"The waiting is the hardest part, everyday you see one more card, you take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part." - Tom Petty
If you are a die-hard Nets fan like me, or simply a fan of one of the other 13 shitty teams that didn't make the postseason, the countdown to next season is excruciating. However, the NBA is able to provide some excellent moments of excitement between now and November. Allow me to present Rory's Summertime Do's and Don'ts that will make the next few months entertaining, fun, and safe!
DO: Watch the NBA Playoffs
So, you just watch your team win 34 games, while losing 48. That sucked. You watched subpar basketball for six months. Now, many fans give up, and start following baseball or something dumb like that. But, NO! I present to you...the NBA PLAYOFFS!
The playoffs are FUCKING awesome. I got jacked just watching that clip, and that's from 16 years ago. This year has been no disappointment. Even the series I thought were going to be boring have been tremendously entertaining (Sixers/Magic, for one). So treat yourself to watching some amazing basketball. Plus, since your team is gone, you will be able to watch with an objective eye, and not get emotionally scarred (I'm looking at you, game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Semis against Detroit).
DON'T: Watch the Summer League
This will be the first and last time I talk about the Summer League. It is such a waste of time that the only way it would be worthwhile to talk about is if time was moving backwards as I discussed it. I tried following it for years, but just got frustrated.
Why the hate? Well, it's subpar basketball where everyone just jacks up shots, 99% of the undrafted players are terrible and don't have a shot in the NBA despite the hype they may receive, there is no correlation between summer league success and NBA success, you are putting your rookies at risk of injury, the uniforms are ugly, the web announcers suck, and the refs wear shorts.
Whew. In case you skipped that paragraph, I'll just recap: It sucks. Moving on.
DO: Watch the NBA Draft
Hands down, the single most exciting night of the offseason. Although the Nets will (most likely) have a mediocre #11 pick this year and no second round picks, I will be watching this from beginning to end. It provides laughs - from crazy suits like pictured above, awkward interviews with players and GMs, and the Knicks fans' reaction to any of their draft picks. It provides tears - like watching that last guy in the green room squirm with a dejected look as he slides down the board, knowing that with each pick he loses more and more money (be prepared, Tyler Hansborough). Also, there's nothing I love better than David Stern coming out before a pick, and saying "There has been a trade." What a curveball! This could be anything! Although, most of the time it will be something lame, like the rights to Milovan Rakovic for future cash considerations. Still, it is a great few hours of TV that I look forward to each year.
The post draft analysis articles are some of the best of the year. I particularly like Bill Simmons' Draft Diary and the Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen, but I'm not sure what they will do now that SAS is no longer with ESPN.
DON'T: Read mock drafts
I'm against mock drafts for a few reasons. First, if you were going to see a movie, would you want to read several columns about how people think the movie is going to end? Personally, I like going in with a blank slate. Second, the NBA draft is always a crapshoot after the first 3 picks. Some poor general manager will make a reach on a pick, or unexpected trades will happen. Then, all those experts' mocks will be useless 30 minutes happen. Save the time you spend reading mocks this summer and use it productively - go to the beach, fly a kite, or write a snarky blog post.
DON'T: Believe the Hype
Once July 1st hits, teams are now able to negotiate with other free agents. Rumors swirl like a candy wrapper caught in a updraft. I encourage you NOT to believe any of these rumors about who your team will sign and/or trade for. I know it is fun to imagine what the roster may be, but your dreams will be dashed 90% of the time based on something that probably was not true to begin with. It is like watching porn with your hands tied behind your back - you can be entertained and happy for a little while, but there will be no climax and you'll just be frustrated.
DO: Talk non-stop about anything that DOES happen
Once August hits, the NBA offseason action is a slow crawl. So, anything that actually DOES happen with your team warrants you over-analyzing it to death. I'm pretty sure I spent more time complaining about the Najera signing than talking about the Yi trade, the 3 draft picks, and two other free agent signings combined. As long as you haven't annoyed everyone by talking about rumors, this is a totally worthwhile way to kill time waiting for the start of training camp.
DO: Keep reading this blog
This summer should be an interesting one for the Nets, and I'll be here each week to discuss the hard hitting issues and controversial topics like automobiles with Nets logos and how to consume free beer at a Nets game.
DON'T: Burn monkeys
That's just sick, man.