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Return of the sweet distraction

The NBA season is upon us, thank Shammgod.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The past week has been horrible.  The past week has been wonderful.

The past week has been horrible, as I've dealt with an extraordinarily stressful situation.  I was recently offered a new job.  A great opportunity for me and my family.  But then, due to a convoluted situation that I won't bore you with the details of with, the offer may be lost.  I'm trying to save the deal, but I can feel it falling apart.  I haven't slept well all week, can't focus on anything, and have generally been pretty miserable at the prospect of losing out on such a great opportunity.

This past week has been wonderful.  The final games of the preseason give us a glimpse of what teams might actually do in the season.  It's still the preseason, but rotations start to tighten up, cuts have been made, and we're seeing something close to the final product.

The preseason, as meaningless as it is, can also provide us with a few amazing moments.  In the midst of my horrible week, I sat down to watch the Heat play the Pelicans.  And then, without warning, Greg Oden was taking off his warm-ups.  Greg Oden stepped onto the court, and threw down an emphatic dunk on his first play.  Oden played four minutes, had the one score, two rebounds, and a few nice defensive plays where he forced the offense to adjust for his presence.

The box score is unimpressive, but the moment gave me chills.  Greg Oden hadn't played in a professional basketball game since December 5, 2009.  He'd experienced multiple setbacks, multiple surgeries, and more frustration than I can even fathom.  In that moment, seeing Oden back on an NBA floor, throwing down a monstrous dunk, as his teammates exploded with joy on the bench, it reminded me why I love the NBA.

The NBA is a silly game that we spend way too much time on.  But it has the power to distract us from our lives, and it has the power to inspire us.

Welcome back NBA.  I've missed you.