The NBA Lockout is officially over and fans and players rejoiced. With the return of the NBA season comes the return of some of the best stuff from the world of sports. From Dirk Nowitzki’s un-guardable fade away to the athletic freak show that goes on in South Beach, the NBA is gives all types of sports fans some good roundtable chatter.
The best thing about the lockout however is how much it helped the NBA this season. The NBA had everyone spoiled with its array of amazing athletes, colorful personalities and fierce rivalries. But, like spoiled children, we took the NBA for granted, and, when we had to fathom the potential loss of something that has been so embedded into our culture, we cried foul. Sometimes we need to lose something to appreciate it, and this season I think is going to be one of the best seasons to date.
The NBA superstars were not only missing a paycheck, but they were losing something that they loved to do. When something is lost and one fights to get it back it builds a new level of appreciation for it. To be a professional athlete requires competitiveness, and extended time away from the game builds a competitive fire in an athlete that like no other. I mean look at all those teams that had their dreams dashed in the playoffs last season.
The upstart Chicago Bulls and reigning MVP Derrick Rose surely didn’t expect to be ousted in just 5 games to the Miami Heat.
The young guns of the Memphis Grizzlies made headlines when they upset the top seeded Spurs in the first round of the western conference playoffs, only to hit heartbreak in an epic 7 game series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Whilst the Thunder, who gave the eventual champion Lakers all they could handle in the 2010 playoffs, made it all the way to the western conference finals in 2011, only to be ousted by the eventual champion Mavericks.
And let’s not forget the Miami Heat and their Big 3, who rolled through the east only to squander their chance for an NBA title against Dallas.
Yes, this is going to be one of the more competitive seasons in your recent memory. As T.O would say, “Get ya popcorn ready.”