Hello, valuable, loyal, and passionate fan base! I figured that now – a lonely Tuesday night in October – would be a perfect time to update my blog and keep y’all up to date on sports and life.

I was at the Patriots-Cowboys game this Sunday and personally witnessed Brady win the game by himself. However, I did not see the air punch that has replayed over and over again on Sportscenter. This upsets me. It was a good game. Why isn’t tailgating done before baseball, basketball, and hockey games? When is it a bad idea to eat a lot of grilled food, drink a lot of beer, toss around a football, and generally be giddy with a bunch of people who like the same sports team as you do? Never.

I want to dedicate this blog to basketball related topics. I feel like the World Series and the typical football buzz is distracting everybody from the fact that my favorite sport is slipping away from me. I spend hours each night watching NBA basketball during the season, and that will soon be a void that I will need to fill elsewhere. What should I do? I will probably resort to watching more hockey, more college basketball, and probably reading more than per usual. Not the end of the world I suppose, but still a total bummer because, ya know, I love basketball.

Watching David Stern glumly talk about the possibility of missing an entire season saddens me. Basketball is a beautiful sport, one that I feel still has the magic and appeal that it did 25 years ago. The story lines, the rivalries, the superstars – all intact. Basketball has yet to fall into the statistical age in which everyone is judged by their ERA or passer rating. Guys are still relevant if they have lots of hang time. Role players can come into a game for seven minutes per half, provide a ‘spark’ and not see the floor for 32 minutes and still be considered valuable. Coaches are judged at a high standard of winning and nothing more. Teams can literally ride an excited fan base to victory. I’ve been there. When the crowd gets so loud that nobody is focused on anything but remaining deafeningly noisy, the home team simply has an edge. It’s an adrenaline fueled sport unlike baseball and football. Basketball is a sport where strategy is sometimes thrown out the window. There are no pinch runners or specialist lefty pitchers. Sometimes running a high pick and roll with Kobe and Pau is good enough. The triangle can take a backseat. Just go play ball.

And the season is slipping away.

Gosh darnit! Every time the two sides (Players Union and Owners + Stern) meet for seven hours, they always leave it “very far apart” and have made “little progress”. It frustrates me! I understand both sides of it, both parties need to do whats best for themselves, but if we expect to see hoops anytime soon, we all need to compromise. If both sides are unsatisfied at the end of a deal, then it was a good deal (or so the adage goes). Next season marks so many cool things in the NBA – we have like seven or eight superstar youngsters about to enter their primes, players like Kobe Bryant who are chasing down records (and if Kobe finishes like 700 points shy of the all time scoring record, remember that he sat through TWO lockouts in his career), we have the Miami Heat, we have the Lakers new coach, the end of the Celtics big three draws closer every day, we have Blake Griffin’s second season, we have the Cleveland Cavaliers and their first round draft pick Kyrie Irving, we have Amare and Carmelo (and Chris Paul?) in New York. So many spectacular gears were in motion! And it is being… sucked.. away… forever.

Just for giggles, I decided to compile my list of the top ten players in the game today. Here is the list ESPN ‘experts’ made:

10: Blake Griffin

9: Deron Williams

8: Derrick Rose

7: Kobe Bryant

6: Kevin Durant

5: Dirk Nowitzki

4: Chris Paul

3: Dwyane Wade

2: Dwight Howard

1: LeBron James

Not a bad list. I wouldn’t put Blake Griffin up there just yet. I saw some ridiculous athletic plays by him in 2010-2011, but 22-11 in a season full of garbage time? Not enough substance and skill to qualify him for top ten props.. yet. I also do not have Deron Williams in my top 10. Maybe because Utah was so quick to ship him away for spare parts, I dunno. I think of Williams as a B+ player, not particularly a top ten guy. I wanna say Chris Paul is too high, but I personally saw him pulverize the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Without further ado, my personal list!

10: Amare Stoudamire – Remember when he was in beast mode at the beginning of the season and garnering MVP consideration? That’s how good STAT is. Stoudamire keeps defenses on their toes my nailing soft 18 foot jump shots but also likes to take it to the hole. When he is clicking on all cylinders it is truly fun to watch.

9: Carmelo Anthony – Silly that Melo wasn’t on this list. He can truly score the rock. Call me crazy, but a pick and roll between Anthony and Stoudamire could be lethal.

8: Derrick Rose- I like Rose here because he does so much for his team, scoring, defending, to go along with his point guard responsibilities. He needs to get his field goal percentage up and maybe make some better decisions with the rock, but at this point we are just nit picking.

7: Kevin Durant- He’s LeBron James with a more polished offensive game and a teenagers body. It’s a shame. He can score with the best of them, but can you imaging Durant with a 250 pound frame? Ridiculous.

6: Kobe Bryant – 25 points, 5 boards, and 5 dimes isn’t bad for a player supposedly past his prime and playing only 33 minutes per game. Bryant is still an elite player in the league, and is gunning for the NBA scoring record. His body aging has taken away his defensive prowess, but his offensive arsenal remains spectacular.

5: Dirk Nowitzki – Ah, the 2011 NBA finals. Dirk played valiantly in victory against the hated Miami Heat. Who says big guys can’t shoot? Nowitzki doesn’t fit the prototype and that’s exactly what makes him special.

4: Chris Paul- Paul basically is the New Orleans Hornets and perhaps without that nagging knee injury he can go back to his MVP form of 2008. Oh yeah, I forgot. There will be no season.

3: Dwight Howard – People wanna compare D12 to Shaq and Hakeem, but that isn’t fair. Howard is going to go down in history as a 22-12 guy who won like 5 DPOY awards. Not too shabby, eh? I personally am rooting for Howard to stay in Orlando. He belongs.

2: LeBron James- 27-7-7. His overall numbers are always going to look extraordinary, but LeBron will always be judged on how he performs in the pressure of tight situations. Kobe achieved his legacy by dominating postseasons and winning rings, LeBron will be measured with the same stick, my friends.

1: Dwyane Wade- Pound for pound, the best player in basketball. He finishes as well as anyone at the rim and has finally developed a reliable perimeter game. I think Wade is in for an MVP year, I’m talkin’ 26, 7, 7. As far as I’m concerned, Wade is #1.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below. Hopefully I get some testy reviews. Thanks everyone!