The squeaking sneakers, the rhythm of the bounce on the hardwood floor, the swishing of the net, the clang of the rim; the sounds of the GAME. We back to ballin’!!! This year around these parts, we’re not simply happy that the sport is back, we have moved passed that. This year we have two horses in the race, and both have EXPECTATIONS. For one team, the New York Knicks, we are hoping to build on a promising season and show that we’re perennial playoff contenders and for the other, the Brooklyn Nets, the goals are significantly loftier. With the talent assembled, as it reads on paper, an NBA Final appearance is the least this team can achieve and for most bringing the championship trophy to Atlantic Avenue is a forgone conclusion. Days before the opening tip-off the worlds of regular civilian life, collided with professional sports and the new COVID-19 reality has permeated athletic competition. With a presumed deterrent to the spread of the severity of the symptoms of the ailment and hopefully a sharp reduction to the very spread of the disease available, it would seem to be a layup that all players would be onboard. Nahh, that ain’t it. Superstar hoopster Kyrie Irving has dug in the trenches in belief that he will not be dictated to regarding what he could, would do with his personal health, which in this case is the mandated vaccination.
The histrionics of this decision has exploded off the sport pages and into international news cycles and looks to remain that way into the foreseeable future. Fans of the franchise, while disappointed with the way the situation is playing out thus far, a team that boasts a prime Kevin Durant and James Harden, should still be able to meet the desired goal as they are two of the best players the game has ever seen. According to the National Basketball Association that statement is not hyperbole. This year marks year 75 of the league and in honor of such balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP to determine The NBA 75th Anniversary Team. On that team are eleven active players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and the aforementioned pair of Kevin Durant and James Harden. A persuasive argument is also being made that the omission of Kyrie Irving to that list was one of the biggest snubs to the list and may reflect how is Hall of Fame candidacy will be handled.
Hard to think of it that way, but there is a chance that his stance may not be resolved this season and it will not just give the Nets a valid reason to not reach that championship perch, but also gives the league as a hole a reason to rid themselves of a player they deem far more troublesome than he’s worth. We’ve seen this movie play out time and time again. Hate that all this drama is happening in our backyard and will cast a cloud on the REAL story of the 2021-22 season as the NY Knicks will put it together and bring the trophy and parade back to Madison Square Garden, where it belongs!!! Go NY, Go NY Go.
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.