At about 4 a.m. Eastern on Friday, as Your Bleary-Eyed Man was finishing off a post about exaggerated reports of the demise of future Denny's customer Shane Battier, a very talented dude named Max Frishberg shared a video mix he'd made purporting to include the very best moments from the 2013 NBA Playoffs. I clicked the link to the YouTube video and saw that it clocked in at 9 minutes, 25 seconds. That was too long a thing for me to sit and watch at the end of a 21-hour day without creating roughly 75 percent odds that I'd fall asleep on my couch with my earbuds in and my laptop doing irrevocable heat damage to my, um, lap, so I tabled it and picked it up this afternoon.
And boy, am I glad I did.
We've loved this season, so full of intriguing storylines, of stars rising and falling, of the push and pull between big bully frontcourts and floor-spacing small-ball, of brilliant things expected and unexpected. In the macro sense, the postseason can sometimes feel like a relentless, two-month slouch toward finality; this is why it's good to go back to the micro sense, to revisit the individual moments and men that make us stay up and think hard and laugh and cry and write. This, like Game 7, is why we do this. Let's do it again, and let's give thanks.
Thanks, breakneck powder-blue-and-eye-burning-yellow Nuggets. Thanks, Bucks in 6. Thanks, Doc, KG, Paul, CP3, Blake and DeAndre — we don't know where or in what combination we'll see you next, but we look forward to meeting again.
Thanks, James, Chandler and ... Patrick? (It says here Patrick. Huh.) Thanks, Lakers, and we've got some good news — the new season really does start now. Thanks, Kevin, and get well soon, Russell. Thanks, Steph, Klay and Mark. (No, seriously — thanks. That was awesome.)
Thanks, Joakim and Nate and Jimmy Freakin' Buckets. Thanks, 'Melo and J.R., counting jumpers and clangs in your sleep all summer. Thanks, Grit-and-Grind, for giving us something to love as a group. Thanks, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, for giving us something to look forward to. Thanks, Tony and Manu and Tim, for leading the way. And thanks, champs, for bearing the standard.
But most of all, thanks to you all for reading, commenting, tweeting, yelling, screaming, crying and laughing along with us all season. We're not going anywhere — we've got a draft, and free agency, and Summer League, and plenty of other stuff to do — and we hope you'll keep hanging out with us. Thanks for making this so much fun. We hope you've enjoyed it half as much as we have.
- Shane Battier