Welcome Back Suns Basketball, My Old Friend

When you’re a month away from your 30th birthday not a lot can make you feel like a kid again. Actually, come to think of it, not a lot can make you feel like you’re 20 again either.

That is, except for one thing. Something that has been with me for almost every major moment of my 30 years on this planet -- as long as they occurred between the months of November through April or June if I was lucky. It’s been a great friend who has lifted me me up, given me great joy and even made me emotional from time to time.

That friend, the Phoenix Suns, much like the jack o'lanterns that are strewn across your neighbors front porches, return again tonight decked out in orange.

Sure, they’ll look different than we remember thanks to nine new faces -- ten if you count Channing Frye’s since we haven’t seen it on the court in a game that counted since April of 2012 -- and a new wardrobe but the feelings remain the same. There is nothing quite like opening night. Let’s just say it makes me feel like this.

When I was a kid, after realizing the Governor had once again ignored my letters to make opening night a holiday, I’d throw on a Suns t-shirt quickly followed by my purple Charles Barkley jersey and head to school. (Don’t worry, that wasn’t all I put on.) That ritual now has been replaced by putting on a shirt, suit and bowtie, Suns colors of course. Oh, and don’t worry, I still find a way to work a little Barkley into my wardrobe, this year with a sweet pair of CB34 sneakers.

Talking with friends on the playground about the night’s game has been replaced with getting stuck in an elevator with Ryan McDonough and joke about how we might miss the game. Instead of firing up the old black Emerson clock radio, complete with tape player, and listening to Al McCoy string together words with the precision of the world’s greatest seamstress like I did as a child, I’ll now get the chance to sit mere feet from him as he’s on the call tonight. That doesn’t change the feeling I’ve had every year like clockwork; it’s great to have Suns basketball back.

Records, expectations and offseason banter go straight out the window when the lights go out and we as fans get our first chance to see what the new intro video looks like. It’s about one thing, Suns basketball and the years worth of memories that come along with being a fan.

So here’s to the fans. Crank up the Imagine Dragons Radioactive and welcome yourself to the new age. Enjoy tonight with the same wonderment and awe that we did as kids. Even though the government has yet to declare it a holiday, It only comes around once a year and is worth celebrating.

What's your favorite thing about opening night?