NBA TV analyst and former Washington Wizards forward Chris Webber likes what he has seen so far this season. In a phone conversation we discussed the many storylines that have developed in the first quarter of the NBA season and the importance of playing games on Christmas.
Webber: If you don't like the Jeremy Lin story then you don't like basketball. He was the bright spot last year for the Knicks, and in the offseason he felt Houston might be a better fit for him. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a standing ovation and some hugs just because of the special moments he had in New York.
JW: Speaking of New York, what are your thoughts on the new Knicks-Nets rivalry?
Webber: When you look at New York you see the Brooklyn team and the way Hurricane Sandy affected the start of the season and how the fans were going to respond. Seeing the spirit of the people...doesn't surprise you but encourages you. Right now, the Brooklyn Nets with their success and how they are challenging the Knicks to be the top team in the city will likely make them a big story all year.
So the Knicks and the Nets story will only get better, not just this year but for a long time to come.
Another story is what is going on with the Lakers so far this season. They're going to be a story that everybody continues to watch with plenty of intrigue to last all year. What will happen to Steve Nash when he comes back? Will they actually trade Pau Gasol? Can Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard keep them in the playoff hunt till they get Nash back? Yes, the Lakers will be very interesting the rest of the year.
Golden State and Mark Jackson are an unbelievable story that is not getting enough praise.
Lastly, what is happening in Oklahoma City is a wonderful story. They have not missed a beat after making it to the finals last year.
JW: Talk about the tradition of the NBA playing on Christmas Day.
Webber: As a player, you want to play on Christmas Day. That's the only day you don't want to be home with your parents and your family because you want to share that day with them watching you. Having experienced and having played in those games, I know it's special. It's almost like the real introduction of basketball to the season. I'm excited about the NBA schedule on Christmas.
*All the quotes in this story were obtained first hand in a phone interview set up by Turner Sports.