“And here we are ladies and gentlemen,” Marv Albert announced, “The start of a brand new NBA season!”
Reggie Miller asked him, “How does it feel Marv to still be in the box?”
“I’m getting too old for this,” he laughed.
Miller laughed as well, “We have a great game on tonight. The first game of our opening night triple header here on TNT.”
“Oh yes we do Reggie,” Marv said on cue, “Seattle against the defending champion Atlanta Hawks. A lot of questions surrounding the Stealth for the season. Will Kevin Durant and Reshawn Tyson lead this team to the NBA Finals? Will Jason Kidd retire with a ring?”
Miller enthusiastically jumped into the analysis, “Durant has proven to be one of the best players the League has seen in a long time. Tyson really picked up the slack last season. Both of these guys are keys to the Stealth making it to the Conference Finals a few months ago. It was fairly disappointing to see them drop out last season but the Sacramento Kings were definitely a stronger side.”
“Although the Kings did lose a heartbreaking seven game series to the Hawks in the Final,” Albert noted.
The other color analyst, Mike Fratello, chimed in, “Marv, Reg; it’s all about the team chemistry. We’ve heard the rumors about the feud between Durant and Tyson and if they are true, I would expect those two players to set aside their differences and put the team first. If they can keep a balance there, this team is good enough to contest in the NBA Finals.”
“Are they one of your favorites this season?” Reggie asked Fratello.
“I would call them a dark horse at this stage,” Fratello said, “They will need home court advantage to have any realistic chance. That is really important come playoff time because of how close the Western Conference is.”
“Who do you rate as the contenders this season then?” Albert asked.
Reggie decided to pick Eastern Conference teams, “I’ve got to say that Atlanta look strong enough to repeat again as long as Manu Ginobili stays healthy. Josh Smith was terrific last season and the team gets a lot of production from Al Horford and Tayshaun Prince. The Miami Heat have been consistently good for the last few years. Resigning Michael Beasley has been a huge move towards taking that final step towards the trophy. The Cavs were upset last season but LeBron James is in his prime. If he wasn't hurt last postseason, they could have won it all.”
Fratello liked the Western Conference and picked a winner from there, “I think Sacramento has the talent and the motivation to make it back to the NBA Finals. They are a better side than the Portland Trailblazers. I’ve got my money on the Kings.”
“Let’s go through our starting lineups for both teams,” Marv Albert interrupted his two colleagues’ debate on contenders for the NBA title, “The Hawks will have Horford, Prince, Smith, Douglas-Roberts, and Marcus Banks on the floor. They are your defending NBA champions.”
Albert paused before continuing, “So the Stealth have Kidd, Durant, Tyson, David Lee, and Bogut. These guys have been playing together for so long and have been improving each season as well. Tonight’s game will be a good one as will the rest of this season!”
“And the teams will be coming out soon to have their lineups introduced but let’s go down to Craig Sager courtside,” Albert exclaimed, “Craig, you’re looking like you’re wrapped in newspaper!”
Miller and Fratello both laughed loudly as Sager came on-screen in a grey suit, slacks, and shirt.
“I dressed to match the Seattle Stealth’s uniforms,” Craig proclaimed.
Miller poked fun at him, “Looks more like you came out of a black and white television Craig. How old are your clothes?”
Sager ignored the ribbing and continued, “Speaking of the Stealth jerseys, I just spoke with the General Manager for Seattle and he said that the team is not looking to change their jerseys so it looks like the team is stuck with them for another year.”
Marv asked Sager, “Craig, we’ve heard word that Seattle is working hard to develop their replacement for Jason Kidd. What’s the latest with that?”
Sager paused for a moment as he struggled to hear the question, “Can you repeat that Marv? It’s very noisy down here.”
Marv repeated the question and Sager nodded, “Well, as we all know, the Stealth had been working very hard to pursue a new point guard to replace Jason Kidd once Kidd decides to retire. Kidd is still a great player but we all know that he’s on his last legs. He really needs a dependable backup. Aaron Karl and Sebastian Telfair just don’t fit the bill for separate and various reasons. That's why they were so lucky to have Chinese-American Wu Jao fall into their laps. That pick was a result of the Jeff Green trade that brang in Rasheed Wallace two years ago. It paid off in more ways than one.”
