We're coming to the end of what, for me, was one of the best years of NBA basketball I've ever witnessed. I've always been a basketball fan, and if I'm ever taking a little too long in the bathroom it's safe to say I'm checking the scores, browsing NBA news, watching highlights or dealing with the second coming of a spicy burrito dinner. The association is an endless source of entertainment for me and somehow this year it was taken to another level. The Warriors and Cavaliers, despite many people's complaints, have made the finals an absolute must watch. Who doesn't want to watch the clash of two titans? Somehow though, this summer and this young season have caused the finals to fall far down the list of things that stand out about this glorious year around the league. 2017 brought us so much more.
Year of the Rookie
The 2017 draft was bonkers. It's not just how talented and deep it was, it's also the wild and weird way things are playing out. I can't remember a more hyped rookie class, ever. The media circus following Lonzo Ball and his insane family, Markelle Fultz and his funky shoulders, Danny Ainge and his third eye prophecy jedi mind tricks shit that saw Jayson Tatum for what he was. Then there are the guys who've just been flat out impressive. Ben Simmons, Wow. Lauri Markkanen, Nice. Dennis Smith Jr., love him. Kyle Kuzma, Yes. But of all of them, in my opinion it's Donovan Mother F**kin Mitchell who stands out. The guy can ball.
We were treated to a year of blockbuster trades that shifted the landscape of the league. Some we saw coming but others came out of nowhere. Chris Paul became a Rocket, Melo went to OKC with Paul George, and the Celtics traded Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving. Who on the flat earth would have seen all this coming in 2016? Nobody. 2017 was wild and it's hard to imagine 2018 being the same, but something tells me we're going to see some head scratchers next year. At this point it would take a lot to blow my mind. I'm at a place where I think Anthony Davis is already a Celtic, Karl Anthony Towns could play for the Orlando Magic next year and I'd be like "yeah ok". Nevermind, that would melt my brain for sure.
Changing of the Guard
As we watch the decline of remarkable players like D-Wade, Carmelo, and Dirk it's sad to know they will soon be gone. Yet, when you look around the league and see who's taking their place it's hard to frown for long. Galloping in is a new kind of star. One with a horn on its head that shits glittering rainbows.
Welcome to the new era of fairy tale domination. This is the land of the Unicorns now. Giannis, Porzingis, Towns, Embiid, Simmons, Durant, Davis. These guys are unstoppable. One thing they have in common is their sheer height and length which is defied by their incredible versatility and freakish athleticism. We've all heard it, the league is shooting the three unlike ever before, so why not shoot from deep AND be able to jump over the moon, jam on a four thousand foot hoop while also crossing up an army of Spartans and blocking a shot from an Apache helicopter. Sure I'm a little exaggerated here but god damn these guys are exciting to watch.
Lebron is the Terminator
He will never die. Peak Lebron is eternal. It's the year 2100 and Lebron James just recorded a triple double in his 89th consecutive finals series. You heard it here first.
Drama Drama Drama
This one's quick. I love a good meme as much as I love some petty twitter beef. The NBA scratches that itch and it's usually hilarious.
Russel Westbrook Averaged a Triple Double
Exactly what I just said.
On a much more serious note, I just want to appreciate the authenticity and passion that players around the league have exhibited while voicing their opinions surrounding inequality and injustices in America. The work the league does for the less privileged and their eagerness to stand up for those who are oppressed or whose voices go unheard is always impressive. With the controversy and mess surrounding the NFL, I'm happy to follow and support a league whose stars and teams stand for the causes that are so important to us all.
Overall 2017 has been a beauty. It will go down as one of the best years of my basketball fandom and one I'll remember for a very long time. The best part is that it turns into 2018, where it just keeps going. Can you believe that? Get excited because the young guys are getting better, the league will keep changing and maybe, just maybe we'll see teams begin to take down the big dogs. There are so many reasons to look forward to the next year but for now I'd like to thank the NBA for a remarkable 2017.
Happy New Years Everyone
Here's to 2018