Four irrefutable reasons to bring the Seattle Supersonics back to the NBA

Since the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 and became the Thunder, Seattle basketball fans have been waiting for an opportunity to welcome the Sonics back in their city. While the WNBA’s storm has given the city a basketball team to back since 2000, crossover fans haven’t forgotten their lost NBA squad.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned that future expansion teams aren’t on the league’s agenda. For now, the league has other pursuits to follow up on, from its Top Shot NFT business to its first attempts at VR content with its League Pass project. From a fan perspective, many basketball diehards are also too busy learning about NBA betting odds to focus on potential expansion teams.

Still, the current interest in moneylines and prop bets doesn’t mean locals have stopped pushing for Silver to take a second look at Seattle. At the time then-owner Howard Schultz sold the Sonics (and the Storm) to Clay Bennett of Oklahoma City, local fans clamored to find a funding solution to the team’s ongoing arena issue. 

In the end, Bennett settled with the City of Seattle on a $45 million payment that would cover the remaining payments on the KeyArena. The city lost one of its most-beloved franchises—but if business-centered reasons are enough to see a franchise move cross-country, then they should be enough to bring them back.

Here are four irrefutable reasons the Sonics should come back to Seattle.

Big Money

It’s not just fans who want the Sonics to return. In order for a city to welcome a franchise, or welcome one back, in Seattle’s case, they must first demonstrate financial solvency. A businessperson or group must show that they can partly fund a sustainable home arena, as well as peripheral costs from staffing to equipment.

Seattle is currently one of the largest media markets in the US according to News Generation, which translates to huge earnings for sports teams through broadcasting deals.

Bigger Interest

From a business perspective, it makes financial sense to tap into Seattle’s media market. However, the city’s media basis is based specifically on sports, which means there’s untapped interest from sports fans that an NBA team could leverage.

In addition to having one of the best and most popular WNBA teams, Seattle is home to the MLB’s Mariners, NFL’s Seahawks, the NHL’s new Kraken, the MLS’s Sounders, and the NWSL’s OL Reign. Three of these teams are still considered ‘fringe’ (WNBA, NWSL, MLS), but still draw record-breaking crowds.

The NBA-WNBA Double Punch

As mentioned above, the Seattle Storm has been the consolation for NBA fans who were crushed by the 2008 Sonics’ departure. In the meantime, local fans have become diehard supporters of the Storm. The team promotes an exciting environment, while also being one of the most talented squads in the league. 

It’s a winning formula that an NBA team would easily fit (back) into. In fact, Seattle could become one of the first cities that share a massive WNBA market with the NBA. For the most part, these markets are heavily tilted toward the men’s league… but that might not be the case in Seattle, where both teams benefit from cross-promotion in a way previously unseen.

The NBA Isn’t Musical Chairs

At the moment, the most likely scenario for a new Sonics team would be as an expansion. Though Silver has mentioned multiple times that the NBA isn’t looking to expand anytime soon, and some have speculated that the New Orleans Pelicans could move to Seattle, the NBA also faces challenges related to relocation.

Overwhelmingly, fans dislike franchise relocations. They’re viewed as business decisions, whereas sports are seen as a type of cultural battleground. Teams belong to cities, and vice versa. However unlikely the decision is, bringing the Sonics back would highlight the NBA’s dedication to revamping its current franchise model.

However, it seems that the league has its sites on greater watermarks of change. Back in 2018, a report dropped hints that the NBA is interested in opening a Mexico City franchise. For the time being, the best way Seattle can work to leverage the NBA would be to complete renovations to the Climate Pledge Arena, where a future NBA team would be housed with the Kraken, Storm, and other major teams.

Tagged :

Can the Nets win the NBA championship with Ben Simmons this season?

With the Sixers dealing Ben Simmons for James Harden in the biggest trade of the season, the Ben Simmons saga has moved on to the next question: Can the Brooklyn Nets win an NBA championship this season?

With Kevin Durant and James Harden, the Nets were near the top of the Eastern Conference standings for much of the season until the Nets started sliding and are now the 8th seed in the East.

The Nets regressing had a lot to do with Durant getting injured, but the Nets backslide also coincided with Kyrie “Half Man Half a Season” Irving returning part-time.

