Before the NBA begins its regular season tonight, I will try to present some of the more pertinent facts that concern this year's season.
Fact number one: Street and Smith's has got it all wrong.
The cover of its inaugural NBA issue asks: Who's the greatest? The magazine gives the reader three options: Boston's Larry Bird, Chicago's Michael Jordan and Los Angeles' Magic Johnson.
My question to Street and Smith's: why these three players? Because they exhibit so much talent on the court? Talent should not be the only reason. The NBA needs character and personality.
Magic might have enough personality to pass the test. But Larry Bird?
When you talk about great personalities in the NBA, you cannot forget Utah Coach Frank Layden, whom the magazine didn't put on the cover, probably because he wouldn't have fit.
Okay, so he doesn't look like a first-round draft pick, or even a free agent from the CBA. And he probably belongs on Letterman with Larry "Bud" Melman instead on the Utah bench.
But Layden is a character, probably the greatest in the NBA. Put Layden in a joke competition with Bird and it's no question who will win.
Fact number two: The NBA knows nothing about geography.
Maybe what they say about America being truly ignorant about maps is true. Consider the case of the Miami Heat, the newest members of the Midwest Conference.
What does the NBA want to do? Confuse our nation's schoolchildren?
Miami is about as Midwestern as Paris. Now, because the NBA didn't realize that yes, Miami is in the South, the Heat will have to travel more frequently to convenient locations such as Denver and Utah.
Ever see Rony Seikaly play with jet lag? Or Pearl Washington with bags under his eyes? This year, you will.
Miami will lead the league in frequent-flyer coupons and consumption of Vivarin.