People really, really care about the NBA schedule. Fans—and some coaches and players—parse the schedule for signs of their team’s place in the league hierarchy. Fans obsessed with getting “disrespected” raise hell when their team draws a ho-hum season-opening game or gets left off the Christmas schedule.
I find this entire thing amusing. Witness: Plugged-in reporters coming out with conflicting, anonymously-sourced stories (or Tweets) about which team Boston will face on opening night, as if this is an actual story of any importance—and as if the actual schedule (the whole thing!) won’t be released soon enough.
Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer tweeted about eight hours ago that the Celtics would open the season on Oct. 27 against the Cavs, meaning the league would give the prime opening Eastern Conference game the night before to the Heat and Magic. OMG!!! Disrespect to Boston!!
The Globe and the Miami Herald reported a couple of hours later that league sources—anonymous sources for a story about the NBA schedule!!!—are claiming the C’s will open the season against the Heat. And all is right with the world! Boston gets its proper respect! As for Orlando—I hope nobody tells Stan Van Gundy.
Seriously: The opening night schedule will be released tonight at 7 p.m. on NBA TV, with the full schedule coming later this week. I can hold my suspense until then. Respect comes from success in the playoffs and running a professional organization, not from TV scheduling.