Edited | Original Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The two teams who outlasted their competition in the NBA Bubble seemingly suffered for their past success. This offseason, they have a chance to return to their winning ways

PERHAPS THE BEST way to describe the past season for the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat is a tax. It was a “tax” because, in exchange for outperforming the rest of the NBA, the Lakers and Heat were hit with a storm of injuries, mental fatigue, and the shortest offseason in league history.

It is no coincidence that, with Nikola Jokic’s Nuggets bowing out in four games against the Suns, every team that made it to the Conference Finals in 2020 struggled with injuries and failed to live up to expectations this season.

However, as detailed in a previous…


Edited | Original: Michael Reaves/Getty

The Heat and Lakers outlasted everyone in the NBA Bubble, but this postseason, they were among the first to be ousted. What happened?

When the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers faced off in the 2020 NBA Finals in an unlikely matchup of two vastly different teams, there was no shortage of dominant performances and high-level play.

The two teams outlasted the rest of the league in the NBA Bubble in a grueling, taxing journey.

While the Heat’s culture and LeBron James’ leadership abilities can appear to be more fabled than anything else, there was no coincidence that the Heat, who are known for a militaristic culture, and the Lakers, led by a leader in James who is known to “keep the main…


Edited | Original: Chris Graythen/Getty

“Showtime” might be back in Los Angeles with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but the heart of their championship contention is their defense

AS UNCERTAINTY REIGNED in L.A. following a year of uncertainty, the team quietly looked for a replacement the departed Luke Walton. The team, which had been as high as fourth in the Western Conference, was now out of the playoffs, with a dilemma: they had a 34 year-old LeBron James who showed his age on defense throughout the season, and they had a collection of young, talented prospects.

Things were made only more complicated by the Lakers’ failed attempt to trade for Anthony Davis at the 2019 Trade Deadline, which alienated many players on the roster and only added to…


Edited | Original images via NBA.com, USA Today, and Getty

The revival of shooting sleeves, rolled-up shorts, and custom accessories in today’s NBA

THE DATE WAS January 21, 2001. Allen Iverson, one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, and a cultural icon of the early 2000s, changed the NBA’s sportswear scene forever.

The Sixers guard was struggling with injuries, particularly with bursitis in his right elbow. He and the team were looking for solutions. The key question the team had to ask was this: how were they to treat Iverson’s elbow issues without compromising on his performance on the court?

As Scoop Jackson of ESPN put it, “Allen was always a great scorer, but he wasn’t a great shooter. There wasn’t room…


Zensah.com

A brief Q&A covering a rising sportswear brand, a new partnership between Justin Holiday and Zensah, NBA Top Shot, and more

On March 25th, Zensah, a sports compression brand, announced a new partnership with Justin Holiday, a swingman with the Indiana Pacers.

In doing so, Holiday became the first ever NBA professional partner of Zensah, which has been around for over 15 years and has a client base that features many professional athletes.

For as competitive as the NBA is on the court, with teams investing millions of dollars annually to win the championship, the business scene of the league may be just as competitive. Just at the surface level, companies compete for branding rights, product placement, and advertising spots on…


Edited | Original via Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty

Why managing contract negotiations may decide the fate of many NBA contenders in the near future

IN LATE 2012, the foundation of the greatest modern dynasty in NBA history was laid out: Steph Curry, a young, talented point guard, was in the midst of contract negotiations with the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State was beginning to commit to him, having traded away fan-favorite guard Monta Ellis in the season prior, but, at this point, Curry’s career was defined by ankle injuries and the looming possibility that he would never fulfill his potential.

By league rules, the maximum amount the Warriors could offer Curry was four years, $61 million or five years, $78.9 million. …


Edited | Original courtesy Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

LeBron James is nearly indomitable as a basketball player — so why is his biggest weakness so decidedly mortal?

AS LeBRON JAMES stepped to the free-throw line, preparing to shoot a technical free throw, his former teammate and Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving said what many around the NBA question: why is LeBron James shooting this free-throw?

The date was February 18, 2021, and as James stepped to the line and missed, a giddish Irving was seen saying, “That’s your best free-throw shooter?” in a mocking tone, a moment that quickly went viral.

But perhaps, Irving should know better than most about James’ free-throw shooting struggles, having seen first-hand the metamorphosis of LeBron’s free-throw struggles in Cleveland.

Things…


Edited | Original image from Getty and original graph from Medical Futurist

Late nights, early mornings, and the impossibility of getting quality sleep as an NBA player

AT AGE THIRTY-SIX, having captured an elusive fourth championship title and dealing with the shortest offseason in NBA history, it was only natural to expect LeBron James to ease his way into the 2020–2021 season.

We’ve seen this story before: Brian Windhorst infamously reported that James came into training camp in 2014, fresh off of back-to-back titles, in perhaps the worst condition he had been in for a decade.

Likewise, after grueling playoff runs in 2015–2019, James lowered his defensive workload each season in his second tenure in Cleveland, to the point where many metrics painted him as one of…


Edited with Adobe Photoshop | Original Image courtesy Yong Teck Lim/Getty

Inside the rise and fall of one of the NBA’s most dominant teams over the past four years

IN THE AFTERMATH of a disappointing season, James Harden and the Houston Rockets seemingly had no direction.

Throughout 2016, Harden and Dwight Howard clashed in the locker room, while the team’s new acquisitions, particularly mercurial guard Ty Lawson, struggled. Subsequently, Kevin McHale was fired mid-season, Howard’s play never recovered to even close to All-Star level form, and it took a career season from Harden to even make the postseason.

Interestingly, just one year after Harden and the Rockets made it to the Conference Finals in 2015, they now found themselves further from contention than they had ever been.

With the…


Edited with Adobe Photoshop — Original: NBAE via Getty

A strong 5–1 start can’t mask the dilemma that Ben Simmons presents to Doc Rivers, Daryl Morey, and the Philadelphia 76ers

THE SIXERS ARE back… right? One of the most promising yet ultimately disappointing teams in the NBA over the last decade, Philadelphia’s new front office has seemingly righted most of the wrongs that plagued this team.

They unloaded Al Horford’s contract, who was not only a poor fit on the court, but an equally poor fit for future financial flexibility, they swapped a talented guard who did not mesh culturally or stylistically in Josh Richardson for a better fit in Seth Curry, and they created a decent bench, headlined by Dwight Howard.

All of these moves are overwhelming positives —…

Spencer Young

Student. Fan. Writer. Words in Bleacher Report, others. Check out our official website: https://officialbballuniversity.com

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