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NBA returns with a bang

Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2011, at 9:21 AM


Today, basically because I felt like it, I'm going to take a short break with baseball to talk about something else: The NBA.

My feelings about the NBA put me in the minority in our area for a whole slough of reasons. Just for fun, I thought I'd share a few.

1. I actually enjoy watching it more than college basketball (I'm ducking to hide from flying objects now.) I don't dislike college ball, but I prefer the NBA. Besides, college courts have too many lines. It drives me crazy to look at. I know why they are in place, but that doesn't mean I have to like them.

2. I don't feel geographically tied to a team. I suppose I should feel that way about the Memphis Grizzlies, but for whatever reason, I don't.

3. Here's an ugly one. I actually like LeBron James. I enjoy watching a guy with some real talent and he certainly fits the bill. Of course, I feel the same way about Dwyane Wade. My biggest argument against LeBron is the fact that he always seems to treat the ball like a hot potato in the last 20 seconds of a game. In the last play of the game, I want the ball in his (or Wade's) hands. LeBron has been accused of being a lot of things, but you can't call him a ball hog.

4. As much as this contradicts point three, I also like the Boston Celtics. I don't paint my face green and beat people up for bad-mouthing them, but I appreciate the history of the franchise. Besides, the Celtics have more titles than any other team in NBA history. Not a bad feat. Honestly though, I really enjoy watching Garnett, Allen, Rondo and Pierce. They're very much a team-oriented starting lineup.

5. Another thing I really like about the NBA is their TV schedule. They only play in the evenings or on weekends, so I don't miss games at work. There is a much broader selection of non-blacked out games on television. In baseball, it seems like every time I hunt through the guide and see a game I want to watch it's blacked out. The NBA's blackout policy is very different. I believe the only blackout restricted games now are on NBA TV. Which leads us to...

6. I love NBA TV. I enjoy the old games, interviews and all of the other goodies they show. All winter I kept saying how I wish Dish Network would carry the MLB Network and finally they picked it up. Between those two channels, I'm good to go throughout the year even on non-game nights.

7. As much as I know everyone is going to slap me for this, I really enjoy all the flashy stuff. I like dunks, alley-oops, pick and rolls and all of that stuff. Before you slaughter me for celebrating showboating answer one question: Do you watch football? If yes, then don't complain. I won't make fun of guys dancing in the end zone if you don't make fun of the Chris Bosh scream.

As much as I hate labor strikes, I'm really excited about this year's opening day, Sunday, because there are really going to be some good match-ups. The first three games are the ones I'm waiting for: Celtics vs. Knicks, Heat vs. Mavericks and Lakers vs. Bulls. All three of those have potential to be impressive games as I waddle between dumplins, ham and turkeys. I won't miss a game over ham or turkey, but dumplins might be a tough fight.

I realize this column may get me pelted with heavy objects, but I felt like I would throw it out there anyway. Hopefully you are in the Christmas spirit and will only throw snowballs.

I'd also like to take a moment to thank all of my readers. I've gotten more response to my column than anything I've done in the past. If you ever have any ideas or tips, feel free to shoot me an email at cnoles@dailystatesman.com.

There could be another column between now and Christmas, but I'm not sure yet. I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful and blessed Christmas. Be careful in your travels and cherish the time you will spend with your loved ones throughout the season!

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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