The 2017 NBA offseason was one of the craziest in recent memory. With big name free agents and blockbuster trades, the outcome of this summer was a new look for the NBA. It all started with the dominance of the Golden State Warriors, who ended the playoffs as champions with a record of 16-1. NBA owners everywhere decided they had seen enough. On Sept. 25, we saw the final product of what these owners had been working for all summer and it was magnificent.
Media Day featured 28 of the 30 NBA teams, but for fans it was more than enough. New “Big Threes” and “dynamic duos” were introduced all around the league. The Boston Celtics were able to sign Gordon Hayward and make a blockbuster trade to get Kyrie Irving while sending Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas and two future draft picks to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The combo joined Al Horford for a photo op and they shined.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were showing off brand new additions: Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and the infamous “Hoodie” Melo gave us a memorable first press conference.
“Who me?” Carmelo Anthony asked after being questioned on how he’d feel about maybe coming off the bench for the Thunder this season.
Those who know Melo understand he’s the caliber player who can bring Oklahoma City to being contenders in such a stacked Western Conference that features more than just the new look Thunder. The Houston Rockets, who lost in the Carmelo sweepstakes, still have the dynamic duo that is Chris Paul and James Harden.
It wasn’t just about the old stars that appeared to take over media day, as Rookie Lonzo Ball arrived wearing his new ZO2 Prime Remix shoes. While in Philadelphia, the No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz expressed one concern about moving to his new city: “Do they have Chick-Fil-A there?” The 76ers made sure he had plenty at his podium.
Staying in the Eastern Conference, it wasn’t just the Celtics who have a new look, with Cleveland adding players from the Kyrie deal and through free agency. Derrick Rose came over from the New York Knicks, and Dwyane Wade was reunited with LeBron James after agreeing to a buyout with Chicago. However, much attention was on LeBron and the comments he made about President Donald Trump, calling the president a “bum” in response to the president referring to the NFL players as “SOBs” in a speech regarding NFL players protesting the flag. He went further, sticking by his “bum” comment by laughing at it and even applauding the NFL and its fans.
“I salute the NFL, players, owners & the fans…there was solidarity, there was no divide. Even from that guy who tries to divide us,” LeBron said.
“My voice and what I do in my community is more powerful than getting on a knee…it’s not about the disrespect of the flag and our military, it’s about equality and the freedom to speak are things they feel are unjust.” James said in his media day press conference
With all the excitement and buzz around the NBA after the summer that saw so many moves made, media day only fueled the fire of anticipation for the NBA season to start. Many questions wait to be answered this season: Did the Thunder add enough to take the crown from Golden State? Will the Celtics break LeBron’s Finals appearance streak? And, of course, what teams will be the league’s dark horses and rise from the bottom to captivate us all?
These questions will be answered with the start of the season on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Opening night will feature the Boston Celtics at the Cleveland Cavaliers while the Golden State Warriors open up against conference foe Houston Rockets.
Sit back and enjoy the show.