Training camp starts for the Los Angeles Lakers

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The off-season is officially over, as the Los Angeles Lakers gathered together over the weekend to begin training camp in preparation for the upcoming season.

Land, Ho!

For centuries, before the existence of radar, before radios and satellites and cell phones and airplanes, the only way to get from one part of the world to another not connected by land was to pile into a ship and set sail across the ocean. A few days out, you could not see the land from whence you came. All you could see is a vast expanse of blue, spread out in all directions. Voyages often took months; months with nothing to do but handle your daily responsibilities, months in which your routine is all you had. Imagine the boredom of being stuck in a confined space with the same hundred or so individuals. Imagine the insanity of having to do the exact same thing you did the day before because there are no other options. Imagine the fear of not knowing when, or even if, your journey might finally come to an end.

Now imagine the joy at hearing those two beautiful words and having all those other emotions dissolve away. Your journey is almost at an end, and your boredom, your struggle against the monotony of the daily realities of your world the past few months drift off with the breeze. You aren't there yet, but you finally know that you will be, and you will be soon.

We've been out to sea a long time, fellow fans of the Los Angeles Lakers. It has been a tumultuous and damaging voyage, and I don't think all of us made it the whole way. We've lost some folks, we've fought amongst ourselves, and there seem to be quite a few people ready to mutiny, but none of that matters now. Training camp has begun. The season is coming. Finally, the vast expanse of blue has been broken by the hint of green off in the distance.

Land, Ho Lakers fans. Land, Ho!

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