NBA’s post-post-season more exciting than season itself

“Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”

-Days of Our Lives’ (and potentially the NBA’s new) promotional tagline

 

It’s been quite the last two weeks for the National Basketball Association.  If you’re into made-for-television drama, the NBA off-season might just be for you.  At least Adam Silver is hoping so.

For NBA homers such as myself, the post-Finals denouement has been more entertaining than the season itself.  This is a marketing technique the NFL has mastered.  The regular season lasts only four months but fans talk about the sport all year long.  Finally, the NBA is catching on.

We haven’t played a game in two weeks but have seen more NBA wheeling and dealing than Khloe Kardashian’s Rolodex.  With free agency only a week away and 29 teams not named the Golden State Warriors unhappy in their own skin, draft week threw us a lot of faces changing places, a healthy portion of finger-pointing, a wholehearted helping of speculation and as usual, plenty of dysfunction.

Here are the last two weeks in a nutshell:

Paul George is leaving Indiana… or is he.  George has been the biggest free agent morsel this off-season.  His impending departure has even been linked to Larry Bird’s retirement as GM.  The George sweepstakes are only beginning with a bunch of teams including Cleveland and Los Angeles interested in welcoming him aboard.  But will he stay or will he go now… and what exactly is going on behind closed doors that we don’t know about?

Sources leaked that both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will declare themselves unrestricted free agents at the July 1 deadline.  The Clippers’ third musketeer, Deandre Jordan, has also been included in a slew of trade rumors.  Their departure would leave L.A.’s cupboard quite bare and make next season’s Lakers-Clippers games look like the developmental league’s undercard.

The NBA Draft came and went with no clear-cut number one.  The Sixers went first, choosing Markelle Fultz, after receiving rights to the pick in a trade with Boston, leaving Lonzo Ball, and his father, at number two to the Lakers.  I can’t say I can recall a draft where it’s entirely unpredictable whether the top five players become All-Stars… or all busts.

As expected, Lonzo Ball stayed at home in Los Angeles.  On draft night, his outspoken father predicted his son will be the difference in the Lakers making the playoffs, which means the purple and gold would have to win about fifteen more games this year than they did last year.  Lakers fans are hoping the Ball pick works out better than their number two pick from two years ago.  That pick, D’Angelo Russell, was traded away to make room for Ball.  The Lakers moved Russell because they felt he wasn’t leader enough.  He’ll now be leading less for the Brooklyn Nets.  There were no other major fireworks from the Ball family on draft night but you know it’s just a matter of time before Poppa Ball butts heads with Magic Johnson because of his son’s playing time.  And THAT will get interesting.

Speaking of draft night, Jimmy Butler was traded from the Chicago Bulls, allegedly because his relationship with head coach Fred Hoiberg was so demeaning, it made other teammates uncomfortable.  That leaves Chicago with basically nothing more than an aging Dwayne Wade on their roster.  They’re paying him about $25 million a year, making teammates even more uncomfortable.

We also heard rumors that people within the Cleveland organization warned Butler to stay away from the Cavaliers.  Perhaps those were the same people who hacked JR Smith’s Twitter account.  The Cavaliers also fired their General Manager, David Griffin, who was instrumental in bringing them their title in 2015-16.  All he did was field a team that made it to three straight Finals.  With LeBron able to de-Cleveland-ize once again after next season, the entire city must be shuddering at the thought that this might be their final run at a championship with the big guy.  The Cavs’ 2017-18 might just feel like dead man walking.

It wouldn’t be NBA drama without including the Knicks somehow.  Owner James Dolan skipped the Draft because he had a previous engagement with his rock and roll band.  The Knicks top young talent, Kristaps Porzingis, the only reasons Knicks fans still watch basketball games, has also been on the trading block.  The heat on Phil Jackson is greater than ever to win ball games although with Dolan not paying attention, his job might be safe after all.  And just out of curiosity, who are these people going to see James Dolan play in concert?  I’m guessing not many of them are Knicks fans… or Charles Oakley.

No strangers to lottery picks, the Sacramento Kings are being hailed as the team who made the biggest splash on Draft Night… which surprised many fringe fans who didn’t realize Sacramento still had a basketball team.

LaMarcus Aldridge’s name has also been coming up in trade rumors.  Remember when LaMarcus was pulling down 23 points and 12 rebounds with regularity in Portland?  This year, in San Antonio, he averaged near career lows in both those statistics.  I guess the Spurs weren’t a good fit after all.  Timmy Duncan leaves big shoes to fill.

And speaking of not fitting, Celtics GM Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens flew across the country to work out potential draft pick, Kansas guard Josh Jackson.  The only problem is Jackson cancelled the workout, leading the Celtics to take Jayson Tatum instead.  Perhaps Tatum didn’t realize the Celtics were the top seed in the East last season.

That all happened in just two weeks… and there’s plenty more to come.

Rest assured, with free agency hitting in a few more days, we’ve barely heard the end of it.  Get your popcorn ready!

19 thoughts on “NBA’s post-post-season more exciting than season itself

  1. The NBA Playoffs were tedious and completely boring. In what should have been a competitive Finals, turned out to be a lopsided farce. I don’t know what the hell ESPN’s J A Adande was talking about, when he claims the series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors was close.

    In reality, the only real excitement created has been with the aftermath of the NBA Draft , the trades made and the executives on the move. David Griffin out as Cavs’ GM. Jerry West leaving the Warriors to become a Special Consultant with the Clippers .

    Add in the funnier NBA stories, with Kim Kardashian’s fitness instructor Gunnar Petersson being hired as the Athletics Trainer for the Lakers . I was wondering if Magic Johnson’s next move will be to hire Ru Paul to teach the Lakers’ players Calisthenics ?

