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I love the NBA, have since the days when Magic directed Showtime and Michael donned his first pair of Air Jordans. After some concerning years of overly physical defense and isolation-style offenses, the league has entered another vintage era on-court. We've got LeBron James, the first guy with a serious chance to be better than Jordan. He's headed for a Finals showdown with Kobe Bryant, the league's most compelling child prodigy turned arch-villain turned consensus all-time great. We've got Dwyane Wade, who already carried one team to a title and on a lot of days, is better than either LeBron or Kobe. We've got Chris Paul, who might become the best little man ever. We've got Dwight Howard, a delightful young man who might be able to dunk on a 13-foot-rim.

All of these guys are entering or already in their primes. They're all playing in the playoffs right now. And yet, as a sports fan living in Baltimore, I don't have many people with whom to talk NBA. I know plenty of sports lovers, and they're happy to carp about the Orioles starting pitching or muse about the Ravens' upcoming draft picks. But if I sent most of them a message about the Cavs-Pistons game from last night (Will the Cavs hurt themselves by not putting teams away? Did you see LeBron's two-hand windmill?), I wouldn't get many concrete responses. If I flip on sports-talk radio (a dubious choice), I'll get more of the same Ravens-Orioles jibber-jabber.

We at The Sun are guilty as well. With fewer reporters, less space and a never-ending flow of news from our local teams, we hardly ever write about the NBA. We used to cover the Wizards as a home team, but those days aren't coming back. It all makes me a little sad. I love watching NBA players live. Their court vision, shooting accuracy and ability to cover huge swaths of ground in a few strides are much more apparent than on television. I tend to like them as people, too. Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas are among the most thoughtful, appealing athletes I've interviewed. And your average NBA locker room feels more urbane than your average baseball clubhouse.

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I hope that Toy Department can become a place where we provide more regular NBA content and where readers share their views on the league. If there are NBA fan communities around Baltimore that I'm missing, please let me know. And enjoy D-Wade and CP3 on TNT tonight.

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