Now they add a multi-talented Simmons to the mix and on paper, it looks like it’ll work, but will it? And do they have enough time to gel to make it a deep run into the playoffs?

Anything is possible, but what is actually likely to happen?

Though their signing of Patty Mills looking like a genius move and adding another sharpshooter in Seth Curry coming on board, the Nets have a lot of long range firepower surrounding the new Big Three.

The problem is that with approximately 30+ games left in the season and no timetable as to when Simmons will re-join the Nets, odds at online bet makers like razor shark say probably not. That’s not to mention how well and how fast the new teammates will integrate, when Joe Harris will return, how long it will take Durant to get back to form, and how Kyrie’s part-time status will affect any chemistry. That’s just some of the items off the top of my head that are outstanding issues the Nets must resolve if they have any chance of getting past the second round, much less the Eastern Conference Finals.

The NBA Playoff field is competitive

The Nets lower chances at an NBA Title has as much to do with the Brooklyn Nets composition and performance as it does with the other contenders in the league. In the Eastern Conference alone, they would have to make their way through the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat who currently have the best record in the East. That’s not to mention Simmons’ former team the Philadelphia 76ers which now has James Harden coupled alongside with MVP candidate Joel Embiid.

If the Brooklyn Nets do happen to come together and defeat some combination of the Heat, Bucks, and Sixers, they will face well-oiled franchises with established chemistry coming out of the West – namely the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies. That’s not an easy route to the NBA championship especially with a team in flux.

Has it happened before?

Yes, the Toronto Raptors added Kawhi Leonard and won an NBA championship and more recently the Lakers added Anthony Davis and won the title in the bubble, but those two titles are more an anomaly than the rule. What history tells us is that when a team adds such a big piece to their roster that more often than not, it doesn’t immediately translate to an NBA trophy.

We do think that the addition of Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond will help Brooklyn immediately and in the long term, but there are too many variables and serious contenders for the Nets to be considered legitimate players. With injuries, COVID safety protocols, Kyrie’s volatile presence, the roster is simply lacking experience and time together. There’s just not a lot of time for Simmons, Durant and Irving to establish familiarity, hell Durant, Irving and Harden only played together for 16 games themselves. That alongside the established, proven and playoff-tested Bucks, Suns and Warriors, it’s unlikely that the Nets will be having a championship parade in Brooklyn.

 

Tagged : / / /

Which NBA teams are looking promising going into the 2021-22 season? 

With the new NBA season just around the corner on October 19th 2021, basketball fans around the world are eagerly looking forward to another drama-filled year. For most fans and players, the work really starts in earnest when NBA pre-season begins on October 10th 2021.

This not only gives coaches the chance to see how personalities gel together but also gives players the chance to get back into peak shape. For fans, pre-season is simply the time to get a feel for what new players may bring to the team and how successful the coming year might be. But who is looking good going into pre-season?

Sports betting sites give an idea 

As well as being great for picking up a top sports bet of the day when the season gets underway, online sports analysis sites can help pin down which teams are looking good as pre-season looms. The best way is to look at the odds they show for NBA teams to win the 2022 Finals. After all, a team must be in good pre-season shape to be at the top of the betting. 

Currently, the three teams who seem to be most likely are the Brooklyn Nets (+200), LA Lakers (+400) and Milwaukee Bucks (+900). Behind them, the Golden State Warriors are next closest at +1100, with a number of teams such as Utah Jazz, the Clippers and 76ers following them.

But what looks so great about the Nets, Lakers, and Bucks specifically as they go into pre-season?

Brooklyn Nets There really is no mystery as to why this team is looking so great heading into training camp. One look at the Nets 2021-22 roster of elite-level players tells you all you need to know. The prospect of seeing James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant getting more time on court together is certainly a plus for Nets fans. 

While Harden fit in well on the fly last season, the fitness issues he and Irving had last postseason were a real shame, but don’t underestimate Harden. With so much focus on Kevin Durant as this season’s best player in the league, his playoff performances last season, and leading Team USA to an Olympic gold, we’re forgetting that the bearded former NBA MVP is still in his prime and one of the most dangerous offensive weapons the league has ever seen.