  2. So, Al, what does Jerry West coming to the other L.A. have to do with all the current Clippers jumping ship?

    And how much does he have left in him to rebuild another championship team?

    I guess we’ll have to wait for Bleed to answer that question.

    If it’s one thing we’ve learned about the Logo, it’s never to doubt him.

  3. Jerry West can turn water into wine . He’s closely related to Jesus Christ by all accounts. LOL,LOL,LOL !!!! You have to remember at one time the Clippers did have Elgin Baylor running the show as Head of Basketball Operations. Doc Rivers should be left to deal with nothing more than the coaching of the team.

    Can you explain to me what John Paxson and Gar Forman were thinking when they sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves ? Granted, Zach LaVine is a young up and coming player. Now all of a sudden the Chicago Bulls will become an afterthought , where Rajon Rondo is viewed as the best player on the Bulls’ roster. That’s one hell of a come down .

    Will Bleed be more concerned that Kim Kardashian’s fitness instructor , Gunnar Petersson is on the Lakers’ coaching staff or the fact that LaVar Ball might well be giving coaching tips to Luke Walton’s coaching staff ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!!!!

  4. The sorrowful Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingas eliciting a pluralized ‘reasons’ very clever writing, Chris. Your entire piece is masterful. Your stuff belongs in the NYT. I learned more in five minutes than I did all season long.

  5. The Timberwolves and Queens had the best nights of the draft, but Magic and Rob didn’t do too bad either turning three picks into four getting Lonzo and nabbing Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Thomas Bryant with those low round picks. Also signed PJ Dozier as an undrafted free agent .

    “developmental league’s undercard”
    lol, Ouch.
    Stern’s veto…the gift that keeps on giving.

    Maybe Papa BigBaldBlabbermouth can talk his son into actually dragging the Lakers out of the D league. The Lakers trading his predecessor Russell to NBA Sibera will give him plenty of opportunity. so I doubt LaVarhole will be in Magic’s ear about playing time. The keys are Lonzo’s.
    Now we get to see if his game can live up to his old man’s verbal diahrrea.

  6. Clipper ownership went from racist to ‘rah-rah’. A good thing, but why the probable player exodus? Doc Rivers might be amongst the over-rated coaches in the league. You can add in nepotism. I can name a few guards in the D-League that surpass his son Austin.

    The NBA post-season? Let’s first mention the preseason. Do more than a handful of teams really expect to be serious contenders come September? Without gambling(legal or otherwise) this league flounders.

  7. “. I was wondering if Magic Johnson’s next move will be to hire Ru Paul to teach the Lakers’ players Calisthenics ?”

    One of your better lines Tophat!! lol

  8. The best part of this post-season was watching the brain-dead hacks at ESPN trying to keep the “LeBron is still the best player in the NBA” nonsense alive.

  9. BWAHAHAHAHAHA…..sLob City is toast.
    CP3 traded to Houston

    Blake sure to leave now too
    Jerry West joined a dumpster fire
    LMAO

    ….Karma for all that noise their bandwagon “fans” made after feasting on the table scraps of the veto.

    CUCK THE FLIPPERS!

  10. Ronbets

    The two moves completed by Magic Johnson and it has you wondering what the hell is going on. The hiring of Kim K’s personal trainer to get the Lakers’ players into peek physical fitness and then the trading way of the team’s best overall player (Lou Williams) of last season. If the Lonzo Ball draft fails to meet expectations , then expect Jeanie Buss to be deflating more than Magic’s balls.

    No sour grapes then , as the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson agree to mutually part ways. Things that don’t work in New York , the Triangle Offense (players don’t have the IQ ) , seventies’ porn-stach’s, Phil Jackson as a front office executive and the belief by Knicks’ fans that the experiment would have been a success had he been given more time.

  11. Al…

    It looks like our boy West will be starting from scratch in Los Angeles now that Chris Paul is gone.

    What do you make of the rumors that Paul’s relationship with Doc Rivers had grown sour after the Clippers signed his son?

  12. Jim…

    I meant what I said about the NBA taking a page from out of the NFL’s book.

    All we ever do is talk football and the NFL loves us for it.

    We’re talking basketball now more than football and it’s the off-season for both.

    Someone in the NBA’s head office is doing something right. And that’s copycatting.

  13. Bleed…

    To make matters worse, it looks like Chris Paul will spend his entire career playing for every Western Conference team BUT the Lakers.

  14. Bets…

    Aren’t the Warriors currently around -300 to win the Finals next season? I’d venture to guess that not even Michael’s Bulls or Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers were that heavy favorites after their championships.

    And yea, read my comments above. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Austin Rivers. I’m wondering if he will end up costing his daddy his job.

  15. Dubs…

    Can we go a day watching ESPN without hearing someone shout at the top of their lungs of reading them get a fact wrong?

    Stay tuned for an upcoming post where they did just that.

    I know. You’re not surprised.

  16. Bleed…

    So what’s the best fit for both Blake and DeAndre AND… if you were the Cavs GM (by the way, they need one), would you trade Kevin Love for either of those two?

  17. Al…

    Just when Knicks fans thought all was good because Phil was no longer their GM, they suddenly remembered James Dolan was still their owner.

  18. I guess Love for Blake wouldn’t be a bad swap.

    …For Blake anyway.

  19. Can I get a solid over/under on games played for both of those guys next season… regardless of where they play?

    Let me start the fire.

    Kevin Love over/under games played: 72

    Blake Griffin over/under games played: 55

    Who’s in?

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