There are few things in the world that are better when they are not happening than when they are happening. Floods, Earthquakes, Tsunami’s[note]The natural disaster kind, not the thing that I miss on Cartoon Network kind[/note], and Katy Perry concerts are a few things that come to mind. The NBA is actually one of these things.
The regular season can be boring but there are great moments. Even in a 33-win season, the Mavericks had Dirk 30, the Nerlens Noel trade, Yogi-Mania[note]Still an awful name and I’m sorry I didn’t come up with anything better…[/note], and even Tony Romo to brighten up the season and make everyone forget how bad this team actually played at times. The playoffs were Maverick-less but even as a general NBA fan the playoffs did not live up to Game 7 of the 2016 Finals hype or the insanity of the 2014 Playoffs that had 6(!) Game 7s in the First Round. Throughout the entire regular season and playoffs of this season, the League knew what was coming. The Warriors were going to win and to a lot of people certainty in sports is boring.
Questions began to arise. Is the NBA bad? Is the NBA boring? Why should I watch this?
This week is why you should watch.
Today is Monday, June 19th, the start of a week where apparently anything can happen—and did. The 76ers worked out Markelle Fultz which seemed unnecessary given that he was destined to play for the Celtics since Mark Tatum called the C’s name at the Lottery. But then a report came out that Boston and Philly were trading picks and Joel Embiid knew it all along.
Yesterday, Woj dropped a Not-So-Patented-Bomb[note]I asked him this summer, he said he wouldn’t trademark Woj-Bomb[/note] that Paul George plans to leave the Pacers and prefers the Lakers. The surprise wasn’t that PG-13 wanted to leave, but we haven’t seen a player since Dwight Howard[note]Several times…[/note] or Carmelo Anthony[note]With the Nuggets[/note] tell a team specifically that they wanted to leave before their contract was up. The League has become so buttoned-up in that way and players don’t demand trades as much as it seemed like they used to.
So of course, the much-rumored-Cavaliers start to assemble “multi-team trade scenarios to try to acquire…” Jimmy Butler(!).
Until Dan Gilbert, the comic sans loving Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers decides to not renew David Griffin’s (Cavs GM) contract right in the middle of his trade talks. A move that Gilbert made without even consulting LeBron James.[note]Say what you want about Cuban but pretty sure Cuban would talk to Dirk before letting go of Donnie[/note]
THEN Sean Spicer was fired as… wait, how is this the least surprising news of the day?
There hasn’t been an NBA-sanctioned game in over a week and the NBA seems like it’s just getting started. The last few days have been incredible and speculation is running rampant; enough to make everyone forget that the Playoffs were ‘boring.’ But that’s what makes this part of the NBA Season the best part of the League. No referees, scoreboards, shot clocks, or mascots in sight[note]I see you behind the door Mavs man….still creepy[/note] but we cannot get enough NBA coverage.
The League may have lost interest in the regular season and playoffs when fanbases[note]Like this one…[/note] realized their team had no chance competing this season… But right now every team is involved. The Mavericks have a Top 10 pick, some trade assets, and some cap space. That’s just enough to make summer almost better than actual basketball. Anything can happen.
Philly traded for the #1 pick, Paul George wants out of Indiana (for real this time), Jimmy Butler is on the trading block, the Cavs GM tried to trade for Jimmy Butler, the Cavs let go of their GM, and oh yeah… the NBA Draft is three days away.
Welcome to the NBA Off-Season.
Bring it on.