It’s upon us, opening night in the NBA. New faces in new places, and some of the same old places too. The storylines are everywhere.
Miami…What will life be like after LeBron took his talents from South Beach, back to the Lakefront? Yes the Heat retain Chris Bosh, the big shooting forward, and the aging guard DeWayne Wade, but there is no LeBron James and that means the Heat drift off to oblivion, regardless of Pat Riley’s GM-leadership abilities.
Cleveland…King James has come home to rejoin the Cavaliers, and all is forgiven, the hate, the anger, the resentment, the owner’s attack on the players credibility. LeBron James is not only back, but power forward Kevin Love came in the Minnesota Timberwolves huge trade. It means the Mistake on the Lake has become the place to be go see hoops this winter.
Chicago…Look what the wind blew into the Windy City, high scoring slick Lakers free agent forward Pao Gasol. He joins Jokim Noah and Derrick Rose in a dynamic offensive team.
New York…Big Chief Triangle is calling the shots, GM-Phil Jackson, who just could not stay away from basketball. His trusted guard Derek Fisher is now his rookie coach. And Carmelo Anthony is there to try and become a better team player. This will be a real test of wills, Melo’s talents vs Fisher’s system.
Golden State…They have firepower led by Steph Curry, and now they have a respected coach, but still a rookie, in Steve Kerr. This will be fascinating to watch unfold.
Los Angeles…The Clippers are the team in town, but till they win a banner and a ring, they won’t really grab the hearts of LA no matter how bad the team across the hallway is. Doc Rivers has Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, a developing center, and a loaded bench of grinders. But they must play into June (the finals) to really get respect. Oh, and Donald Sterling will not be sitting courtside any longer.
Los Angeles…This will be painful to see, 39-year old Kobe Bryant, with newcomers Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer and young rookie phenom Julius Randle. The rest of the roster are refugees. The team that used to be “Showtime” has gotten bad in no-time at all..
Portland…Rip City has been building and this may be the year they take a big step forward, with veteran depth coming from Chris Kaman and Stevie Blake to compliment Aldridge and Lillard.
Houston…They’ll have to prove it to the world, that any team that employs Dwight Howard can be called a team rather than a group of individuals. James Harden is a star too, but they need more.
Enjoy it in some cities, many others will suffer from it, but it is what the NBA has become since packages are put together to create Dream Teams. Free agency now in basketball means a select group of good teams, and plenty of bad ones too.