by Lang Whitaker

Today’s the day here in the USA when we gather with friends and families and give thanks for what we have. With the economy the way it is these days, we can all use a mental health break, a day to sit and reflect on what we do have, instead of what we don’t have.

I spent the last few days coming up with 50 NBA-related things I’m thankful for. My list is below. Please post your additions in the comments section.

Thanks(giving!)…

1. Joe Johnson’s sublime dominance.

2. That I’ve never written anything bad about Adrian Wojnarowski.

3. Yao Ming’s understated fist pump celebrations.

4. How Derrick Rose plays exactly like Stephon Marbury used to play when he came into the L.

5. Robert Swift.

6. That we’re about to get two years of stories about LeBron maybe leaving the Cavs. Wait…actually, I’m not thankful for that at all.

7. That Reggie Theus was able to successfully transition from Saturday morning TV to an NBA head coaching gig.

8. That Eric Snow’s wife is threatening to become a bigger star than he ever was.

9. That Doc Rivers is quietly keeping the Celts rested…and they’re still winning.

10. That even though the Grizz aren’t winning many games, they’re by far the best League Pass team in the NBA.

11. The enduring hilarity of the ABA’s press releases.

12. How Chauncey Billups is re-proving the value of a veteran point guard.

13. As a Hawks fan, I’m thrilled that the Wizards fired their one asset who wasn’t hurt and who wasn’t underperforming — Eddie Jordan.

14. That the Lakers are finally winning without any extraneous drama.

15. How Chris Paul is showing an entire younger generation of basketball fans how a point guard can completely control a game on both ends of the floor.

16. Shaquille O’Neal.

17. That I was right about Ricky Rubio.

18. Jerry Sloan.

19. Milwaukee’s tongue-twister of a roster (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Gadzuric, Ramon Sessions, etc.).

20. How the Suns are proving that caring about defense won’t kill you.

21. How everyone’s disappointed with New Orleans so far this year, yet they’ve still got a .615 winning percentage.

22. Watching the Knicks play games with less guys than a rec league team.

23. How a guy who can’t run or jump is still averaging over 7 points per game.

24. The thought of Zach Randolph and his crew in Los Angeles.

25. Mark Cuban proving that even he can be wrong from time to time.

26. Orlando starting 10-4 despite Dwight Howard becoming an even worse free throw shooter. How he doesn’t get fouled every time he touches the ball is beyond me.)

27. Sam Mitchell.

28. That the NBA has the best blogosphere of any sport.

29. How Andris Biedrins is reminding Bay Area hoop fans of Mr. Mean right now.

30. That the Sixers finally look to be coming around.

31. How David Stern has somehow allowed the NBA teams in the NYC area to paint themselves into a corner until 2010 at the earliest.

32. That the Cavs just might grab a title before 2010, anyway.

33. That Greg Oden, slowly but surely, is proving his worth.

34. The BETcats.

35. The L-Wolves.

36. Mr. Ping Ping.

37. The Johnny.

38. That even though ESPN has about 3 million employees and unlimited funds, Turner (NBA TV and TNT) still manages to beat them with their coverage.

39. The DDenver Nuggets dance team.

40. That I was right about that Kevin Love/OJ Mayo trade.

41. Gravy.

42. That Mario West is averaging zero made field goals per game but they still sell his jersey in the Philips Arena gift shop.

43. How Rafer Alston is no longer defined by his streetball past.

44. That the most openly conservative player in the League, Spencer Hawes, somehow ended up playing for the owners who made their fortune via gambling and alcohol.

45. That somehow Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury are two of the ten highest paid players in the NBA this season.

46. (And tied in 27th place are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh.)

47. That my preseason predictions of LA winning the title and LeBron taking the MVP still look likely.

48. That I was completely wrong about the BETcats being a surprise team. They’re way funnier as a terrible team.

49. Marc Gasol!

50. That even though Clay Bennett might have stolen the Sonics away from Seattle, he now might go down in history as the owner of the team with the worst single-season record in NBA history.