I was all set this week to write another classic column about parenting and poop and getting drunk on the sly or whatever, but then basketball happened.
I had a story all teed up about this dinner I attended last weekend that paired a bunch of beers from North Vancouver's Bridge Brewing Company with food from The Meatery in Edgemont Village. By the way, if you invite me to a beer tasting meal at a butcher shop, the only way I'm saying no is if my wife is giving birth at that very instant. And even then I might ask for a take-out bag.
"Push push push sweetheart! Great work! Pork chop?"
Anyway, at last weekend's big meating I was seated next to some old friends, a married couple who have a one-year-old daughter, and we possibly set a new-parent world record. Likely spurred on by the amazing meat and beer coming our way, we proceeded to have a lively discussion for at least 31 minutes without mentioning our kids once. The DiMaggio-esqe streak was finally broken in spectacular fashion by a story about potty training that included the words "spray" and "floor" and would normally not be appropriate table talk.None of us cared though - poo happens, amiright parents?
I sat down to write this splashy tale Tuesday night but just couldn't get anything going because it was opening night of the NBA season. In the very first game of the new campaign a Canadian player named Andrew Nicholson stole the spotlight for a short stretch, hitting eight out of nine shots to score 18 points for his Orlando Magic in a little more than 12 minutes of playing time in the first half. Nicholson didn't score again and his terrible Magic lost to the Indiana Pacers, but that little stretch got me fired up and now I can't think of anything but hoops, so that's where this column is headed.
I'm prepared to say that this may be the most intriguing and anticipated basketball season in at least the last year or so. It's a particularly interesting season for Canadian sports fans. Even Canadian sports fans who don't care about basketball - that's roughly 99 per cent, give or take Toronto - should care about this season. Here's why.
Reason 1: Canadians!
Canadians are great at two things: 1. Running up Senate expense accounts and 2. Cheering for other Canadians. Since most of us will never get the thrill of charging the government $4,700 for a ham sandwich, we might as well settle for No. 2. Good news on that front: the NBA this year is a great place to find Canadians to cheer for. This summer Anthony Bennett became the first Canadian ever picked first overall in the NBA draft and he's ready to help Cleveland finally forget about that LeBron James guy. All he'll need to do to accomplish that is just keep working hard on his three-point shooting, his conditioning, and some sort of memory-erase laser.
Other Canadians ready to break through include Bennett's Cleveland teammate Tristan Thompson, the aforementioned Nicholson and exciting Boston rookie and B.C. boy Kelly Olynyk. Don't forget North Vancouver's own Robert Sacré and his teammate Steve Nash either, the only two Los Angeles Lakers signed to contracts past this season. Sacré is worth watching for his sideline celebrations alone and Nash may finally be slowing down a bit at age 39, but hey - Steve Nash!
Reason 2: Greatness
Some pundits have been known to take shots at LeBron for a variety of reasons, but to them I say "Hey listen, jerk - there's no such thing as a memoryerase laser!" LeBron is one of the greatest players ever, and with every passing year he slowly narrows the gap on THE greatest ever. Watch LeBron reel in Michael Jordan while you can, because in 15 years LeBron will either be retired or exposed as a cyborg.
Don't forget about catching as much of Kevin Durant as you can too, because he has an outside shot at going down as the greatest scorer ever. And to think, he was slated to play his whole career just down the highway in Seattle before the Sonics moved to Oklahoma. Oklahoma!? Argh! Where's that damn memory-erase laser?
Reason 3: West Coast time
If you were to compile a list of the most exciting teams to watch this season, the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers would both be at or near the top. If you haven't seen much basketball the past few years you might think that either I'm making a joke about these two normally awful franchises or that I've got a belly full of crack (or wherever you put crack). This is no joke though - these two teams are super fun and their late starts are perfect for us westerners to watch without having to stay up until 2 a.m. like all those suckers in the East.
Reason 4: Pelicans!
That's the actual team name of an actual franchise as of this season. Laugh if you like, but then search YouTube for "Pelican eats bird" and see who's laughing now.
Reason 5: Teams trying to lose
It's called tanking, and usually it's reserved for the end of the season for struggling teams so that they can improve their draft position. But the 2014 draft should feature a player named Andrew Wiggins who is so good that teams are willing to throw away an entire season just for the chance of drafting him.
And get ready to spit out in shock whatever smoked meat you're eating now, person who has never heard of Andrew Wiggins. He's Canadian! Great job Canada! Have a pork chop.
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