Many suggest that LeBron James has been the face of basketball for the past decade. Although this most certainly is true, there have been setbacks about this claim. With a 3-5 record in the finals, LeBron has faced some of the most widely known criticisms that are constantly ringing around his vicinity to this day: “he has a losing finals record”, “he started the super teams culture”, “he will never be able to chase the ghost of Michael Jordan”. Despite all of James’ accolades and his historic and legendary stature in the game of basketball, his finals record seems to be clogging all the credit and recognition he deserves. Ultimately, however, LeBron continues to prove critics wrong every year, as they continuously state that he is exiting his prime and is being victimized by father time. He’s put up numbers on the highest stage of basketball that no other player would even come close to achieving. LeBron became the first player in NBA history to average a triple double in the NBA Finals, and also became the leader of triple doubles in the NBA finals. Its only a matter of time that once LeBron leaves everyone will fully become aware of how dominantly he controlled the league.
All in all, LeBron James is arguably the greatest all-around player to ever play basketball. It wouldn’t even be unreasonable to hand him the MVP each year. The magnitude of impact that James has on his team is so high and irreplaceable by any other player. LeBron’s legacy, without a doubt, should never be defined by his finals record. After all he’s done for the game and the dominance he’s carried throughout most of his career, James has made accomplishments that are unrepeatable. His legacy will be everlasting, and his name will be forever cherished in the basketball world.
The international growth of basketball today has reached heights unimaginable. Basketball apparel and player popularity has affected the entire industry of the game. Billions upon billions of dollars are spent yearly by fans to appreciate the sport and its growing familiarity worldwide. Representing basketball speaks not only of one’s particular interests, but also suggests their involvement with the sport and how much it has affected their life. One may have a room covered with LeBron and Cavalier posters, or a car having the Warriors logo on the name plate and a flag sticking out of the window. All in all, representing basketball gives people an identity and helps to promote the sport in a trendy and vogue way. Not only is the sport continuing to rise, but the excitement and urge to watch and support the game shifts basketball solitarily in the world of sports.
Supporting the sport is one thing, but playing it throughout a portion of your life can be life changing. Basketball is starting to become an outlet for many young players into college, and also a profession for the highly talented. Poor and underprivileged high school athletes can now use basketball to provide themselves a free college education. For some, basketball can be the difference of whether their life will be lived impoverished or if they’ll be making millions a year. Research has shown that over 75% of NBA players were raised in urban areas and have dealt through financial struggles at some point in their life. The emotional effect that this game has on individuals and families is certainly of a great magnitude. One can imagine the joy that spreads once a player signs a million dollar contract to play overseas or hears his name called in the NBA draft.
Respecting the game and all that it has done for millions of people worldwide is a must. Childhoods are created, lives are affected, and all in all, the game is constantly spreading and grabbing the interests of many.
The Warriors have lived up to, if not, exceeded the expectations that they have for this year’s season. Adding Durant to the roster presented a challenge of team chemistry and resilience. The new big three had to greatly adjust towards sharing the spotlight. From carrying the Thunder offensively throughout most of the season last year, KD could’ve only expected team play in both sides of the game when he made his arrival to the Bay. Overall, the Dubs have displayed dominance and consistency throughout this season. With Klay, Steph, and KD each averaging over 20 points a night and along with the Dubs’ hounding defense that is ranked at the top of the league, the Warriors certainly have the chance to win it all.
Team play is one thing, but injuries were a huge factor that slowed down the warriors during their last postseason run. This year, rest and patience are the keys towards establishing a strong start to this years postseason. With Curry experiencing his ankle issues come playoff time and Iguodala going through chronic back pains as well as Bogut having knee issues, the team’s motor went down and the consistency of play started to diminish, causing confusion and irregularity amongst the chemistry. Avoiding such mishaps and drastic changes can be avoided through proper rest for the players as well as maintaining a steady play throughout the season and simply raising the level of intensity come playoff time.
Bringing the Bay a second title this decade is no easy task considering the loss to the Cavs this Christmas. Stardom doesn’t seem to be a factor when both teams clash; Cleveland was once again able to display their vivacity when trailing. Team play and consistency are the two most important factors that dictate whether the Dubs win it all this year or fall short once again. Although they’ve been solid throughout most of this season, they’ve occasionally fell down in the 4th during crunch time. The Warriors staff was excellent this off season as they pulled off what many would’ve thought as “impossible” and “unrealistic” with the signing of Kevin Durant. Now all that is needed is the answer to whether or not this super team (in my opinion, a fantasy team in 2k) can win it all.
