I was sitting on the bus the other day and heard some young women from Ohio complaining about the California weather – they said they missed the seasons. At first, I thought they were crazy. Sure, the change of seasons in Santa Barbara is less harsh than in Cincinnati, but what is there to miss about that? But they had me thinking about seasons and I realized that they might be onto something. I, too, miss a season – basketball season.

Six months of steroid scandals and four National League West teams under .500 have left me feeling more disconnected from baseball than ever before. Hockey may have changed some rules to increase scoring, but I’d still rather sit next to a fat man on a long flight than watch an entire hockey game. Football keeps me entertained two days a week, but five days of down time is simply unacceptable. Basketball season could not have come any sooner.

After five months of waiting, it has finally returned to my life. It may only be the preseason, but I am a junkie and whatever the NBA can give me helps me sleep at night. For a few brief hours, while I listened to the first Lakers broadcast of the year, the b-ball withdrawals subsided and I had my first moments of lucidity since the finals. My skin got goose bumps with every three-point shot and my ears trembled with delight at the announcer’s proclamation that, “Kobe knows what to do with it! He slams it home!”

The only thing that might even be better than the return of the NBA, however, is the return of basketball season at UCSB. This means the beginning of chest-painting – because that’s the type of impartial journalist that I am. Come game time, I may be barely able to stand or walk a straight line, but I sure as hell can scream for a Goettsche alley-oop jam or a Rasp three-ball from way downtown.

My short attention span craves the nonstop action that basketball provides. Whether I’m watching the pros or their collegiate counterparts, I know that what I see will be fast-paced and exciting.

On top of the sheer excitement of the game, the NBA is generous enough to give presents to its followers. What other sport has ever given you a gift? I’m not talking about the time the tooth fairy gave you 35 cents because you lost your teeth playing hockey, I’m talking about Kobe vs. Shaq, Part III, this Christmas. What could be better than watching Kobe Bean Bryant dunk all over the Diesel’s face on Jesus’ birthday? Nothing.

And now that Cox Communications has added TNT to their HD lineup, I dream about the annual Lakers vs. Kings games. With increased clarity, I may finally be able to determine which planet the bizarre-looking Mike Bibby actually comes from.

Regardless of who you root for, it’s hard not to enjoy basketball season. It’s entertaining to watch, easy to understand and those white Sunday jerseys certainly are easy on the eyes. So if you want to root for the “Lake Show,” come to my place and do it in High Def, and if you want to root for the Gauchos, well, I’ll see you in the ‘Dome. I’ll be the one with the big “P” across my chest.

Daily Nexus staff writer Sean Lewis wishes Gaucho games were on TNT so you could see his “P” with increased clarity in High Def.