Houston signed newly acquired 2-time NBA scoring champ Tracy McGrady to a multi-year contract extension yesterday. Prior to being dealt from the Magic last June, T-Mac had promised to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract which had 3 years left to run.

McGrady’s Rockets tip-off the 2004/2005 NBA season tonight at Auburn Hills versus the defending champion Pistons. Exciting stuff, plus election night coverage from Charles Barkley! But perhaps not thrilling enough for ESPN Radio’s not-so-funny Colin Cowherd, who reminded his listeners this morning that paying close attention to the NBA just doesn’t float the boat of a 40-something husband/dad professional dude. Which would be all fine and good if Cowherd weren’t actually being paid to, y’know, follow the sporting scene with a tad more enthusiasm and knowledge than the average 40-something husband/dad professional dude. When Cowherd’s predescessor Tony Kornheiser would gleefully confess his ignorance about soccer, hockey or any event that took place after 9pm eastern time, it was very much part of a schtick. In Cowherd’s case, if the host and producers have decided that worshipping at the alter of all things NFL is what the audience wants, so be it, but can one of the NBA’s broadcast partners pretend, at least for a day, that this isn’t a fringe sport?