Watch me evade leading with Favre...
The NBA has done a spectacular job of turning itself into a 11-month-a-year league. Beyond the regular season and playoffs, there was the John Wall Lottery in May, the Draft in June, July's free-agent insanity...
...And even into August -- which should be a dead zone -- the league has three things it can stand on: The schedule release (yesterday, which was big enough), the World Basketball Festival (in two weeks) and, of course, Shaq about to sign with the Celtics.
So about Shaq: There isn't another star among the game's Top 20 ever -- or Top 50 ever (or Top 100 ever) -- who has played for as many teams as Shaq's half-dozen: Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, Cavs, Celtics. He's not "Shaq Daddy"; he's a 7-foot version of journeyman Kevin Ollie.
The Celtics may have no chance of winning the East (then again, I said the same thing last season), but they will be among the upper-echelon of entertaining.
And for yet another news cycle in its offseason, the NBA will get a dominant headline. This is, by far, the biggest and most memorable offseason in the history of the league.
*MLB will never let it happen, but Mark Cuban owning the Rangers would be the best thing to happen to baseball ownership in years, not quite Henry buying the Red Sox but a strong No. 2 with Sternberg buying the Rays. Cuban is the best owner in sports -- although Ted Leonsis is giving him a run for his money. He would make the Rangers relevant, just like he did with the Mavs. (Yes, I'm saying that even in a playoff year, the Rangers aren't particularly relevant.)
*Ndamukong Suh gets paid: There's been some griping that he is getting All-Pro money. Unlike Sam Bradford -- who I think will be a bust -- I think Suh will be dominant for the Lions from the get-go and worth all that money. My pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
*A-Rod still stuck on 599: Of course he is.
*The Rays are back on top of the AL East. In April or May? Whatever. In August? It's a big deal. There isn't a better-run franchise in baseball.
*Ryan Howard, Kevin Youkilis to the DL: Howard's benching curbs what had been a sweet little run of good fortune for the Phillies; Youk on the DL is par for the course for Boston this season. (Youk is also at the heart of my fantasy lineup, which has mirrored Boston's injury issues.)
*Well, hello there, Ted Lilly!
*Carmelo not signing Nuggets extension? That would be an obvious sign he is bolting next summer (Knicks? Nets? Wizards?) and Denver has no choice but to trade him to try to get something before he does.
*See how I refused to lead with Favre? That's because I am certain he will play this season. Just when you think he can't stretch this "will-I-or-won't-I" schtick any further, he does it.