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Plenty To Be Thankful For

On this glorious day devoted to giving thanks, I figured I would let all of you inside my world and tell you about what I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful for the food I will shoving in my face today, including but not limited to: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, a dinner roll, and seconds for all of those things; then later on in the night some peanut butter pie, pumpkin pie, a turkey sandwich, and more stuffing. I will also be thankful for the recliner in my living room since that will be where I pass out after eating all of this food. Additionally, I’m thankful for whoever invented sweatpants, since they are the official Thanksgiving eating attire of Sonny Giuliano.

I’m thankful for a solid slate of football because really, what is Thanksgiving without football? Just like spaghetti and meatballs, foreign players and flopping, and my writing pieces and the Stephen A. Smith/Kwame Brown You Tube video, they go hand in hand.

I’m thankful for LeBron James for, well, just being LeBron James and doing LeBron James things on a nightly basis.

I’m thankful that even though it seems to have fizzled out already, we were fortunate enough to get one week of James Harden in eff-you mode. I was lukewarm on the trade for Oklahoma City to begin with, and when Harden was going bananas the first few games of the season, I was prepared to make the following two conclusions:
A: Houston acquired a franchise player
B: Oklahoma City sabotaged their chances to repeat as Western Conference champions

Now coming down the aisle… Spencer Hawes!

Admittedly, that was a wee bit premature of me. Maybe Harden is a franchise player. I still have a slight lean towards yes, but he has without question come back down to earth the last few games (35.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in his first three games; 20.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4 assists per game in his last 9). As for point B, Oklahoma City shrugged off a bit of a slow start and is now 9-3. Kevin Martin is finding his niche, Durant and Westbrook are being Durant and Westbrook and the Thunder is just as much a contender in the Western Conference as anyone else is.

I’m thankful for the Philadelphia 76ers frontcourt and their respective hairstyles. Spencer Hawes’ hair makes him look like a 1980’s WWF wrestler that never made it, and Andrew Bynum looks like he is doing his best to look like Frederick Douglass.

I’m thankful for the NBA League Pass. Even though I spent the first 15 years of my life without it, I don’t even remember what it was like to be a basketball fan without the luxury of being able to watch every game, every night. It makes being a fan and writer of the NBA infinitely easier.

I’m thankful for Ersan Ilyasova for making me look good by including him on my Toughest Omissions for the Top 50 players in the NBA, and even going as far as saying he had a chance to be the starting small forward on the All-Foreign Team by the end of the 2012-13 season. For those of you who still don’t know who Ersan Ilyasova is (don’t feel too bad), this is sarcasm. He’s stunk like a rotten egg fart so far this year.

I’m thankful that the Memphis Grizzlies are in the mix at the top of the Western Conference, and have been the most impressive team I’ve seen thus far. Maybe I didn’t pick them to make the NBA Finals this season, but I can still hang my hat on the fact that I picked them to go there last season.

I’m thankful for Kevin Love, who returned after missing the first three weeks of the season in typical Kevin Love style: 34 points and 14 rebounds. Even though Minnesota lost last night and have been completely ravaged by injuries all year long (Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, and Ricky Rubio), the Timberwolves have managed to get off to a 5-5 start, giving basketball fans a glimmer of hope that we could possibly see Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Rick Adelman and Co. in the playoffs this year. Realistically, that hope isn’t too far-fetched when you take a good look at their roster. The Timberwolves boast two of the top 50 players in the league and a rotation that can go about 10 deep. Now we will just have to wait and see how healthy Minnesota can stay and if they can remain competitive in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

I’m thankful that my 2nd favorite player in the league is actually playing… for now.

I’m thankful every time Stephen Curry rolls his ankle that his foot doesn’t just disconnect from his leg. It seems like that is the next stage of this very unfortunate injury plagued set of events. Curry has the intangibles, pedigree and charisma to be one of the brightest stars in the NBA, but it’s only a matter of time until another serious ankle sprain is going to put him on the sidelines for an extended period of time. Every time you watch Golden State play it feels like an edge of your seat moment if you are focusing your attention on Curry. He could go down at any second. So enjoy him while you can, and enjoy the Warriors being a fringe playoff team while you’re at it.

I’m thankful for the strong start by the New York Knicks, and a pretty nice start for the Brooklyn Knicks in their own right. Sparked by a conversation I had with my roommate about the San Francisco 49ers the other day, it’s good for the NBA that the Knicks are relevant. Just like it’s good for the NFL when San Francisco, Chicago, either New York team, Green Bay, Pittsburgh or Dallas is good, it’s good when New York, Boston, the Lakers and Philadelphia are all contenders. This year, sparked by Carmelo Anthony, a veteran movement and a rejuvenated Raymond Felton, the Knicks are momentarily the biggest threat to Miami in the Eastern Conference.

I’m thankful that Bill Simmons is now a co-host of ESPN’s NBA Countdown. Any diehard basketball fan knows that Bill Simmons is basically living the life we dream of one day living.

I’m thankful that I will get to enjoy Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, and Dirk Nowitzki (when he comes back) for at least one more season. I’m also thankful that I will get to watch Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins, and Damian Lillard for years to come.

Last and most importantly, I’m thankful for my family, friends and girlfriend. Not just today, but every day, and I hope you guys know that.

sonnygiuliano