Image for post
Image for post
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 — and yet, to avoid repeating the same story, it seems more inevitable than ever that the Sixers will have a choice to make regarding Ben Simmons. …


A Recap of 2020:

  1. Who were the best players in 2020? Find out in our Top Players of the 2019–2020 season list.

2. What were the top moments this year? Revisit the tragic and triumphant year of 2020 in the NBA in this article, which features the top pictures of the NBA captured in 2020.

3. What were the top plays and prevailing narratives of this year? Revisit those in this article, which features a compilation of the best plays in the NBA, as well as multiple featured videos from our own staff-writer and video creator, Yung Mustard.

Hey all,

Thank you for reading our work over the past few months. In that time, we’ve added many writers, including a popular YouTuber with over 56k subscribers, and we had a very successful launch of our website.


Image for post
Image for post

A tragic, yet triumphant year in the NBA shown through its most memorable photos

As the new year arrives, here’s to remembering the most chaotic year the NBA — and the world — has seen in over a decade. Alternating between tragedy and triumph, sorrow and statistical brilliance, this year was full of trials and tribulations for everyone involved.

Even Nike, in its commemorative video played after the L.A. Lakers won their 17th championship, noted that, outside of the Lakers brilliance on the court, they “lost” equally as many times off the court.

Without further ado, here is a timeline of the year 2020 in the NBA, shown through its most memorable photos.

Disclaimer: All images are edited from the NBA, NBA.com, Getty Images, the Associated Press, or USA…


Image for post
Image for post

Though the league is in a three-point revolution, there are far more skills that today’s superstars need to bring to the table

AFTER THE GOLDEN State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015, basketball was changed forever. In a copycat league, the skills that the Warriors promoted — passing, shooting, spacing, etc. — suddenly became highly valued, while the NBA simultaneously shifted away from post-up play.

Lineups moved from favoring rim protection to prioritizing perimeter defense, “3 & D” forwards became one of the most valued commodities in the league, and perimeter-oriented superstars now dominate the sport.

However, though this era has been labeled as the “three-point era,” or the “Three-Point Revolution,” it’s unfair to overlook the other skills needed to survive in modern basketball. …


Image for post
Image for post
Edited — Original via Fernando Medina/Getty Images

The final wave of contracts in this offseason has brought about more storylines and narratives around the league

THOUGH FREE AGENCY ended weeks ago, and all teams headed into training camp and are now preparing for a season that is days away, there has always been intrigue about contract extensions.

League rules help teams retain the talent they drafted: once a player’s rookie deal expires, they are eligible for an extension offer before heading into restricted free agency. Offering, or not offering, contract extensions to young talent can have implications — look no further than Bogdan Bogdanovic leaving the Sacramento Kings.

This article will not cover the maximum extensions signed by All-Star or All-NBA caliber players who were on their rookie deals, mostly because there is little to analyze. Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, and De’Aaron Fox are the four who signed maximum extensions, and they are all integral to their team’s current and future success. …


Image for post
Image for post
Created iwth Adobe Photoshop. From officialbballuniversity.com

A preseason prediction for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award

AFTER AN UNPRECEDENTED NBA season which began with a return to parity, multiple strong MVP candidates, and an extremely high level of play overall, it feels like the right time to reassess the landscape of the league.

What players might take a “leap” this season, going from star to superstar? Likewise, what superstars might see their MVP case take a hit?

Since the 2015–2016 season, the MVP has gone to the player with the best statistical case for the award, yet, with Giannis Antetokounmpo having won the award in back-to-back seasons, it feels like a new player will be crowned.

Additionally, with the context of an abbreviated offseason for most playoff teams, as well as the implication that the losing teams in the 2021 Playoffs could see their top players walk in a stacked free agent class, there are many factors to consider in this year’s race. …


Image for post
Image for post
Edited; Original courtesy Kim Klement of USA Today Sports

How an assured future dynasty has seen its future become murkier than ever before

IT WAS ON OCTOBER 4th, 2018, when the new-look Boston Celtics reached their peak.

On an otherwise uneventful night, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving made national headlines with his bold declaration. “If you guys will have me back,” Irving said at the time, “I plan on re-signing here.”

At that moment, Irving was the prized possession of the Celtics franchise. …


Image for post
Image for post
Created with Adobe Photoshop. Original images courtesy Getty

When the business of sports meets the world of politics, only chaos ensues

IF THERE WAS any doubt over whether or not NBA players were willing to become “political” as the United States elected its 45th president, it took less than a year for an answer to arise.

In the aftermath of the Golden State Warriors’ second title in their extended dynastic run, they, as a team, decided not to visit the White House as NBA champions — something which had become a tradition of sorts in the league. Donald Trump, in response, tweeted that he was forgoing the invitation to the White House altogether.

Of course, this wasn’t a one-time occurrence for Trump: he has sub-tweeted athletes from most major U.S. professional sports, with little rhyme or rhythm to it. …


A brief insight into the thoughts of best-selling author and former walk-on at Marquette, John Willkom

Image for post
Image for post
Courtesy John Willkom

John Willkom (@John Willkom on Medium) might not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about Marquette Basketball, but he has become a prominent name in the sports world for his detailing of the world of Division 1 basketball.

Whether you are an aspiring college athlete or a normal basketball fan, there is value and learning about the lessons, hard work, and sheer competitiveness it takes to make it to the next-level of athletics after high school, as well as the lifelong values that sports teaches.

In 2003, as he graduated from Marshfield High School in small-town Wisconsin, Willkom began to write down his experiences, perhaps to save a few memorable sports stories for the future. He received a scholarship at Minnesota-Crookston, a D-2 basketball program, but transferred to Marquette after one season. …


Image for post
Image for post
Made with Photoshop (Created on BBALL University)

The top performers, best narratives, and key decisions of the 2020 championship

The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA Championship on Sunday night, dominating in Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals to overtake the young, pesky Miami Heat.

After a disappointing Game 5 loss in the black and gold “Black Mamba Jerseys — which which would have created a Hollywood-like ending to this season for L.A. — the team redeemed themselves in Game 6.

Meanwhile, Miami appeared to be gassed, with a distinct lack of energy after winning a brutally difficult Game 5. …

About

Spencer Young

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store