I'm a night owl...so I didn't.
Hawks 114 - Lakers 110
Laugh at me if you want, but I'm excited about the Atlanta Hawks. It's a weird excitement, though. I'm not excited about this season, but future seasons.
Granted, this team has 3 more wins by this All-Star Break than they had all of last year. That's a big step forward, but still a long way to go. The exciting part is that the oldest player of any import for the Hawks is Al Harrington, at the ripe old age of 25, and he's due to be traded. This team is young, and will only get better.
I know, it's hard when a friend comes out of the Hawks closet, but don't worry, I'm still the same guy. Truth is, I've always felt this way. I just stopped expressing it in 1994. That year, the Hawks made the move to put themselves on the path to mediocrity, where they made several wrong turns and ended up in WorstTeamInTheLeagueLand. They traded 'Nique, one of my first sports heroes. Not only did they trade him, they traded him while they had the best record in the Eastern Conference - for Danny Manning - a one-hit wonder with bad knees. Smart.
I have a good feeling about this young bunch, though. They play their asses off every night, and play a fun brand of ball. I know, it's fashionable for crackers, like me, to say we don't care about the NBA. The truth is, I just stopped caring because my team was always toast before the season began.
The local sports intelligentsia seem to think the Thrashers are going to overtake the Hawks in relative popularity in this town. No way. Southerners just won't ever get hockey as much as they do hoops. They won't ever forget the glory days of the 1980's, when 'Nique went toe-to-toe with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. If they see those days coming back, the Thrashers won't have a chance. Of course, both are way behind the Braves, Falcons, and Dawgs for most - so it all might just be the equivalent of being the valedictorian of Night School.
UPDATE: My car is now leaking oil. Don't know if it's related to my towing incident, or just a coincidence. I just hope this additional distress from the most expensive free parking spot ever!