The 70th NBA season begins on Tuesday, October 27.
Following a Warriors championship (that my co-host on Garbage Time Craig White readily marks with an asterisk because they didn’t defeat healthy teams) there were trades and signings and rookies and coaching changes: I’m waiting for the dust to settle to see what the new starting 5s will look like.
In the meantime here are a handful of NBA storylines I’m eagerly following…
LeBron James is 2-4 in the finals.
The irony is before he won 2 rings the legitimate argument was LeBron wasn’t a winner. And 6 trips to the Finals later with mental breakdowns, back spasms, cramps he’s only walked away with 2 rings: better but not much of a winner.
Compare LeBron’s record to Tim Duncan’s Finals at 5 for 6…Magic is 5 for 9 and Kareem is stunningly 6 for 10. Shaq is 4 for 6 and Kobe is 5 for 7: Jordan of course is perfect. While impressive to get the Finals so consistently each loss diminishes LeBron’s legacy. He/The Cavs have the potential to get there again…if stay healthy; the East is stronger but not difficult to overcome. (Bulls are a dark horse…I’ll have to see what the new coach does and as always if Rose will bloom this year).
One of the disappointing aspects of LeBron’s career is the lack of villain, often he is his own worst enemy (Exhibit A: The Decision). Larry Bird had Magic (and vice versa…Lakers had Celtics) Jordan had to overcome the Pistons and the Knicks: what you overcome is how your greatness is measured. Sadly we’ve never had a Kobe vs LeBron finals…perhaps Stephen Curry can become LeBron’s foil? Think KD can rumble his way back to the Finals…grudge match?
Kobe…sigh. Is this the end? In sports and in life you’re not promised a happy ending…that only happens in the movies. Or with Jordan’s Jazz shot letting his wrist hang in the air (it’s Monday let’s not talk about Jordan on the Wizards). Tim Duncan has the possibility of retiring on top this year. Otherwise the silver hair club…Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki will possibly conclude their careers with early playoff exits or just not even getting to the playoffs. S’all she wrote.
Phil Jackson on the Knicks is an interesting move…and a lot of work to Mr. Clean up that mess. I expect seeds will be planted; not sure if they are seeds of greatness. I trust Phil and will keep an eye on what he does.
For the first time in its history the NBA All-Star Game will be played outside America: we get it! Sunday, February 14, 2016…talk about love (but not free love. I expect the Raptors to heavily jack up the prices…playoff tickets were embarrassing expensive and didn’t match the value of the team losing on the floor). This will be a sweet playground to run around in…I’ve never been to All-Star weekend.
Early November brings us Kareem: Minority of One an HBO doc on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. We’re getting 3 to 5 NBA docs every season and a sweet pile of sports docs in general. Amazing! Last season gave us Kobe Bryant’s Muse, Kevin Durant The Offseason and Clutch City. 30 for 30 Volume III have already started; Darwin would be immensely impressed at how that series has evolved.
Bill Simmons left ESPN and signed with HBO. Simmons was ESPN’s Frank Gehry he built 30 for 30 and Grantland. With his departure where does that leave Grantland? I’m scared…don’t leave me alone in a Buzzfeed world. Sports reporting hings on unfettered personality; journalism standards makes total sense in the A section of the newspaper but not so much for sports.
Rubbing my hands together…like Brother Marvin said: Let’s Get It On! NBA Season begins on October 27, 2015.
BALL IN FALL IN