Can you sense it?
There is a strange vibe in the NBA these days. A myriad of emotions reverberating throughout all of NBA land.
Elation. Betrayal. Relief. Contempt. Anticipation.
These are a few words that spring to mind. Regardless, the 2010-11 NBA season promises to be filled with high drama set in front of a stage of millions from around the world as it all unfolds one game at a time. And nothing will ever be the same in the NBA again.
To what do we owe this sudden drama?
Three guys who decided to play together for a crack at a title. Think about that for a moment. From the second it became official that these three players would be playing together on the same team next season everything went ballistic.
A scramble ensued as teams began adding and subtracting to compete with a new type of powerhouse. Owners and GM’s began issuing statements aimed at players for good and ill. Teams without cap space were busy reassuring their franchise players. Teams already established worked to reinforce themselves with key pieces and are already counting the days to their first confrontation with this newly anointed ‘superteam’.
In fact, at least half the teams in the NBA are counting the days to their first meeting with the new kid on the block. And they all have a chip on their shoulder.
What do some of the players, past and present, think?
Strangely, what has been stated and what has been reported has been somewhat skewed and in no small part by the media itself with it’s sometimes relentless pursuit of the controversial.
Rumors have become the source of endless possibilities where other ‘superteams’ are formed and all compete in virtual games based upon age and stats.
As a result there has been an onslaught of articles written about who is right and who is wrong. Who is the man and who is the sidekick. Why some great players from the past should just shut up. It has become a madhouse and a bloodbath. A take-no-prisoners approach where even current players who had little or no involvement whatsoever are making public statements of loyalty insisted upon by public relations experts while their overpaid agents are secretly working on possible deals in the wake of it all.
What does the NBA think about all of this?
Well, aside from the obligatory fines and statements downplaying any conspiracy theories regarding the formation of said ‘superteam’ and working to prevent any possibility of future tamperings, they’re probably too busy drooling over the sudden impact as they deal with network and cable stations scrambling to have televised rights to specific games and the potential amount of revenue that will fill their pockets to bursting...all of which, coincidentally, is happening during intense meetings to revise the current collective bargaining agreement.
Good luck convincing the union that the NBA isn’t going to be making any money anytime soon with expansions, new stadiums, blah blah blah...
What does it all mean?
For some it is a degradation of the sport itself. Selfish, overpaid players with no sense of loyalty bolting for another team and tarnishing their reputations. Those people are ready for the first opportunity to cheer against them.
For others it is nothing more than a business. And just like business, it can be cruel and uncaring in it’s pursuits. Those people are ready for the first opportunity to cheer them on.
And then there are those like myself, whose team lost out on the big three but can’t wait for a chance to see how we match up against them and hoping we kick their butts.
No matter which of those groups you belong to, you have to agree that the NBA just received an adrenaline shot of the nth degree and the exposure it is about to get is going to be unlike anything it has seen in a very long time.
So I suggest you do like I do. Mark your calendar for the day that ‘superteam’ comes to town, grab yourself a big bag of popcorn and enjoy the show that is the 2010-11 NBA season. I have a feeling it is going to be a show to remember.