2011 NBA Season: The Real March Madness Doesn't Involve a Bracket Until May

Euno LeeCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2011

LeBron James and Derrick Rose are trying to make sure you don't spend TOO much time watching college basketball this year.
LeBron James and Derrick Rose are trying to make sure you don't spend TOO much time watching college basketball this year.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It was an interesting question. About this time last year, when I was out of school penning a manuscript, I'd wake up early in the morning, do some stretching, and catch ESPN First Take with my morning coffee. 

For those of you on the West Coast not accustomed to waking up this early (I know my target demographic), ESPN First Take is a mostly forgettable morning program, with one exception: My favorite television personality on earth, Skip Bayless, takes four topics and addresses them while doing his Sunday best to remind everyone he has a hopeless case of oral diarrhea.

And it's beautiful.

You see, the answer to the question was supposed to be obvious. 

"Skip, what are you more excited about, NBA Basketball in March or the NCAA Tournament?"

Skip answered emphatically with..."NBA basketball." Aaaand cut.

Everybody on the set groans. Wait a minute, Skip is serious! March is March Madness month, Skip! Nobody cares about regular season NBA Basketball, anyway!

NBA Basketball over March Madness? This is madness!... sorry, I won't finish that.

The truth is, as is often the case, that Skip Bayless is right. 

Come on. Nobody really cares about college basketball unless you happened to attend, or are currently attending, a school that has a chance of winning the tournament. 

I mean, either that or you have some form of a gambling problem when it comes to bracket time.

As for the argument that college basketball is more sound fundamentally, well the missionary position is sound fundamentally, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's all that fun.

I rest my case.

So while the rest of America fills out brackets, and the vast majority of you "college basketball is for actual basketball fans" junkies try to stab your eyes out with a pencil when you realize that bimbo in H.R. won the office bracket pool, I'll be cracking a Heineken, ordering a fat pizza, and admiring Kobe Bryant's reverse-turnaround fade-away jumper.

From this day forward, I officially refuse to even pretend to care about college basketball.

I mean, with the NBA the way it is, NOBODY has an excuse to miss regular season games. 

If you think regular season games don't matter, explain to me why LeBron nearly killed himself two nights ago diving for a ball in the fourth quarter against Chicago. 

Every win counts in positioning for the Playoffs, both mentally and physically.   

If you think about it, this is the first time in years that the contenders haven't been whittled down to "whoever plays the Lakers."  San Antonio, Dallas (barring a Nowitzki choke), and now even Oklahoma City look like they can go all the way. 

In the Eastern Conference, we're looking at Boston, Miami, Chicago, possibly Orlando (never underestimate a big man), and maaaaybe New York. 

That's already four lock-in contenders where you have to start worrying about potential draws, and first-round match-ups. It's almost enough to make you want to trade Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green. Almost.

So while the mass hysteria and paranoia builds up in anticipation for the playoffs, you might want to tune into a few NBA games before the NBA Playoffs start. You know, so you know what the teams are actually like before you start parlaying, propping, and screaming at Derek Fisher to shoot a layup with 10 seconds left in a four-point win.

As an NBA fan, I haven't been this geeked about the NBA Playoffs since Shaq wore the purple and gold. 

So instead of throwing $20 into an office bracket pool that will inevitably become factored into that H.R. bimbo's weekly Nordstrom's run, take your $20, pick up a six-pack of Heineken, order a fat pizza, and watch how the grown men play basketball.