82 and 0?

A few stray thoughts as the season gets underway:

Just when we thought it was time to put to rest all the haterism surrounding “The Decision” and let the Big 3’s play speak for itself, LeBron had to go and shoot a Tiger Woods-esque damage control commercial a la the ad wizards at W+K who are subsequently carving out quite a little niche for themselves in the fallen-from-grace-athlete-image-repair department. I have to take umbrage with Shoals’ analysis of the purported brilliance of this ad, partially because it certainly isn’t making LeBron any less unlikable at this point, and instead of closing the book on what has become one of the most absurd displays of narcissism this league has ever witnessed (pun intended), it’s an ongoing reminder of the King’s insatiable need to be the center of attention.

That said, as the Heat traveled to bean town to formally usher in the era of the Big 3, LeBron and Co. looked more like the Three Stooges as they committed six turnovers in the opening period and shot a combined 2-11 from the field. For the most part, the Celtics looked pretty sharp, aside from nearly blowing a 19pt lead in the third, and as much as I don’t care for (former Kazaam! star) Shaquille O’Neal, I appreciated the hard foul he put on James as he tried to drive in for a layup, much like he did to Kobe on Christmas day a few years back.

In the stepchild game of Tuesday’s tripleheader, the new-look Blazers hosted a Suns team that ousted them from the playoffs last season (sans Stoudamire, of course) and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with new addition Armon Johnson (whoever he is) as well as Wes Matthews, but most notably the ongoing development of Nicholas Batum, who was the player of the game partially for icing it with a few big threes late in the fourth. As for the Suns, I was glad to see The Ladies Man Josh Childress holding it down along with Sideshow Bob Lopez, as well as Hedo Turkoglu who was racking up stats in the boos-per-possession column via the somehow still jilted Blazers fans.

I didn’t pay too much attention to the Lakers vs. Rockets game, but thanks to closed captioning and some further insight from Slow-Talkin Jon, I was able to surmise that Shannon Brown is becoming something of a budding star and that Ron Artest evidently has been rapping about the plight of Afghani women.

More to come as opening week continues. Next time, we’ll tackle such essential topics as the rise of Kevin Durant, the implications of the new “Respect the Game” initiative, Rookie of the Year predictions, “Where in the World is Allen Iverson?” and more.

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