NBA: It's Baaaaack!

The NBA season is finally upon us!

Having the chance to watch the same amount of basketball as one has waking hours throws up many benefits and surprisingly few draw backs. I was reminded of this very point on a recent train trip from Sydney to Melbourne (‘hey Kurt, it aint 1865, why are you paying more to catch a 12 hour train than a 1 hour flight’ I hear you ask? Well it involves a long and irrational argument that is probably more appropriate for a blog titled Flying: it scares the shit outta me).

Anyway, while on this wonderfully laborious journey I was seated next to one of the most impressively constant talkers I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to for 12 hours. Seriously, this guy could talk the leg off a chair, mainly because the chair would have decided that the only way to shut him up would be to do something remarkably spontaneous. Don’t get me wrong, friendly guy and all that, but I’m pretty sure at one stage I fell asleep in his face and all the dude said was ‘hey mate, you right there?’ He had a sip of his tea and continued his story, only he had gone back 15mins coz he thought I ‘may have missed something’.

So after 3 hours of conversation that ranged such topics as firewall security conventions and why St Petersburg is actually called St Peterburg (trust him, he had the hat to prove it) my mind began to wander into the safe realm of the NBA. It’s awesomely complex and almost impossible to comprehend permutations saved me from cluttering my brain with information that was as about as useful as, well, basketball statistics.

Here’s how my thoughts on the new NBA season manifested through the framework of a conversation with my mate Rob.

Rob: ‘G’day mate, I’m Rob and I’m a self employed IT security specialist that has a wife and 3 adult kids aged 27, 30 and 33 and 5 grand kids aged…’

Kurt; ‘oh god I hope you are getting of at the next station’

This thought led me to think about my 2013 wishful thinking team, who would have to be New York. There seems no ending to the hype surrounding the Knicks, hype that has largely been self-generated. Look here, I love Carmelo, I love Tyson Chandler and I even kinda love Amar’e but the Knicks are a team full of players that seem more interested in attending the opening of a Karl Lagerfeld show (Amar’e, I’m looking at you) or getting cosy at a nightclub with Rhianna (J.R. Smith I’m looking at, and am kinda impressed by, you) than actually worrying about being in a successful ‘ball team (and don’t get me started on the Linsanity of letting that guy go). I can see these guys labouring into the playoffs to be swept away, along with another years’ worth of fans hopes, by LeBron and the Heat. The tragedy of all this is that they could be a really good team.

                                                   Amar'e working on his post game

Rob: ‘ was the AMD group that first employed me…or was that AMC? No, it was AMD…or it actually could have been AME….’

Kurt : ‘Geeezuz, Rob I couldn’t give a flying fajita..’

This got me thinking about my 2013 irrelevant team. And amidst a very competitive field, for me that team is Phoenix. Yeah, did you just remember they existed? Obviously with Steve Nash and Grant Hill gone the Suns are gonna be in rebuilding mode. Though with the pieces they have I’m sure that they won’t suck entirely, there are plenty of other teams that will do that. What makes them irrelevant to me is that they will probably finish 9th in the west with a team of honest toilers (one glaring exception, Mr Beasley) and it doesn’t seem like they will be much fun to watch while doing so. As a counter point the Kings, who are a basket case and may give Charlotte or even Orlando a run for the title of worst in league, at least have interesting players like DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans. For me this makes them an intriguing league pass highlights team. Charlotte is so bad it’s funny and has, in Michael Jordan, the greatest player ever as their owner. He is also a man who is desperately trying to not be remembered as the worst owner ever, and that in itself is interesting. Unfortunately, Phoenix just seems to ride off into the sunset of my conscience with barely a tomahawk slam. It would seem the most excitement we could expect from the Suns is if Goran Dragic gets up someone’s nose far enough for a fight to erupt (as we know, this is a very real possibility).
Dragic (on the floor crying) making friends

Rob; ‘..I once did a train journey from Mongolia to Rome…’

Kurt; ‘ah, rob would ya just shut…umm, actually that’s quite interesting’

My thoughts turned to my 2013 most intriguing team. This season seems to have its fair share of teams that could be interesting to follow. Golden State, Philly, the Brooklyn/New York rivalry, the Rockets! But for some reason, maybe it’s because Kevin Love’s uncle is in the Beach Boys, I’m intrigued to follow his team, Minnesota. Ricky Rubio, once fit, will hopefully pick up from where he left off and be that glint in the eye for T-wolves fans. Brandon Roy has no knees, but who knees ‘em (get it?) when you can shoot the lights out like he can. Roy has had a fine pre-season and looks like he may be the cold blooded hit man that Rubio can rely on. In Love they have a bull who is a true nightly 20-10 performer and is as reliable as any power forward in the game. If all their pieces gel and stay fit, the T-wolves could be a surprise playoff contender in the west. At the very least, they should be fun to watch.

                                                   Kevin channeling his uncle 
                                                     butchering Tina Turner.
                                                           Mercifully short

Rob: ‘I’m an old guy these days, but back in the day I could compete with the best of em. Did I tell you we won our primary school rugby league comp undefeated in 1959?’

Kurt; ‘no Rob, no you didn’t, and yes you are old’

My 2013 can the old dogs still compete team is of course Boston. For me it’s gonna be fascinating to see how the Celtics old guard negotiate their way through an 82 game regular season. It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a Boston fan and think Paul Peirce is possibly my favourite baller of the past 15years, but ‘The Truth’ hurts; especially when his older body hits the floor. Kevin Garnett had an impressive playoff run last season, however I do wince every time I see those cartilage less knees turn and make another laborious run up court. But they have in Rajon Rondo a point guard that has the rare ability to influence a game without having to score. He creates so much for his team mates that players like Jeff Green and especially Jason Terry should thrive, and that’s not to mention the combination he already has going with KG. Jared Sullinger looks to be the goods, provided he stays healthy, and with the Truth doing his thing and Brandon Bass consistently knocking down 15 footers and every one contributing on D, I reckon the Celts could still be around for another tilt at the Heat come May/June. I realise that there are a lot of ifs just mentioned. It could all come so horribly unstuck and with the personalities on this roster, that could be very interesting indeed (by the way I have loved listening to coach Doc Rivers talking about how much he hates Miami [he hates more than this guy], and with Ray Allen going there, it makes it even more spicy.)

                                                                         'The Truth'

That's it for now, through out the 2012-13 season (hopefully weekly) i'm gonna post my thoughts on the NBA, just coz i can. I'm expecting to get a whole bunch of stuff wrong and have all of my predictions go pear shaped, but hopefully if anyone does read you may find it at least a little interesting (even if it is only to scald me).

til later,


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