A NBA court review
What a crazy offseason
Article: John Loeppky -Contributor
The 2014 NBA Playoffs were supposed to come down to an exhibition in fundamental differences.
As had been the case for the previous three years, The Heat were there, looking to accomplish a three-peat that many thought would secure (however temporarily) the services of James, Wade, and Bosh for at least another year.
On the other side, stood the international melting pot of efficiency. Looking to avenge the loss of a year before and add another trophy to their illustrious cabinet, the San Antonio Spurs…
…Or so the story went.
Traditional story lines be damned, this year’s playoffs were about more than two teams. We saw a seven-game series that pitted the aging- and absurdly overpriced- Brooklyn Nets against a Toronto Raptors squad that, somehow, some way, got the country excited about basketball.
There must be a joke about a certain southern Ontario based team in there somewhere. Maybe, just maybe, we will have an NBA title north of the border before the Leafs win another cup. Yep, there it is.
We also saw an Oklahoma City team that seemed daunting and doomed at the same time. Destined to play second fiddle once again to the mighty Spurs.
The James Harden trade was an unintentional white flag in regards to championship aspirations. Even the Rockets, who benefited from the very same swingman’s prowess could not get past the incredibly fun to watch Clippers.
Speaking of the Clippers, we continue to see the fall-out resulting from a man who feels as if he can say anything, no matter how offensive, continuing to say whatever he wants.
While the initial outrage has somewhat faded; there is an uneasy feeling permeating from the league as it tries to distance itself from Donald Sterling, who singlehandedly came very close to creating a player’s strike in the middle of the playoffs, his coach resigning, and left a public relations nightmare in his wake.
Here’s a hint, overly rich public figures, don’t be racist. Also, normal people don’t be racist.
So, where does the league go from here? Well, with a new commissioner in Adam Silver, the future looks bright. New television money is on the way; they have (thus far) avoided much of the performance enhancing drugs and concussion drama that has enveloped the other major leagues.
The league continues to place an entertaining product on the floor night after night. All in all, the biggest problem facing the league might be figuring out how to continue to deny the Seattle area of a franchise that it so desperately wants. It feels as if it is going to take a certain NHL commissioner to take over before Seattle will see a professional basketball team again.
That’s to mention nothing of free agency, summer league, the draft, the WNBA, the lives of players off the court… Ok, I’ll stop now.