by Holly MacKenzie

One-hundred and thirty-three days later my ears still ring as a result of my phone going off continuously (can a cell phone ring off of the hook?), for the better part of the night. June 17, 2008. Kevin Garnett poured tears of joy, Paul Pierce poured Gatorade and Ray Allen hoisted his healthy son in the air like the Larry O’Brien trophy as the rest of the Celtics and their fans rejoiced because number 17 was brought home.

The Lakers, well, it wasn’t really a party in that locker room.

For me? It kind of maybe, sort of wasn’t as bad as I had expected. WAIT. Before you all flog me for being a horrible fan, you need to know that I ached and agonized, although I was tough and did not shed any tears thanks to a friend reminding me that there is no place for crocodile tears on KG’s night (thanks, DJB). I think it’s this whole Post Up deal, making me fall in love with everything about this game, even my opponents. Or, it may have been Kevin Garnett. If you can’t feel him you should go get checked out because you’re numb to life.

“This is for ‘Sota”.

That phrase will be forgotten never and will forever give me goosebumps.

Watching his postgame press conference, I felt drunk with giddiness watching him crack up, swear, smile, speak without thinking and breathe without any pressure. KG transcends teams when it comes to this team. If you can’t respect him, well, yeah, something got lost in translation somewhere. Pushing thoughts of my boys getting dressed with the heavy hearts of defeat lurking, all I could feel was pride for Mr. Garnett and happiness over his new piece of jewelry.

And now, 133 days later, we are here.

The first day of the NBA season is like a bunch of things. Your first day of school with freshly sharpened pencils, the smell of new looseleaf and back to class outfits, all designed to help make the transition easier. It is like the first day at a new job, when you know you are capable and have the skill, but hope your supervisor can get the most out of you and motivate you to perform to the best of your abilities. It’s is like a first date, when the anticipation has been building and you know the chemistry is there but you pray the pieces fit together properly for at least a season. For fans like us, basketball IS life as we know it. And that is why today is a day to be celebrated.

Enjoy your work day/school day/sick day/off day and make sure you’ve cleared your schedule and that wife/kids/girl/boy/work/friends/all other distractions know that tonight you are booked up. No exceptions, ifs ands or buts. Not only is our game here, TNT is in the house as well. Yes, the boys are back and we’ve got two fantastic match ups waiting for us tonight.

My personal pick for Most Improved Player of the year (yeah, I’m saying it), Andrew Bynum will be going up against Old-Young Man Oden as the Lakers face the Blazers and of course, Bron will get to salivate a little more as he watches KG and crew get gifted with their rings in Boston.

Big night, big names, big games.

It’s showtime for real, everyone. Hope you are all ready because we’ve got another eight months of amazing to recap daily, Monday-Friday, 9am est. Your daily dose of love, basketball and all things in between. It is sweet to be back. Finally.

Oh yes, this is going to be JR Smith’s year. Also, made the move to Raptorland. And, I named my fantasy team “The Stack Jaxxx”. We’ve got a lot to catch up on.