Opening Night is also special.
This will be the first time in 21 years that I will not be sitting at my usual broadcast position explaining the why and how something happened on the basketball court.
At the New Orleans Hornets opener, I will observe and take notes as a member of the media instead.
If it appears that I am talking to myself while I lock onto the action, it's just my way of broadcasting to myself. I don't do play-by-play but rather describe what the offensive and defensive movements are.
"Wing pass, block to block screen into a weak-side pin into a duck-in post pass, jump hook."
"Double down, dig, chase the skip, close out....close out was quick or too slow."
The use of basketball vocabulary keeps me alert and enhances my concentration. It's an endless conversation I have with myself. There are times the lips are moving ... or it remains an internal exchange.
Opening Day in the NBA is special. The sounds of the game, fans, ball bouncing, sneakers on the wood, and conversations all add to the atmosphere of what I call joyful noise.
I like to get to Opening Day early, sit in my seat and feel the vibes. I take it all in: watch the players take part in their routines, chat with a coach, maybe a player or two, and settle in for the good times.
We should all walk into a stadium or an arena as if it was a church, a special place. The New Orleans Arena will be a sacred place for me Wednesday night when the Spurs are in town.
A game that has given me so many moments must be respected. It's the game that taught me how to be comfortable in my own skin.
The game may seem so complicated, that its simple beauty can escape the novice eye.
Find the open man, and pass him the ball.
It's as simple and rewarding as walking into a church when you need those special moments.
Opening Night should be a National Holiday.
Enjoy the sounds.