This coming pre-season could see them strike up an even better understanding moving ahead. A revamped forecourt with players like Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and James Johnson also looks very promising. If they keep all their key players healthy during pre-season and through the rest of the campaign, they look hard to bet against.

LA Lakers The LA Lakers off-season moves in 2021 excited a lot fans and led to them being very active during the free agency period. Their headline grabbing moves for Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook in particular made waves. Anthony may not be getting any younger, but he still has all the skill that being a 10-time All-Star demands. Westbrook is also a very talented player and, like most of the other new signings, has never won a championship. This should give the Lakers extra motivation in 2021-22 and their current roster looks good going into pre-season. After the relative disappointment of failing to make a serious attempt to retain their 2020 crown, this could be a year when the Lakers shine again.

Milwaukee Bucks Normally, there is a lot of pressure on the defending champions to hold onto their crown. Such is the hype around the Nets and Lakers for the coming season, but this is not so true for the Bucks. This could be a real advantage and allow the players to relax enough to perform well. They also still have the mesmerising talents of Giannis Antetokounmpo to call on. The Greek Freak is central to their plans, and it is heartening to see him still with Milwaukee. 

One concern is the loss of top players like shooting guard Bryn Forbes and power forward PJ Tucker. They both excelled last year and new players like Tremont Waters need to show their prowess in pre-season to calm fans nerves. Aside from the few crucial players mentioned above, the Bucks have kept roughly the same players who triumphed in the 2021 Finals. This stability could give them an edge heading into pre-season and then regular season. It still remains to be seen if failing to compete for big-names in free agency will come back to haunt them.

Nets, Lakers and Bucks look good as pre-season arrives 

With pre-season almost here, it is a great time to examine which teams look the best going into it. Although this could change as pre-season unfolds, the Nets, Lakers and Bucks look to be the pick of the bunch. It would not be surprising at all to see them do very well as the NBA season gets into full swing.

 

Tagged : /

History tells us the Milwaukee Bucks should win the NBA championship, but they won’t

Of all the remaining teams in the conference finals, the Milwaukee Bucks were the team that had earned an NBA championship.

In five consecutive playoff appearances, the Bucks lost in the first round twice, they’ve been eliminated in the semi-finals, they’ve lost a heartbreaking series to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, and now they’re finally in the NBA Finals. If you’re a fan of NBA history then you know that 97% of the time, NBA champions have to through at least a couple seasons of heartache before breaking through.

Based on that established pattern of losing-before-finally-winning, if you were to do some Naija football betting or putting money on the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks would be a heavy favorite to bring home the title.

Bucks lack identity

Getting into the NBA Finals, a team not only has to go through the trial and tribulations, but they spend those years establishing identity; one with predictable and unstoppable offensive sets. That lack of reliable offense is what will hold the Bucks back from taking home the championship this year.

When it comes down to it, the Milwaukee Bucks are way too inconsistent on offense and the Phoenix Suns too reliable on offense for the Bucks to pull out a win the NBA Finals.

We’re all well aware that two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is their superstar, but he’s yet to figure out a way to dominate the Suns when his heads-down drives are walled off. It doesn’t help that his free-throw shooting has been atrocious.

There’s been a lot of talk that Khris Middleton is their closer, but he’s had as many stinker games as he’s had dominant ones. No one dislikes Jrue Holiday, but he simply doesn’t have a scorer’s mindset. Brook Lopez has looked great in a few games, but his presence is too much of a defensive liability to make him worth playing. How many times have we seen Milwaukee’s offense completely abandon them during these playoffs?

On the other side, you know who the Phoenix Suns are on offense. To a man,  each player knows their role. Devin Booker is their primary scoring option and is capable of going off for 35 points on any night, Deandre Ayton picks and rolls and rebounds, Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges hang out at the three point line when the first few options don’t work out.

And that brings us to the other reason why the Bucks are going to have a tough time winning four games in the NBA Finals: Chris Paul. Let’s forget the motivation that comes from CP3’s first NBA Finals in his 16 year career, it’s more about his leadership and ability to create shots on any given play. Whether it’s pick and roll, the threat of lobbing to Ayton, getting Lopez or Bobby Portis on the island, his deadly handles and his deadlier midrange game. His play over the last few seasons has solidified the 6-2 guard as one of the top five point guards of all-time.

