Where will the soap opera be next NBA season?
Certainly the Lakers will be in the spotlight and every twitch will be magnified after the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. But it’s not the soap opera some expect — this is not going to be a Kobe vs. Shaq part deux. Dwight Howard will make news but wants to mend is battered PR and will be on his best behavior. Steve Nash is too mellow, and there is no doubt that is still Kobe’s team.
The Heat will have drama, too, but they mostly adjusted to each other and life in the fishbowl.
So, where will the soap opera be next NBA season?
ESPN asked its writers and the runaway winner was the New York Knicks, with 46 percent of the vote. And it makes some sense — they live in the brightest of media spotlights, they have an unsettled team balance between Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, and they have the pressure of expectations from fans (ones that may be hard to live up to).
The second team on their list is the Magic (15 percent), but I don’t agree. They sent their soap opera to Los Angeles, they are just a rebuilding team now.
Third was the Kings (10 percent) and there will be drama, but it will be because of the owners and their stumbling toward trying to get the team out of Sacramento. The owners are the reality show — literally — and the team is just trying to fly under their radar.
I’m curious what happens with the Nets, especially if they don’t win early. They have a new building and big expectations now, and they are in the New York fishbowl. Philly will be interesting when the fans and media get critical with Andrew Bynum (right now it’s a honeymoon, but the L.A. media was nicer to him than he will get after a game where he tunes out for the Sixers.)
But really, still hard to pick against the Knicks in this one. We’ll see if they can win through the turmoil like the Yankees did for years.
The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.
The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.
With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.
Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.
Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.
Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.
For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.
But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.
With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.
And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.
It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.
At this point, there is zero chance Russell Westbrook‘s posts are a coincidence.
First. he posted a video of himself singing along to Lil Uzi Vert’s “Now I Do What I Want.”
Then came the shoe ad that was another little jab at now Warriors Kevin Durant.
Now comes Westbrook’s return to karaoke posts, this time singing Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
Apparently, Westbrook and Durant are having one rough teenage breakup.
One of the great stories of last season was the return of Paul George to All-Star level form (then to watch him be crucial to the USA winning gold this summer).
It was a great story because vintage Paul George was so great. Watch this throwback video of him blowing by LeBron James and dunking over Chris Andersen from a few years back — this is vicious.
By the way, if you’re not following NBA history on Twitter and Instagram, you’re doing it wrong.