The NFL is entering Week 5, the college football title race is heating up and the MLB playoffs are set to begin, which means now is the perfect time for an NBA column!
LeBron’s swift change from hero to villain is only something you see in the world of professional wrestling. After being cheered for years as a star trying to bring a title to a struggling sports city, James will now surely enter each road game as public enemy No. 1.
LeBron is the best player in the league. Last year, he averaged 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists and won his second straight MVP award. James has been ripped in every way possible by the media, so you can bet he’ll be as motivated as ever for these upcoming seasons. So what if he goes down to Miami, and has five virtuoso seasons while winning multiple titles? Will he rank up there with the all-time greats, or has his decision to head to South Beach and align with two stars put a permanent ceiling on his career?
Lakers look to three-peat
Name a more one-sided NBA trade in the past decade than the Pau Gasol deal. You can’t. If this transaction had happened in fantasy basketball, you could guarantee there’d be angry message board posts galore. But while this trade united Kwame Brown and Darko Milicic in Memphis, it also started the powerhouse in Los Angeles.
Without the Gasol deal, does Kobe continue to ask for a trade in 2007? It’s impossible to know, but the deal gave Bryant what he longed for: the quintessential sidekick and two straight titles. One of the top big men in the game, Gasol embraces playing the role of Robin to Kobe’s Batman.
LA is a favorite out West, as they should be. Everyone knows Kobe craves this sixth title, and he has the supporting cast and head coach to get the job done. Anyway, doesn’t everyone want to see another Ron Artest post-championship interview? Queensbridge!
The Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes
Carmelo Anthony wants to play for the Knicks. The Knicks desperately want Anthony. Few franchises could botch this situation, but New York is definitely one of them, and one of the reasons why is because of Isiah Thomas.
Trademarks of Isiah’s time as general manager included trading away draft picks and signing free agents to horrible contracts. When Donnie Walsh took over for Thomas in 2008, he feverishly tried to get under the salary cap in any way possible. By inheriting such an inflexible roster, Walsh’s moves were limited, and now the Knicks don’t have the pieces to obtain Anthony in a trade.
A four-team trade where Anthony would have been sent to the Nets stalled, as the Nuggets are more interested in a deal involving Chicago center Joakim Noah as the centerpiece. If Melo ends up testing the free agent market upon season’s end, New York is the most likely destination. But if one of the game’s top pure scorers gets traded — and loves his new city — Knicks fans may jump off the ledge.
Hold in there, basketball fans. Just three more weeks till the start of the season.