite or near-elite level season in him.  If he doesn’t, will he begin to play smarter, more deferentially or will he end up murdering Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in a shocking double homicide if they pull a playoffs disappearing act?  Can’t wait to find out.

9.  The Boston Three Party/Three Amigos/Jesus, The Truth, and KG

The Celtics, in much the same fashion as the self-proclaimed “Black Mamba”, are aging quickly.  Paul Pierce, the 3-time reigning “Nastiest Facial Hair in the NBA” champion, and his teammates Kevin Garnett and Jesus Shuttlesworth (*Author’s note: Ray Allen for those of you not up on your Spike Lee joints) are all aging, future hall of famers.  They don’t have much time left to play at an elite level.

With Rajon Rondo, one of the game’s premiere point guards, feeding the cast of Grumpiest Old Men: The Final Chapter the Celtics conceivably could make another deep playoff run.  With a shortened season, and with the possibility of playing multiple games crammed into a short amount of time, the question will still be how the Celts’ bodies hold up.

10.  Repeatedly Referencing Gloria James and Delonte West

West, a 27-year-old journeyman and every Cleveland Cavalier fans’ favorite player, has been going through a rough patch recently.  During the lockout, tweeting about being broke and needing a therapist, the tatted up baller allegedly applied for work at Home Depot.  No, seriously.  Fortunately the lockout is over and he can now get back to what he does best: namely, porking LeBron James’ mother.  Allegedly.

Gloria has her own set of tabloid-level problems, but you know that she’s in desperate need of someone to pounce upon, fulfilling her cougar-like need to hunt.  With all that free time, and that staggering lack of cash, Delonte’s need for a sugar-mama could be answered.  Or, at least, that’s what I’ll keep saying over and over again.  Because that’s maybe the funniest thing that’s ever happened in the NBA.

(*Author’s note: you really want to get back at LeBron James, Dan Gilbert?  Pick up Delonte for a cool million.  He’s an unrestricted free agent right now and he’s clearly desperate for work.  Make the contract stipulate that he changes his number to 23, and legally changes his last name to “Gloria” so he can sport it on the back of his jersey.  You think LeBron’s a head case now?  You think the fans in Cleveland would even give a damn about LeBron anymore?  You would have a human middle finger on the court 66 times this next year calling out “The King.”  I would literally kill to see that.)

11.   Mavs Attempt to Defend the Title

The Mavs upended the Miami Heat after Dirk Nowitzki finally came through in the clutch for the much maligned Dallas Mavericks squad, with a eerily quiet Marc Cuban keeping his famous billion dollar mouth shut.  Will Dirk continue to smoke fools like his name is Hans Gruber?  Will Cuban manage to put his Frat-Boy-Version-of-Donald-Trump ego to the side again for the betterment of his franchise?  I can’t wait to find out.

12.  LeBrontourage: Season 8

After choking harder than a convict at the end of a death-by-hanging sentence in the playoffs last season, Vince (LeBron), Johnny Drama (Dwyane Wade), E (Eric Spoelstra), Ari (Pat Riley), and the lowly Turtle (Chris Bosh’s broke ass) all found themselves in a familiar spot: titleless.  While Drama/Wade had been there before he was back to his old, close-but-no-cigar ways, Vincent/LeBron had found himself at the pinnacle, the mountaintop, and instead of delivering the performance of a lifetime he vanished.

He evaporated; wasted away before our very eyes like an Olsen twin; he went from transcendent to translucent to transparent.  He was see-through.  A mere conduit for the ball to pass through on its way to another Chris Bosh jumper.  Instead of silencing the mass of critics that he’d seen assemble with pitchforks and torches after The Decision LeBron handed over ammo.  He practically loaded their guns, too.

Redemption is a steep hill to climb.  A mountain for some.  LeBron, who may never fully exorcise the demons of such a boneheaded PR stunt, now finds himself once again at the foot of the hill.  I would argue that he’s still the best player in the game.  I would also argue that the Heat should be at or very near the top of the league once again as a team.  Spoelstra is coaching for his job, which is really Pat Riley’s job whenever the head man decides he wants it once more, and the Heat have an almost incessant need to silence the critics.  That opportunity is available now, with three all-stars in the prime of their career on one team.  Will they do it?  I can’t wait to find out.

(*Author’s note: honorable mentions in crunktitude — repeatedly calling Lamar Odom Mr. Kardashian, repeatedly calling Kris Humphries Mr. Ex-Bruce-Jenner’s-Son, Sasha Vujacic, Calling Brian Cardinal “The Custodian,” seeing how Shaq blends with TNT’s staff, picking another year of an All-Tat team, watching the Warriors score 120 and give up 123 and, finally, watching Chris Kaman run a fast break.  The NBA will supposedly tip off December 25th.  Which is also my birthday.  God bless America!)

FIN

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