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From a beautiful demonstration on the court before the game, to LeBron James locking down both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to end it, the NBA definitely gave its fans something to be proud of in its return.

As though the fans there were only virtual, I have to imagine virtually everyone watching was impressed with the league’s return. I certainly was.

First there was the presentation, and for something that should’ve felt awkward, I thought the aesthetics highlighted the action, as my eyes were drawn to the court and the sound that was pumped in was natural to my ears.

Then there was the product, and Lakers-Clippers is the best they have to offer. It’s hard to come away from that game knowing who would win a series, but the Lakers took the opener because they are good enough to withstand shooting struggles from James, thanks in large part to the presence of Anthony Davis, who was an absolute monster.

And if they continue to get the contributions they did from the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Dion Waiters and Alex Caruso, the LakeShow will be tough to beat. However, the opener was more about the moment to me.

It is apparent the NBA as a whole takes the responsibility of this return seriously, and the players are going to seriously compete. Which was demonstrated by LeBron locking down Leonard.

So, while the overall return of the NBA definitely felt bigger than basketball, damn was it good to have basketball back.