Remember last June? The Spurs and Nets in the NBA Finals? The worst television ratings in decades? The boring games? The sagging media and fan attention?
For reasons both good (LeBron, the Lakers) and bad (Kobe), indifference is no longer the NBA's problem. The NBA is everywhere right now. Cleveland Cavaliers preseason games are selling out. Fox News and CNN air details of Kobe Bryant's defense case around the clock.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban may have been shouted down for saying Bryant's legal troubles could be good for the NBA, but he wasn't wrong. There are more eyes on the Association now than there were for the championship series.
As the 2003-04 season approaches so much is up in the air, so much still is to be determined. It could be a great season. It could be an awful one – remember Jayson Williams' trial for manslaughter is set to begin in January.
But it promises, if nothing else, to be interesting.
Five burning questions as the NBA season gets set to tip off:
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