by Marcel Mutoni

Oh, happy day!

At last, at long last, it is finally here. The dreadful off-season has come to a merciful end, and the League will once again assume its rightful place in our lives. Tonight, the games begin to count.

Cleveland @ Boston
: LeBron James has now famously declared that his team will not watch the ring presentation and banner-raising ceremony in honor of the Celtics’ 17th championship, but I’m not buying it for a second. They may not be on the floor while it takes place, but I guarantee you that at least one TV monitor in the locker room will be on, and all eyes will be glued on it. Including LeBron’s. This should be a feisty affair.

Milwaukee @ Chicago: The Derrick Rose Era officially kicks off in Chicago, while Scott Skiles begins his for the Bucks. Care to guess which fanbase is more excited?

(Ben Gordon has returned to practice and will play tonight. As per usual, he’ll be coming off the bench, which I’m sure he’s thrilled about.)

Portland @ L.A. Lakers: Hard to top this one for sheer drama on Opening Night. Greg “Dunk Bounty” Oden and Andrew Bynum will kick off their inevitable rivalry at Staples Center tonight, while Greg’s teammates measure themselves against the best of the West.

(As though people weren’t sufficiently amped up for this one, Nate McMillan is already in mid-season form, as far as Oscar-worthy speeches go anyway.)

Enjoy the games, everyone. You’ve earned it.