Keeping Up with the NBA
December 17, 2018
Just over a quarter of the NBA season has gone by, and it has looked more like a reality TV show than a sports league. Let’s walk through the drama so far:
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green
The reigning champs have had it rough this year. They are currently second in the west with a record of 19-10, and their offseason move for Demarcus Cousins has proven to be ineffective as he has been out with an injury.
On Nov. 13, the Warriors and Clippers were tied in the last seconds of the game, and Draymond Green had gotten the board. As Durant clapped for the ball beyond the arc, Green ignored him, drove in, and turned the ball over forcing the game into overtime with Golden State eventually resulting in a loss. Profane words were exchanged, and Durant’s controversy with free agency was brought up. Durant lead the Warriors to victory their next game with Green suspended. They eventually reconciled with each other, but it was after Durant’s brother had chimed in on the disagreement on social media. It’s always been rough between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, but this was their biggest argument so far. Is this the end of the dynasty?
Jimmy Butler and the Timberwolves
Jimmy Butler demanded a trade over the summer after he declared that working with his younger teammates would no longer be an option for him.
On Oct. 10, Butler had arrived to the Timberwolves practice facility practice, but he did not want to participate. Coaches had come to him saying that he will practice with the starting team, but Butler denied. After several minutes of going back and forth with each other, Butler got on his feet and said he would play with the third-string against the starters. Butler beat the starters with only one shot while serving assists to the third-string.
Jimmy Butler was eventually traded to the Philadelphia 76ers where he, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are now a dominant team in line to make it to the Eastern Conference finals.
Kyle Lowry and the Raptors GM
Demar Derozan had been traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard over the summer. Although the Raptors are currently the number one team in the league, there is currently tension between the players and the office.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Kyle Lowry opened up on how he felt about the Derozan trade:
“I felt betrayed because he felt betrayed, because that’s my guy…[T]hat’s my best friend.”
Regarding his relationship with the Toronto Raptors GM, Lowry commented that, “He’s the president of basketball operations, and that’s it. He does his job, I do my job.”
As implied by his comment, Kyle Lowry is blocking out all distractions and focusing on one goal: taking control of the Eastern Conference after two years of the Cleveland Cavaliers dominating.
Chicago Bulls not showing up to practice
The Chicago Bulls had their greatest loss in franchise history when they lost to the Boston Celtics 133-77. They were booed off the court, and the next day, the players were deciding whether or not to show up to practice. There were group text messages between the players pondering about how they should proceed with the situation. While many players wanted to skip practice, the veterans were the ones to elaborate for the team the unprofessional look it would display. While other ideas were thrown around, the team eventually showed up to practice and had an opportunity to talk with the coaching staff.
“I think it was just a communication, a little bit of both. This is what I think is necessary today. And they felt they needed a voice to talk too. And that’s cool. That’s good. This is a family thing. This is open lines of communication,” head coach Jim Boylen commented.
Rookie Wendell Carter Jr. also replied saying, “We both agreed on something, the players and the coaches. We came to them as men, we talked and told them how we felt and they responded very well.”
Hopefully, they have moved past this hurdle and have come out a better team, ready to take on the rest of the season.
Cleveland Cavaliers Young vs. Vets
Cleveland has been in shambles since Lebron James left. The pride of Ohio is no longer the Cavaliers, but the SPIRE Preparatory Academy because of high school sensation LaMelo Ball.
The NBA team team selected Colin Sexton from the University of Alabama with the eighth pick in the 2018 draft. They had a lot of hope that the “young bull” would lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals once again. Instead, they lost their first six games and are the third to last team in the East.
The vets of the team were frustrated and spoke out about all the trust on Sexton, saying that he “doesn’t know how to play basketball.”
The problem eventually spiraled out of control with Cavs veteran JR Smith leaving the team and demanding to be traded.
As someone who has nothing against the Cavaliers, seeing them reach the Eastern Conference finals again would prove that they don’t need Lebron James. However, it is not looking so good as they are currently number 13 in the East.
It feels like it has been a long season, but there is still a lot more to go. Yes, the fans are enjoying all this drama, especially if it is within a rival team. However, it’s the game in the end that the fans want to see.
“There are too many emotions, insecurities, and personal issues involved. Express yourself through your game. Actions speak louder than words right? Just play basketball. We want to see basketball. It’ll silence any rumors, judgement, or hate,” stated senior Josh Paik.
There is no doubt that basketball is an emotional sport, but when the drama is more intriguing than the game, the fans might as well be watching Entertainment Tonight.