SALT LAKE CITY — What a day it was on Tuesday. The fun just kept coming.
It was the first day of the NBA season, if there had actually been a season. I worked most of the day on a column, but thanks to the lockout, it wasn't about the NBA. It was about soccer. When I was the Utah Jazz beat writer, I would have recoiled at the thought. Now I'm happy to have it around. Otherwise, I might have been writing about roller derby.
As it was, I had plenty to do even without the NBA. I went to the store to buy ingredients for a tuna casserole. I read all my junk mail, both electronic and otherwise. I checked the air pressure in my tires and lined up my neckties according to color.
It might seem that I'm a pathetic loser who doesn't have anything to do besides watch basketball, but that's a blatant lie. I have an extremely full life. For instance, did you see that Charlie Rose interview with Calvin Trillin on PBS?
I was hoping on Tuesday to see the Jazz Bear riding a mountain bike down the stairs at ESA, but I ended up in the checkout line at Harmons. If things had gone perfectly, I would have been at EnergySolutions Arena at 5:30 p.m. Instead, I was picking up a turkey-and-provolone at Subway for my daughter, don't-forget-the-salt-pepper-and-vinegar.
My sister-in-law called around midday and we had a good conversation. It lasted, oh, 15 seconds, but since she had things to do I let her hang up. Still, that was OK because I had plenty of chores remaining. First, I mailed a letter. I would normally put it in the mailbox, but you can't be too careful when returning the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes form, so I drove to the post office.
Back home I walked in the kitchen and listened to the clock ticking. As I did so, I found a Peanut Butter Cup under the kitchen table, so that was a plus. After the sugar kicked in, I was feeling pretty fine. Do I really need Kevin Durant or LeBron James? Do I care whether Enes Kanter can play?
Of course I don't. I'm not some sports-addicted adolesc– awwwwww who am I kidding?
I feel like I've lost a limb.
I just keep remembering the little things that used to irritate me but now seem endearing. The way Andrei Kirilenko used to lose the ball driving to the rim. The weird form Al Jefferson used when he pulled up for a jumper. Who could forget Gordon Hayward's brain going faster than his body?
Sweet memories, all.
If this column sounds familiar, you're not imagining. I wrote a similar one the last time there was an NBA lockout, 13 years ago. I had a weird non-opening day then, too, though some things have changed. Back then I was driving a Jeep; now I'm driving the 15-year-old pickup that my wife and daughter won't. In 1998 the Jazz were coming off back-to-back NBA finals appearances. Now they're coming off a year in which Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams left and the team went down the drain — not necessarily in that order.
Thirteen years ago, the Jazz had Stockton, Malone, Hornacek and Sloan. Now there's a kid named Derrick Favors, and by the way, is he really doing them any?
On Thursday, which would have been the Jazz against Memphis in Game 2, I bought some paper for my printer. I went outside and stared my lawn into submission for the winter, then enumerated the column ideas I'll lose if the Jazz don't play this year: approximately 30.
Next, I marked Nov. 12 as the date for roller derby tryout. The season starts in March, though I normally wouldn't be paying much attention. This year, though, is different. Let me check my calendar.
Yeah, looks like I can squeeze it into my schedule.
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