The beginning of any new experience can be nerve-racking. Whether it’s the first day of school, the first day back to work after a long vacation, or the first game of a season, there are usually heightened feelings and emotions surrounding every moment. It’s not just another day; it’s the start of something entirely NEW, even if you’ve done it before.
That being said, there should only be a certain amount of speculation after every team’s first game of an NBA season. After all, it is a very long season, so being 1-0 or 0-1 isn’t that important. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself as a Bulls fan. But really and truly, it doesn’t matter, especially when your first loss comes at the hands of the defending champions on their home court. There are 81 games left in the season, including another 3 games against the Heat, so there’s still much to prove.
Tonight, they face the New York Knicks in their first game at home, which also falls under the context of a ‘new beginning’….but it’s at home, with an arena full of supportive fans who will be beyond excited for this game. Both teams have shared a competitive rivalry dating back to the early 90s, when the Bulls repeatedly knocked them out of the playoffs (except in 1994), so there is already an added element of importance each time these teams face each other. Furthermore, while some Bulls fans were lucky enough to see Rose play during the preseason at home, this will be his first real game back at the United Center since April 21, 2012, which gives even more reason for the Bulls/fans/city to bring an extra level of energy.
If you find yourself torn between who to root for, consider this. Just recently, the Knicks signed Chris Smith to be the last man on their roster, who is the younger brother and teammate to JR Smith. While that makes for some sort of cute story where 2 brothers are on the same team (who doesn’t like to see siblings play together?), there seems to be speculation that this move was made for certain people (aka Knicks) to get paid.
The 15th man on any NBA roster rarely has the opportunity to make or break a game, but that’s beside the point. Chris Smith currently holds a job that many other men in this world could have. While he’s had some success in his days as a basketball player, he does not have NBA talent. You can read more about his underwhelming summer league stats and signing here.
^^ Scottie Pippen dunking all over Patrick Ewing in 1994.