Diary of the Big Night

This is the biggest night of the year. So many have spent time leading up to this night predicting and prognosticating. This night is big.

The incumbent is strong on defense, but the challenger spent the last months making dramatic moves.

That's right; it's opening night in the NBA.

What did you think I was referring to?

Whether you're a wannabe political pundit or diehard NBA fan, this night is big. Two heavyweights square off for the presidency, while the NBA tips off its 59th season.

Speaking of heavyweights, each Piston picks up his ring with a silly boxing-like championship belt on. While Ben Wallace might sometimes be confused with a member of the WWE, he's certainly earned the right to wear whatever he wants.

Exit poll results come in and pre-game coverage goes out.

Rip Hamilton scores the first two electoral votes of the '04-05 season. After going down by eight points early, it seems like the Yao Ming/Tracy McGrady ticket is having trouble finding its voice. They have been united to "build a better Houston." Granted, with the first quarter not yet over; less than 25% of the precincts have reported.

Meanwhile, Kerry and Bush are filling up the stat sheet as each is scoring points where expected.

At the end of the first quarter, the Pistons lead the Rockets 19-18 and George W. Bush is taking John Kerry to the hole as he holds a 102-77 advantage.

Two more teams who hope to make a difference this season -- "battleground" teams -- in the Mavs and Kings just tipped off. One of the key issues for campaign manager and owner Mark Cuban is the NBA's decision to start on election night. In an interview before his team's home-opener, Cuban did not mention by name but alluded to the "genius that started the season on election day since it's probably the same person that started the season on Halloween in previous years."

The Pistons' approval rating drops a bit as an 8-0 run by the Rockets bench closes the gap. The Rockets go into the half with a one-point lead. Meanwhile, CNN's talking heads tell us it's "all about Wisconsin and Iowa."

But in Wisconsin all you have is the Bucks, who are not expected to make too many waves this year in the East, and Iowa does not even have a team. I'm confused.

For some clarity, I turn to a less publicized race in the Kings/Mavericks. New center Erick Dampier, who has seemingly been in the league since Ronald Reagan was in office, is throwing down dunks and helping the Mavs to a healthy lead in the first half.

Bush has a commanding 170-112 lead, but Ohio is hanging out there like a loose ball. The night is advancing and my attention is turning to the debut of the new-look Lakers. Can Kobe Bryant carry the party now that his running mate is in Miami?

Tayshaun Prince is proving last year's breakout performance in the playoffs is no fluke as the Pistons play defense like the celebrities and athletes stumped for the candidates -- like it's their job.

After Detroit finishes off Houston by a score of 87-79, Kobe canvasses the stat sheet. He has a new platform this year, one that has him as the unquestionable commander and chief of the Lakers.

The Lakers won the state of Colorado, or at least beat Denver. The big night in the NBA is over and fans everywhere are thinking "four more months." Meanwhile, Bush leads 193-112 and the projection is for overtime.

As we would find out the next day, Bush would capture Ohio, but LeBron James would let Cleveland narrowly lose to Indiana.

The candidates spent all night gaining points while opening night in the NBA saw plenty of electoral votes scored. Or is it the other way around?

What a big night.

Comments and Conversation

November 29, 2004


This is one of the best seaosns in years, because there’s no clear favorite. Some team from the weak east could surprise again, or any playoff team in the west could rise and take it. It’s a tossup, which makes the season fun

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