New level of competitiveness is on the rise…new brand of basketball is here to stay for years to come
Call me delusional or outrageous but this year, the NBA has become huge victors in more ways than one. This season alone by far has risen the bar for what many can consider as the new era of basketball coming into prominence. Let’s sit back and think about it. If you were looking for pre-season theatrics, you had it. A excellent example is the unexpected but yet dramatic return of King James suiting up for his hometown squad in Cleveland. What about the power of “father-time” as it was able to become both a hit and miss for certain future hall of famers. Too bad, Kobe Bryant was caught with a sad case of it due to injuries that forced him to watch his Lakers suffer the entire season. Meanwhile, Paul Pierce was able to dodge it and prove to the fans that he’s still “The Truth” and he still has IT by his amazing clutch playoff performance for the Washington Wizards.
Granted, it wasn’t late 80’s, early 90’s basketball where you got the greats clashing on and off the court like a vintage Jordan vs. Bird match-up. Or, hard nose basketball was on displayed as bodies crashed onto the hardwood floor courtesy of tough defensive minded teams like the “Bad Boys” of 89-90 Detroit Pistons, 94-95 New York Knicks or the 96-96 Chicago Bulls. Instead it was a new, much more improved level of competition that had fans like myself highly appreciative in the era where superstars ban together to form powerful trios to steal an NBA championship. Steph Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis & Russell Westbrook deserve a major salute from me because they reminded fans and ballers that all it takes is one season to out perform and outshine arguably the best player in the world in Lebron James. Record-breaking performances, amazing showcase of skill and determination have reminded fans like me that no matter who is at the top of the food chain, there’s always a new breed of savages ready to knock you out that spot one night at a time.
This season was one of those rare seasons where authentic team chemistry led to major success for squads fans expected to dominate. A case in point is the Golden State Warriors, who had the best record in the league but had to experience humble beginnings during their route to accomplish this feat. Thanks to former head coach Mark Jackson for installing the confidence in them and current rookie head coach Steve Kerr engineering the movement, the Warriors are on cloud 9 gaining fans left and right due to the ability to show fans the reward of playing in a risky system of the living and dying by the 3 ball. Then you have the unexpected leaders on top in the Atlanta Hawks, who utilize team ball in which it landed them on top of the Eastern Conference. In addition, they had 4 players that participated in the All Star Game.
Overall, the unpredictability, the suspense and the fire are what made this season one for the ages. Can we get another one like this? Only time will tell but until then, let’s just soak all of this greatness in before it dies out. Thank you NBA. It’s been overdue but highly appreciated.