Many congratulations to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers! What an incredible journey James has been on in realizing his childhood dream of bringing a championship trophy to the city of Cleveland’s backyard!! I’m fairly certain J.R. Smith had not yet found a shirt before the madness of the NBA’s offseason, most notably free agency trades, had gotten into full swing!!
Until I find the person…or persons…who has set a career goal and then plots and plans for the toughest road possible to attaining said career goal, I’m totally not interested in the chorus of naysayers to Kevin Durant taking his talents to Golden State. Any of the retired NBA players who didn’t win a ring…yet would’ve done everything short of beg, borrow & steal one to keep from being in the winless category….can hush as well! Not too long after the trade, an analyst stated that Steph Curry, the league’s unanimous MVP, has now become the fourth best player on his team. The beauty of it all is….I can’t imagine this bothers Curry one bit–future events don’t alter history. Take note of a champion’s mentality in full bloom!
If there was anybody whose Best Practices in Pro Basketball Management I would have sworn by, it was hands down Pat Riley. Notice the past tense? After the Miami Heat General Manager let THE face of the franchise, Dwayne Wade, slip through his fingers, the awe that was once firmly planted is now on shaky ground. Whether or not the Chicago Bulls can now be considered a contender with Wade on his hometown team, remains to be seen. What is certain is the open arms the fans will have waiting for him from the very first time he dons the uniform he grew up idolizing. Meanwhile down south, Riley will have every opportunity to prove his chops again as he attempts to fill the seats without scrappy #3 in the lineup. I’m predicting it will take far longer than Wade’s two year Bulls contract for the Heat to find themselves back in the fray of a championship hunt! Just guessing that mediocrity takes on a different feel against the backdrop of Miami Beach tho…..
What was once old is now new again–after years of playing with Derrick Rose in Derrick’s hometown, Joakim Noah has joined his former Bulls teammate in a return to his native NYC. Their bodies have betrayed them throughout the years…yet, there seems to be no better place to undergo rejuvenation of mind, body & soul than the Mecca of all things entertainment, Madison Square Garden!
By all appearances the Atlanta Hawks have engaged in an active rebuilding attempt. Fan favorites Jeff Teague and Al Horford found new Eastern Conference homes in Indiana and Boston, respectively. In keeping with the league’s “going back home” theme, Dwight Howard, a moving company’s dream, has returned to the ATL with visions of starting over, including but not limited to, a yet to be revealed new player number…..
The always relevant San Antonio Spurs scored a very timely win in the trade column by landing former Western Conference foe Pau Gasol. A champion in his own right, Gasol knows he has very big shoes to fill…..
There was only question looming over “The Big Fundamental” Tim Duncan, and it wasn’t focused on the trading block. We all knew he’d never opt for a Kobe-esque departure….it would be a far more low-key off-season decision. Duncan didn’t keep us guessing for long–nineteen years, five championships, Rookie of the Year & countless personal accomplishments later, one of the best Power Forwards EVER to play the game let us know that the last time he wore his Spurs jersey was THE last time he was to wear his Spurs jersey. Hats off to Duncan! He will be missed by Spurs fans for sure…followed closely by NBA fans period!