Sager continued, “I think the organization isn't really kicking themselves for letting slip that Draft night deal last year where they could have traded two first round picks to New York for the first overall draft pick. Everyone knows that the team was very interested in Ricky Rubio from Spain but they backed out of the deal due to some front office reshuffling. They missed their chance and Rubio sure did play well in his rookie year. He’s the kind of kid that the Stealth could have really. However, Jao is an exciting offensive guard and it will be interesting to see how he affects the team's dynamics...”
Marv interjected, “I will need to cut you off now Craig. That was Craig Sager folks and now the teams’ starting lineups are going to be announced.”
The stadium’s public announcer walked through the Hawks' starting lineup introductions methodically and in a monotonous voice. The difference in energy of his voice was like day and night as he shifted the attention the home side.
“Ladies and gentlemen, on your feet,” the public announcer called out, “And welcome your Seattle Stealth!”
The fans got out of their seats and started cheering loudly. Kevin Durant led his team out of the tunnel, closely followed by Jason Kidd. The Stealth gathered near the edge of the court in a small huddle and the fans roared even louder. The bench and reserve players joined the ends of the two parallel lines formed by the cheer leaders.
“Starting at centre, 7 foot, from Utah… Andrew Bogut!”
Bogut raised his hands in the air, waved and ran down between the two lines. He high fived everyone on the way then stopped near midcourt. He was still bouncing on his feet; the atmosphere was electric.
“Starting at forward, 6-9, from Florida… David Lee!”
Lee didn’t get quite the reception that Bogut got, the crowd did become louder for Jason Kidd, “Starting at guard, 6-4, from California, perennial NBA All-Star… Jason Kidd!”
“Starting at the other guard, 6-6, from North Carolina… Reshawn Tyson!”
Ty jumped out and sprinted down to join the other three starters. He high fived Lee and Bogut, then rubbed Kidd’s bald head for good luck. The crowd then became to get louder and louder, drowning out the announcer. The noise wasn’t for Ty. It was for Durant.
“Starting at the other forward, 6-9, from Texas… you all love him, this is my team baby, KEVIN DURANT!”
Durant made his way ever so slowly, as if he were walking in slow motion. The TNT film crew was right beside him and he flexed his biceps into the camera lens then pointed into it. He pointed to himself and mouthed My team baby and kept nodding his head. The footage was also shot up onto the jumbotron. The fans went berserk after Durant did his trademark move. The crowd began to chant, ‘K’s team, K’s team, K’s team.’ Durant finally joined his fellow starters and the bench broke out of their two straight lines to join their leaders in a small huddle at halfway.
“On three, one, two three,” Durant yelled.
The others, in sync, bellowed, “Our team, our house!”
“We own this shit right here!” Durant screamed and threw his arms around for dramatic effect.
The players all clapped as the lights came back on. The bench guys returned to the bench as the starters stayed on court. Ty was rubbing his hands together as if it were cold and blew air into them. He looked over at the bench and pointed at his head coach then winked. Will Sit was yelling instructions as the game was about to get underway. Durant had jumped onto the scorer’s table and waved his arms in the air. Ty shook his head and laughed.
“Get down off of there!” assistant coach George Karl yelled at Durant.
Durant jumped backwards off of the table and nearly fell on his ass as he landed on the court. He turned around as the crowd applauded. Durant jogged over past Ty. Ty gave Durant a fist bump then the two shared a handshake.
“Game time baby,” Ty said.
Durant gave just a slight nod and ran over to match up on Smith. Ty was standing next to Prince.
“You ready?” Ty asked.
“Ready for what?” Prince looked at him funny.
“Ready for one hell of a season,” Ty smiled.
“Stop talking trash,” Prince dismissed Ty.
Bogut and Horford were waiting for the opening toss. The ref wiped the ball with a cloth at the scorer’s table. The crowd was still standing as the ref made his way to half court. He bent down a little and looked at both centers.
“Don’t knock each other out. I’m not taking any dirty shit tonight,” the ref warned the two big men.
He then threw the ball up for the opening tip.
Last edited by Sit
on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:56 am, edited 5 times in total.