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

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

10 storylines to watch for the Giants this…

The Giants rebounded from an embarrassing 0-6 start last season, but not well enough to make the playoffs.

NFL

Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.

NFL

Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…