The summer of signs, trades and realignments, ‘the decision’ that feeds the beast, blogging madness spiraling forever outward, no more the dog days of pouring over actual newsprint for stories and clues, no more exchanging views with a few determined fans who’ve found out about this thing called the internet. No more. It’s a world gone viral and we’re all part and parcel to it, links and hits and spiders and search engines, YouTube this and that and the media blitz gives instant platform to all and the lead-ups grew louder and more breathless until the actual season was at hand with previews and promises for live chats from anyone with a typepad and electricity.
And the games started and I was watching the Celtics beat down the Heat and ponging madly from laptop to making dinner to feeding the animals to notes for my daughter’s essay to blinging out some pendant to be worn around her neck, thanks paint, thanks glitter, thanks self-sticking plastic gems. And the TV beckoned and food was eaten in front of it and questions were asked and I had to tear myself away. And LeBron’s new confessional/commercial came on with his stuttering mantra, "what should I do, what should I do, what should I do?". Go play on the freeway, you idiot.
The ring ceremony's at hand and I'm watching/grinning and talking heads and my poor old laptop, struggling to keep up with box scores and articles and sites and snagging moments for actual work which quickly aborted because it’s opening night after all and there’s chats to visit and comments that want to be typed but the laptop won’t obey, it’s getting overloaded but no, no, you can’t freeze, here’s another one on a favorite site but it’s different this time, they’ve put together some ungodly blog smorgasbord of every known form of media personality and wired the whole thing into every game being played and it’s like some sucking whirlpool of Chayevskyesque magnitude and the laptop says enough and resolutely quits.
And then I notice. There’s a game still on TV. The one I wanted to see. The one I’d been waiting all summer to see. First game of the season and while I’ve had my forehead stuck to a glowing, faltering laptop the team’s gone down by 15 and haven’t found their way back. But now it’s just me and the television, my daughter’s off to bed and some cat that my ex dumped on me is kneading and puncturing couch cushions and making guttural noises. Go away odd animal, you’re a harbinger of bad juju. And the lead starts to shrink. Blake hits a couple back to backs and then UPS turns to Downtown Shannon Brown and he’s on fire, it’s one of those transcendent stretches and everything’s going right and the guys on the bench are up and out of their heads in the celebration of that moment of pure basketball when the crowd becomes a sheet of white noise and all is right with the world.
And it didn’t last perfectly and the Rockets came back and back again but the Lakers crashed the boards and left skin on the floor and played a kind of tough that they didn’t really play until Artest got into their heads and hearts and they won it and once again, it’s like it always was. Another season starts and I’ve seen so many over the decades and I’m transported to moments past which I could type forever but I won’t. Because tonight’s like every night, pounding into morning and the sleeping hours always shrinking. I’m typing this one out quickly and there’s going to be no links, no videos, no endless searching and comparing, no pings or stopping by every last place where I can venture some aside that’s quickly lost to the encroaching monster of the eternal thread. Nope, put this one to bed and do the same myself and try to remember something of the game. Just the game.