194 days, 4,656 hours, 279,360 minutes, 16,761,600 seconds. However you wish to state it, it has been way too long since we had regular season basketball. Sure there was some playoff basketball during that time. We got to see the best talent in the world go head to head to determine who can perform at the highest level when it really matters. But, I love the regular season. So much of what makes the NBA great, at least to me, happens in the regular season.
What makes the NBA special to me is all the fun, random, nonsensical things that occur throughout a year. As much as I love watching the game played at its highest level, I get just as much pleasure from watching Corey Brewer drop 51 points, only to have LeBron James respond with this:
"LeBron, hear about Corey Brewer?" "Nah." "He scored 51 tonight." "Wait, who?!"— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) April 12, 2014
Or when DeAndre Jordan ends the career of Brandon Knight and the internet pulls together to commemorate the moment:
Remember when Chris Kaman fell asleep on the Lakers vacant bench as four players beat the Cavs? I do. Did it suck at the time? Absolutely. Do I laugh every time I think about it? YUP! (I also laughed in game, sue me).
I love that the NBA always finds some terrible pop song to put in promotional ads. I love that any night can turn into much see TV, no matter how meaningless the game might be. No league promotes its players like the NBA does. It's a league full of weirdos and their personalities are fully embraced by the league and it's fans.
One of my favorite players in the entire league is Nick Young. I would never want him on a team I care about, but I love watching him play. His combination of skill, lack of conscience and poor decision making is so fun to watch. Even though I know it isn't great basketball, I really don't care. At the end of the day, that's what makes the NBA great to me. It's a league that has something for everybody. If you love numbers, the league has groundbreaking player tracking and advanced stats for you to gain a deeper understanding of what's in front of you. If you love highlights, you can watch exciting teams like the Clippers, Cavs (WE'RE FUN AGAIN!) or the Thunder fly up and down the court and clown on teams.
If you love an underdog, you can watch young, talented teams like the Wolves, Bucks and Magic (Editor's note: FINE LEAVE OUT THE JAZZ) try to figure things out and occasionally beat a team that totally outclasses them. (Editor's note #2: LIKE KYRIE CLOWNING ON THE THUNDER)
If you just need to laugh, the NBA is a league built for social media. Any night on Twitter you can bank on there being hundreds of people posting gifs, vines and memes from any funny moment in any game. If there's nothing amusing happening? RELEASE THE PHOTOSHOPS!
The league is far from perfect. There are of course moments that aren't fun, and players occasionally do things on and off court that remind me that they are humans prone to being dumb at times. But at the end of the day, the NBA is perfect for me.
THE NBA IS BACK! Let's have some fun and listen to awful pop music!