Yes, Giannis and Middleton and Holiday will put together some good games, and they might pull out two wins during the series because of that, but their inconsistency has been their identity throughout their 2021 NBA Playoff run. Unfortunately for their fans, the Deer District, and the city of Milwaukee, that inconsistency and lack of offensive identity will result in another season of disappointment.

Tagged : / / / / / /

Let’s look at the most shocking bet in the NBA season so far — thanks to Chris Paul

Look no further than the Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder as they continue to stun experts, talking heads, odds makers and even their own fan base. Continue reading “Let’s look at the most shocking bet in the NBA season so far — thanks to Chris Paul”

Tagged : / /

2019 NBA Futures: All roads lead though the West (again)

The last time an NBA team was swept in the finals was back in 2007 … it was the Cleveland Cavaliers getting trounced by a younger Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. Well, unfortunately for the town of Cleveland, not only do they own the Browns, but they own two of the nine NBA finals sweeps—and they are back to back.

The problem isn’t with the Cleveland Cavaliers though. The issue is that the Golden State Warriors look like basketball playing robots from another dimension, a superhuman one. And things don’t look like they are going to change much over in ‘The Town.’ Kevin Durant has stated that he is going to resign for another season. You better believe that the nucleus that makes up these unstoppable Warriors of Golden State will stay intact; they want the three-peat.

Futures Odds on the 2019 NBA Title

After checking Bookmaker a few days ago, we found odds on all of the teams and their implied probability to win the NBA Title in 2019. The top ten candidates according to Las Vegas and top online sites like Bookmaker are:

  • Golden State: +120 (45.5%)
  • Houston +450 (18.2%)
  • Philadelphia +500 (16.7%)
  • Boston Celtics + 650 (13.3%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers + 1400 (6.7%)
  • San Antonio Spurs +2000 (4.8%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +2500 (3.8%)
  • Miami Heat +5000 (2.0%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans +5000 (2.0%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +5000 (2.0%)

The funny thing is that as of today, the sportsbooks have pulled the NBA Futures lines —don’t worry they will put them back up soon—so we have to assume that they have received some information that is critical to their mathematical process.

Of course, we see that the Warriors once again lead the way. They are far and away favorites to win in 2019. But what is most interesting to me is the fact that the Las Angeles Lakers are suddenly in the conversation. This leads me to believe that there is some insider info telling the money people in Vegas that Lebron will land in LA.

Low and behold, Bookmaker just released odds on where Lebron James will go this offseason, and the Lakers are -140 favorites. The next closest team is Philly at +400. This means Las Vegas believes that there is a 58.3% chance that Lebron will sign with Luke and the lakers.

With all of this back-room yammering that must be going on about the Lakers and Lebron. I still don’t see how this would make them real contenders. Lebron had Love, Korver, Smith, Hill, Thompson, and a slew of other talented players and still could take down the Warriors. How would going to a team that plays very little defense be any better?

It is all about those little intangible things that create a rare occurrence of dynamics that make the best team. It isn’t always the best player or best players … but the best team. The only other teams that currently have this type of intangible thing going are the Rockets and the Raptors. The Raptors know who they are, but they just don’t quite have the talent to beat Golden State. The Rockets, on the other hand, might have taken down GSW if Chris Paul the 3rd didn’t go down and miss Game 7.

Futures Assessment

Looking at where the futures were (it remains to be seen what they become), I believe that the Rockets should actually be closer to +250 and then everyone else nudged back some more … the closest competition out of the east right now shouldn’t be set higher than +600 (six to one). Maybe if Lebron goes to the 76ers, they might have a shot. But again how will he mesh? Philly has a good thing going on. Would Lebron just be a cog in their wheel?

In 2019 all roads lead through Houston and Golden State. Whoever wins the West wins again.

 

Tagged : / / / /

Despite NBA Title, Kevin Durant makes Cleveland Cavs underdogs in 2017

The signing of Kevin Durant to a team that had already won a NBA all-time record of 73 wins have had reverberations across the entire league. Continue reading “Despite NBA Title, Kevin Durant makes Cleveland Cavs underdogs in 2017”

Tagged : / / / / / /

How to stream NBA League Pass to your TV using Chromecast

NBA League Pass allows NBA fans to watch any regular season game using on their television, mobile phone or tablet. Continue reading “How to stream NBA League Pass to your TV using Chromecast”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / /

What is Stephen Curry’s ethnicity and race?

