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…
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.
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 —…
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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. …
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…