The game has completely revolutionized since the past decades. Not only has the usage of the three-point shot increased dramatically, but the presence and importance of the center position has decreased. Offenses no longer include multiple touches to the post; ball screens, isolations, and pick and rolls are primarily its main structure. There’s no longer a 7 foot Shaq calling for the ball to bully everyone in the paint, and no Hakeem Olajuwon to dream shake any defender in front of him. Instead, guards have the spotlight now, since crossovers and long distant threes are the crowd pleasers and fit the offensive schemes. However, there’s another twist to how this generation’s playing style has affected the players; smaller NBA players now have huge advantages. Isaiah Thomas, Steph Curry, and Kyrie Irving are all examples of how the three point shot and the new offensive style of play has benefited their careers. Screens and isolations help them to get their shots off and use their handle to create scoring opportunities, which contributes significantly towards the teams success and momentum. It’s surprising to believe that the game has shifted from the dominance of 7 footers in the paint to 6 foot guards outside the perimeter. Although former players feel as though the new style is “disgraceful” and “not basketball”, it’s important to consider that the game will continue to change throughout the years,
The preseason’s intensity is certainly not close come playoff time. It’s a platform for teams to figure out how their nucleus and support cast will function. This preseason, teams identified as “super teams” have already been showing signs of dominance. The east is no longer a joke when the playoffs arrive. LeBron isn’t having another cakewalk to the finals, as the stacked Bulls, Knicks, and Celtics squad present a huge challenge. On the other side, the outcome in the west is basically decided. The Golden State Warriors already have their superiority felt with a only few preseason games. It’s nearly impossible to match their starting lineup, let alone outperform their bench. Who will stop the splash bothers? Will Kevin Durant be contained? Will they take home this year’s Larry O’Brien trophy? Though the Dubs seem as favorites, it’s still difficult to conclude since the other super teams haven’t unlocked their complete potential yet. Overall, “unpredictable” is how the entire season will turn out.
Two years ago, the 76’ers drafter the 7 foot center Joel Embiid. In hopes to drastically improve as a team, Philadelphia was heartbroken after Embiid broke his foot. After an embarrassing season, Philly was excited to bring in Jahlil Okafor, who would add to the post presence amongst Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. However for a second time, Embiid got injured, and was out for the whole season. The Sixers ended up finishing last in the Eastern Conference, showing how broken apart their team is.
Though they got the number 1 pick for this years draft, what took place yesterday certainly upset the entire city of Philly. The number 1 pick and Rookie-of-the-year-predicted Ben Simmons broke his left foot. Out for three months, this injury was a major setback for the 76’ers. The hopes of starting fresh for another season is once again deteriorated in a fashion similar to what the Sixers have experience for the past two seasons. Nevertheless, despite the Sixers being hurt with a chance of starting out the season better than last year’s, Ben Simmons has also lost a large percentage of his chances to win the Rookie of the year award.
If there’s any word to describe how this upcoming season will be for the Sixers, it’s “hell”.The new super teams that have formed in the east makes the playoff competition an extreme challenge for all teams. Moreover, replacing Ben Simmons isn’t an easy task, especially when the team lacks star players. It just happens to be that luck is never in the favor of the Sixers, which makes the upcoming season another black hole for Philly.
The Houston Rockets were a Western Conference favorite the year James Harden and Dwight Howard teamed up. Harden’s MVP like performance during the 2014-2015 season along with Howard’s strong presence in the paint presented a huge threat towards any opponent. The nucleus was already in the Rocket’s roster to make run towards the championship; a strong defensive team along with an offense mostly carried by Harden, who created plays for his teammates and scored in clutch situations. After trailing 3-1 against the Clippers and making a historic comeback only to fall short against the Warriors, everything plummeted from then on.
Chemistry proved to be the main deciding factor on how the Rockets would perform in the upcoming season, however it was a fail. Harden and Howard did not cooperate. As an All-Star throughout most of his career, Howard demanded many touches to the ball. However it was Harden’s team, and the ball in his hands was what the Rockets looked for. Despite additions to the team such as Ty Lawson and Michael Beasley, the Rockets would still fall short in the first round of the 2016 Playoffs to the Warriors once again, where chemistry had completely drained the team’s moral. With the Howard trade to the Hawks, the Rockets are looking to rebuild another championship caliber team in the years to come, although the spotlight will still remain on the Dubs.
The potential rebirth of Clutch City in the 2015 post season has drastically fallen. Houston, we have a problem.