It’s a good time to be a sports fan.
Baseball is in its final week and while a few teams have solidified their spot in the playoffs, others are in an all out battle for the last few.
Football is going at full blast into the 2010 season with the fourth week upcoming and surprises galore all around the league.
While both of the sports are currently active and playing meaningful games, they cannot compare to the anticipation of one sport that is almost ready to tip off: basketball.
This NBA off-season has been one of the most important and influential ever in the history of the NBA. Here are the top five reasons why the sport of basketball is at the forefront of everyone’s attention.
1) The Heat Is On
If there was a vote to determine the biggest sports moment of the year, the highest percentage of votes would go to the spectacle of the Lebron James’ decision. In a close second would be watching he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh put on the Heat jerseys and getting on the court against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, October 26th.
Heat tickets at home or on the road will be the hottest commodity anytime they are in town. Miami will have a giant target on its back and be hated by all crowds they face when going on the road. Despite that, checking in on them will be fun to watch all season long to see how the big three handle the heat.
2) Carmelo Anthony Will End Up…?
The James situation has had a reverberating effect on the NBA world. Other free agents waited anxiously like domino tiles to see where the first piece would fall. Despite training camp beginning and the free agency period come and gone, the James effect is still being felt.
The one person who has felt it lately has been Carmelo Anthony. The smooth-shooting small forward has been trying meticulously to get out of Denver.
Various articles have been published about possible locations where Melo may end up. With no deal set in stone and questions running rampant about a trade for the former Syracuse star, the team Anthony ends up with will be the second most intriguing squad to watch this season.
3) Lakers Lost In Translation
With all the hoopla over the new Heat team, Amar’e Stoudemire leaving Phoenix for the big apple and Anthony’s drama in Denver, there has been one team that remained steady and submarine-like by staying below the radar: the reigning back-to-back champs Los Angeles Lakers.
The team was stealthy in keeping the nucleus intact (only losing Jordan Farmar and Josh Powell) and upgrading with new acquisitions (signed Matt Barnes and Steve Blake). Although the NBA is topsy-turvy after the off-season, it is the Lakers that are the quiet and safe pick for a three-peat.
4) What’s Eating Gilbert’s Grape?
If there is one person who can hope to feed off the attention Michael Vick is now receiving after his miraculous comeback, that man is Gilbert Arenas. He returns back to the Washington Wizards after being suspended for most of the 2009-10 season after a gun altercation occurred in the locker room.
It will be interesting to see how Arenas will bounce back after a tumultuous year. The point guard witnessed his power over the squad become diminished with the addition of number one pick John Wall. The biggest question facing him: will he remain a Wizard and if he does, can he find a way to co-exist with the rookie from Kentucky?
5) New Changing Of The Guard In The NBA
This season more so than any will feature a new dynamic, teams that were on top dropping down and teams on the bottom moving up. While most sports feature a cyclical power change for teams year in and year out, basketball is one sport where teams remain on top for years.
Of course, there are teams that will remain at a high pedestal (such as the Lakers, Celtics and the Magic), but many top teams will drop this season. In the East, the Cavaliers were the top team last year but that was with James as the leader. They will most likely drop out of the playoff picture.
The West is where the change will be noticed the most. San Antonio is no longer the fearful team of years past with age creeping upon them. Denver is influx with front office and coaching turmoil to go with the Anthony issue. Phoenix lost a big piece of their puzzle when Stoudemire headed to New York.
Other teams will hopefully be able to move up the power ranking depth chart this season. The Bulls, Knicks, Heat and Wizards should be much improved in the East, while the Thunder, Blazers, Clippers and Kings appear to be contenders in the West.
With more stories and scenarios to go along with the ones described above, this season will prove to be the beginning of a brand new road never traveled in the NBA.
Good thing for them, the season hasn’t even started and they have everyone’s utmost attention.