Even if you’re not an NBA fan, there’s no escaping Stephen Curry. If he isn’t already, Curry is quickly becoming a household name.

Jeremy Lin’s heroics for Hornets nearly shot down by Kristaps Porzingis

Jeremy Lin scored 17 points including several crucial plays at the end of the game that helped the Charlotte Hornets hang on a tight two point win over the New York Knicks. Continue reading “Jeremy Lin’s heroics for Hornets nearly shot down by Kristaps Porzingis”

Tagged : / / / / /

Jeremy Lin highlights vs. Los Angeles Clippers in NBA Global Games

Jeremy Lin’s midrange jumper was on point and the crowd in Shenzen, China loved watching Lin during the Hornets 106-94 win over the Los Angeles Clippers last night. Continue reading “Jeremy Lin highlights vs. Los Angeles Clippers in NBA Global Games”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / /

Yikes! Jeremy Lin sports “bowl cut” hairstyle at Hornets practice

While in China for the NBA Global Games, Jeremy Lin decided to wear his hair in a bowlcut at a Charlotte Hornets practice. Continue reading “Yikes! Jeremy Lin sports “bowl cut” hairstyle at Hornets practice”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

Jeremy Lin sees “good fit” with Charlotte Hornets, signs two-year deal

In “out of left field” news, free agent Jeremy Lin announced on his social media accounts that he signed with the Charlotte Hornets for the 2015-16 NBA season. Continue reading “Jeremy Lin sees “good fit” with Charlotte Hornets, signs two-year deal”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

John Wall’s ‘360 midair layup’ is quickly becoming his signature move

John Wall is quickly making his high-flying 360 layup his calling card. Continue reading “John Wall’s ‘360 midair layup’ is quickly becoming his signature move”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / /

Awesome Steph Curry “DUBS” mural found in Oakland

It was great to follow the Warriors on their way to the NBA championship while on the East Coast. Continue reading “Awesome Steph Curry “DUBS” mural found in Oakland”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / /

Andre Iguodola deserved the NBA Finals MVP because WINNING

I wouldn’t have argued loudly had Lebron James won the Finals MVP, but it wasn’t a travesty that Andre Iguodola took home the trophy. Continue reading “Andre Iguodola deserved the NBA Finals MVP because WINNING”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / /

Cavs’ 7-Man Rotation Will Cost Them 2015 NBA Championship

Believe it or not, there’s a bright side to the Cavs getting beat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Cleveland. The bright side is that the game was over and they could rest. Continue reading “Cavs’ 7-Man Rotation Will Cost Them 2015 NBA Championship”

Tagged : / / / / / / / /

My mom isn’t surprised that the Cavs beat the Warriors (again)

In the late 1980’s, my sister and I took an interest in basketball. With NBA on the television all the time, my mom also became a hoops fan (in addition to loving Knots Landing). Continue reading “My mom isn’t surprised that the Cavs beat the Warriors (again)”

Tagged : / / / / / / /

Which travel was worse: Lebron James’ stroll or Kendrick Perkins’ dancing?

Who knew that Cleveland was a hotbed for travelers? Continue reading “Which travel was worse: Lebron James’ stroll or Kendrick Perkins’ dancing?”

Tagged : / / / / / / /

We could all learn a little about life from this “Brooklyn hustler”

In November 2014, The Atlantic posted a short video on Jazzoon, a Brooklyn man that followed his passions– sports memorabilia, music, and comic books –into a viable living. Continue reading “We could all learn a little about life from this “Brooklyn hustler””

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / /

How did J.J. Redick defend James Harden so well?

A season and a half ago, approximately eight years into his NBA career, J.J. Redick found a way to contribute in ways that expanded his role as off-the-bench, three-point sniper. Continue reading “How did J.J. Redick defend James Harden so well?”

Tagged : / / / / / /

Here’s why Steph Curry is already the best three-point shooter in NBA history

There’s no way Steph Curry can be the best shooter in NBA history already, can he? Continue reading “Here’s why Steph Curry is already the best three-point shooter in NBA history”

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /