By: Aly Somani
Aly Somani is a student of the game of basketball and the business of sports. Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Aly decided to “take his talents” to New York City, where he pursued and completed his Masters degree at Columbia University in Manhattan. Aly has experience working with the National Basketball Players Association in a Career Development capacity with players and is now working on an entrepreneurial endeavor. He has a ‘Kobe’ like determination, and an immense passion for the game, we are delighted to have Aly join the NBA Breakdown. Check him out at http://www.alysomani.com/
Exactly 4 days till the most anticipated and what potentially might be the greatest regular season in NBA history!!
Frankly, the thought of opening night is giving me more pleasure than the taste of a carrot cake – cheesecake mix from Junior’s in Manhattan and that’s saying a lot.
Like many of my fellow Basketball Junkies’ the only thing that has truly kept me afloat since Kobe Bryant jumped on the scores table in June and claimed his immortality as one of greatest to play the game, was the ‘Young and the Restless’ like drama that the off season offered.
From Draft night in NYC to the critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated “Decision”, starring Lebron James, the summer has been but a small taste of what I think is to come – one of the most competitive and entertaining seasons the NBA has ever seen.
The Neilson Co. estimated that nearly 10 million people tuned in to see the one-hour special on ESPN, who jumped at the opportunity to garner the attention of the potential viewership. Since then, ESPN has been criticized by fellow networks, for its decision to show the event and Lebron James has been criticized like no other athlete has been, for his poor judgment for the venue and medium in which he declared he would be “taking his talents to South Beach.
The summer of superstardom has amassed a level of attention that no sports league has seen in a single off-season, in the history of sports. The conversation is far from subsiding, from bold statements made by NBA legends, like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, to never ending discussions in barbershops about the excitement that the ‘summer of 2010’ brought to the league.
Rest assured that this will be considered the genesis of what Commissioner David Stern believes will be “some of the greatest basketball ever played.”
There is no doubt that this season will be one of the most competitive and entertaining seasons the NBA has ever seen. From the elite class of the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Orlando Magic, to the youthful and highly motivated Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and Oklahoma City Thunder, the idea of the start of a new season, will have the 10 million that sat by their television screens anticipating Lebron’s decision, and many more millions around the world, once again, at the edge of their seat.
So, as we all prepare for ‘Opening Night’, let’s appreciate the beauty and power of sport. Often times, when I try to explain my love for the game of basketball, I am at a loss for words, because in my world it is not just a game.
Similarly, how the World Cup was not just a Soccer tournament, it is one of the single most sincere selfless interactions we have left. In a world where we are obsessed with a need to take control and ownership over every thing we lay eyes on, sport reminds us, that as fans, its greatest power is to teach us to love what we cannot control.
Thus, regardless of who actually wins on ‘Opening Night’, as the ball tips off to the new season, one sole thought will be circling my mind.