I'll admit it. I've been borderline apocalyptical in my predictions about the 2011-2012 NBA season in that I have told many, many people that there probably won't be an NBA season this winter. I also wildly declared that professional basketball as we know it would cease to exist as a result of the lockout.
OK, I look a little bit like Harold Camping right now. If you don't remember who Harold Camping is, he's that old asshole who told a bunch of other old assholes to give him all their money because the world was going to end earlier this year. I, too, am kind of an a-hole, I suppose, because there will indeed be an NBA season this winter and it doesn't look like the demise of professional American basketball is coming to an end anytime soon.
I still don't know which side won this dispute or if it even matters, but I'm now faced with preparing my psyche for an NBA season slated to begin on Christmas Day. That's right, as if owners and players weren't displaying enough hubris in their "negotiations," they went ahead and superseded the birthday of Jesus Christ for their big tipoff day.
While my predictions proved dangerously inaccurate, I'll nevertheless be watching professional basketball this year. And here's what I'm excited... and not so excited for.
Charles Barkley commentary: When he's firing on all cylinders, there is no sports commentator as ridiculously entertaining as Sir Charles.
An Appropriate Number of Games: The current plan is for the league to play a 66-game schedule, which is about how many they should have been playing all along. You ever wonder why these guys dilly-dally up and down the court? It's because they play 82 damn contests a year.
Jimmer Fredette: The possibility that this long-range bombing all-American rookie's game doesn't fit the NBA mold is quite high. Still, all these Tebow disciples will need something to do this winter, so expect plenty of media hype. And hopefully a barrage of three-pointers.
A Shaqless NBA: At his best he was unstoppable, but at his worst he was unwatchable... and really fat. For the first time since George H.W. Bush was in office, there will be no Shaquille O'Neal in the NBA. And I'm fine with that.
Charles Barkley commentary: When he's not firing on all cylinders, there is no sports commentator as ridiculously ill-informed as Sir Charles.
The Miami Heat: We're not going to pretend these guys are the best team in the league again, are we?
No Extra College Basketball Coverage: There was word that ESPN and other outlets would fill the vacated NBA programming spots with bonus college basketball games. It's shaping up to be a great season of college hoops (I mean, UNLV is winning... it's like the good ol' days!) and it would have been nice to see this rather than people who change their name to Metta World Peace and expect to be taken seriously.
Anything to Do with David Stern: Anyone who thinks basketball is on the same level as a "nuclear winter" is straight bonkers. Thus, David Stern is bonkers.