Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

IT'S BACK. The impossible unifying force gathers together the entirety of Portlandia—from the schmuck with the Lars Larson bumper sticker on the back of his car, to the woman on the bicycle yelling at him for taking up half of the bike lane, to the teenager watching the whole thing unfold as he slowly realizes that the brownie Brandon sold him totally wasn't a weed brownie. The Portland Trail Blazers have returned. (NOTE TO PEOPLE SO DESPERATE TO BE INTERESTING THEY WILL BE PURPOSEFULLY OBTUSE WHEN IT COMES TO THINGS THAT ARE UBIQUITOUS BUT ASSUMED TO BE LOW CULTURE: THE TRAIL BLAZERS ARE A BASKETBALL TEAM. DORK.)

The team is coming off a season where they exceeded even their own expectations and reached the second round of the playoffs. Even more important, they were super fun to watch while they did it. By the time you read this, the Blazers will have probably already played their first game, but the season is long, so here are some things to look forward to:

Damian Lillard: Look, I know technically the Blazers had to play a whole other playoff series against the Spurs after Lillard's brilliant, once-in-a-lifetime, last-second three-pointer sent the Houston Rockets back to the land of UGK and obesity—but I like to live in a fantasy where Lillard hit that shot and then got so stoked he jumped through the roof of the Moda Center into outer space, where he promptly punched the lyrics to "Bust a Bucket" into Jupiter's dopest moon (Ganymede). Let's hope our star man falls back to Earth in time to improve on his first all-star season.

Chris Kaman: Chris Kaman is the team's new back-up center. Chris Kaman looks like a caveman. Chris Kaman's last name sounds a lot like "caveman." Like maybe somebody asked what his name was, and he was like "CHRIS KAMAN," and they were like "Chris Caveman?" and he didn't respond because he was fascinated by some nearby tinfoil. Look, I'm not saying Chris Kaman is actually an unfrozen caveman... but yes, I am.

LaMarcus Aldridge: Our best player faces a lot of questions this year: Can he build on last year's amazing season? Will he re-sign with the team? Does he have a pet dog named "LaBarkus"? Only time will tell.

Steve Blake: You heard how LeBron James returned home to Cleveland after a stint in Miami? Well, Portland has its own, way-worse version of that story! Steve Blake, our new/old back-up point guard has returned to Rip City, after spending several seasons in, like, I think LA or something? Look, he's not an exciting player, BUT HE LOOKS LIKE A TURTLE, SO GET STOKED.

Bunk Sandwiches: THEY OPENED A FUCKING BUNK SANDWICHES AT THE MODA CENTER. FUCK YOU, DUDE, YES THEY DID. I'M SERIOUS. I'M SERIOUS.

Also: SIZZLE PIE, SALT & STRAW, AND CHA CHA CHA! Look, if you want to eat those terrible wonderful skating-rink nachos that kind of fuse and become one with the paper plate, those will still be there, but you can also eat FUCKING BUNK SANDWICHES. @IanKarmel