Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Frightful Halloween Weekend in NBA Land

Halloween just ain't what it used to be.  Formerly a beacon that let us fans know the NBA season was close- like Ash Wednesday and Lent/the Easter season, or increased libido and Valentine's Day- this weekend simply reminds us that the NBA season isn't going to be normal this year, to say the least.

Opening night means rookies salivating at a chance to prove themselves and dunk on the some of the legends they dressed up as ten Halloweens ago.  It means veterans either get another chance to win that all-important, elusive ring, or to add to their legacy with another.  It means budding superstars begin their quest for a scoring title or a league MVP.

Manu Ginobili, vampire-slayer. 
A few years back, the world saw Kobe Bryant torch the Houston Rockets for 45 points in an opening-night loss.  It seemed like business as usual for L.A.: Bryant scores a ton, but to no avail as his teammates fail to produce.  The cycle was supposed to continue- '06 and '07 all over again.  As we all know, a mid-season trade brought Pau Gasol to the team, and the Lakers made three straight NBA Finals.

That the NBA season starts around Halloween, a day closely associated with autumn, is apt.  It forebodes change in the NBA landscape- not only at the start, but throughout the season as well.

But that cycle has been threatened by this unnatural lockout.  If and when the season starts, its patterns will be as irregular as a college kid's sleep schedule.  When is the All-Star game?  When do the playoffs start?  Is the season really going to include all 82 games?  When should Boston and L.A. start coasting in their infinite arrogance?

Again, that's if this season even plays out.

Boo.  For all the wrong reasons this Halloween.

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