Do you remember the NBA’s commercials from the 80′s? If not, here’s a link that will bring back great memories, and make you laugh.
I’m surprised to admit that the title of this blog is true. There’s also another way to write that title: The NBA I$ Fanta$tic. However, that’s another blog.
For now, I want to elaborate about how the NBA has won me back as fan. When I started makintheplay.com, I wanted to eventually include a lot of NBA information, but I knew that unless I had a huge NBA fan to write blogs, this section of the website wouldn’t be prevalent in the first two years. There is still a long, long way to go for our NBA content to be legitimate and consistent, but the 2012-2013 season could lead to a lot of great NBA content.
With the conclusion of the NBA Finals nearly two weeks ago, I really didn’t expect to be writing a basketball blog so soon, let alone a second post-Finals blog. However, the flurry of free agency activity immediately following the draft has kept the NBA relevant. I anticipate summer NBA news to provide plenty of opportunities for the league to not be completely drowned out by the NFL training camps. While there is no way for the NBA to compete with the NFL, I think The Association is regaining a foothold with many casual fans.
New Places For Old Faces
Unlike two years ago when the only free agent that mattered was LeBron James, 2012 is full of superstar free agents whose decisions will have major impacts on the upcoming season. The biggest player to change teams so far has been Steve Nash. The 38-year old point guard was included in a sign and trade deal between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers.
This deal will have a huge impact on the Western Conference. While I expect the Oklahoma City Thunder to be the team to beat in 2012-2013, the Lakers have now laid a foundation for Kobe to get one more shot at a title. If there’s a way for the Lakers to acquire Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, the LakeShow will be a force in the playoffs. A deal for Howard may be tough, since the Lakers gave away two first round draft choices. In order to get Howard, a three-way trade deal looks like the best chance for something to get done, as what’s available from the Laker bench isn’t likely enough for the Magic to make a straight deal.
Nash isn’t the only “old” man making a change for next season. The 89-year old Jason Kidd (OK… He’s only 39, but still…) is headed back to the east coast. Kidd is the newest member of the New York Knicks and will fill the void that will likely be left by last season’s one-hit wonder, Jeremy Lin. It appears that Lin will be taking his surprisingly great, and possibly long-lasting, talent back to Houston. The Rockets were a brief stop for him during training camp, and now, Lin is set to sign a four year, $28,800,000 contract according to Adrian Wojnarowski Yahoo! Sports.
I doubt Kidd is the missing piece for the Knicks. That team has chemistry issues that Kidd can’t fix. The good news is that he doesn’t have to score a lot of points to be happy. Kidd is working his way up the all-time assists leaders list, so he should have no problem passing the ball a lot. That will be important on a team that has both Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Actually, a team with just Melo needs a lot of players willing to accept not taking many shots.
Dwight Howard is the topic of our current poll at makintheplay.com. We are asking if you like him less than LeBron James. After “The Decision” I didn’t think any player could draw the ire of fans outside of Cleveland like James. Howard has managed to do just that, and he’s on the verge of over-taking LBJ as the NBA’s most-hated villain.
There is no good outcome for Howard. Even a Lakers jersey won’t hide the fact he is a major diva. While he may not be as disliked as much as James, a championship for Howard alongside Bryant won’t likely help his image. Nevertheless, Howard has created another great reason to follow the NBA.
The free agent moves that have occurred and the ones that are yet to come will shuffle players around the NBA and make the 2012-2013 season worth watching. With full training camps and a regular 82 game schedule, things will be back to normal. There should be plenty of story lines to grab the attention of casual fans. The upcoming season could provide new record television ratings.
Whether it’s rooting against the Miami Heat, watching to see if the Boston Celtics can make one last run, discovering how the Oklahoma City Thunder rebound or looking for the rise of the Lakers, 2012-2013 brings a lot of anticipation.
The slogan from the 80′s may be very true once again… The NBA Is Fantastic!