Finally time to get excited for the NBA

The lovely Helen Lindes

Leave it to the NBA to solve its four-plus-months lockout at 3:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning. If an NBA lockout ends, but nobody is awake to get the news, does it really happen?

The NBA was briefly in the news after the 139-day lockout ended Saturday morning, but then the public spent the rest of the day raking leaves and consuming college football. Everyone did the same Sunday, except the sport on TV was pro football.

The lockout has been over for days now, and nobody’s frothy about the season. I’m here to change that. Here are four reasons to be giddy about the shortened, 66-game 2011-2012 NBA season:

Jan Vesely’s debut, but more importantly, his girlfriend: The Washington Wizards drafted a rail thin, 21-year-old, 6-foot-11 Czech. When he was announced at the draft, he stood up with his girlfriend and everyone took notice. She quickly became Internet famous. She’s about 6-foot-8 and don’t rule out her appearing in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. The Wizards will surely do their best to make sure she’s at most games.

Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams: The trio are all among the 15 best players in the NBA and are all likely to be on the move either during the season or at the end of it. Chris Paul seems to want to play in New York. (New Yorkers would be in the same boat.) Dwight Howard just wants to play for a contender (the Magic have faded badly the last two years). Deron Williams could lure Howard to New Jersey, soon-to-be Brooklyn. We do have a given: At least one of these guys ends up playing for the Lakers.

The Dallas Mavericks are the center of the Universe. But not in the way you think. Yes, they won the title last year, and are poised to repeat (good luck without Tyson Chandler). More importantly, two of their players have ties to Miss Universe contestants. Rudy Fernandez is dating
Helen Lindes, aka Miss Spain 2000 (second runner-up in the Miss Universe competition). JJ Barea is engaged to Zuleyka Rivera (Miss Universe, 2006).

Angry Kevin Durant:
One of the biggest NBA stories this summer was that clean-cut scoring machine Kevin Durant is heavily tatted-up. He took off his jersey at a game in China and his entire chest was full of ink. The media referred to them as “business tattoos.” This led people to believe Durant has an edge and is not to be trifled with. I’ll take the Thunder to win the title.

– Jason Raj McIntyre covers athletes off the field and runs the popular blog, The Big Lead.
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…