It is less than 24 hours away. The scope of the NBA will be completely altered and fans will “witness” a new day for the League. For the past decade, the NBA has been dominated by the Western Conference. For the decade before that, the Eastern Conference reigned supreme (Michael Jordan era). Now it is up for grabs. As the world braces itself for the Free Agency period of a lifetime, we have 24 hours left to reflect on the NBA that was. Because it will be no more..
I know most of you are probably sick and tired of hearing about the NBA Free Agency period of 2010. I will admit it is turning into a Brett Favre type saga. The only difference is this story actually has a valid excuse for being talked about every day for over 2 months. This is not about one player’s selfish cry for attention. This is a story that involves the entire League. It is a story that is honestly bigger than the game.
Now I will admit that I have no idea what is going to happen during this Free Agency period. I can speculate like all of the other experts and analysts. And I have my opinions and theories on who will go where and why. But let’s be honest, nobody is sure about what will transpire over the next few weeks. People can hypothesize, but there are no sure-fire take the bank type facts. The only way to actually get a better idea would be to sit at the player’s roundtable, which sounds similar to a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen type event. And wouldn’t you know it, 2 more marquee names added themselves to the Free Agency pool last evening (Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki).
So heading into the final 24 hours before the insanity begins, lets take a look at what players are on the market. You have both your Superstars and your All Stars in this class (and of course other solid players that are getting no mention this offseason). I will also put in parenthesis next to each player where I think they will land (no analysis will be provided though).
-Lebron James (Chicago), Dwayne Wade (Miami), Chris Bosh (Chicago), Dirk Nowitzki (newly added name) (Dallas)
Paul Pierce (newly added name) (LA Clippers), Joe Johnson (New York), Amare Stoudemire (New York), Carlos Boozer (Miami)
This is just a small crop of the marquee names available. There is much more out there, but these are the guys who have been getting the majority of the press.
In a way, all of this buildup, preparation, and hype, could be compared to a Presidential election. Teams have been cutting salary in any way possible over the past 2 years in preparation for this July. This is sort of like fundraising for a campaign. It has all been about positioning. In addition, teams have been wooing players in any way possible that falls within the rules for well over 2 years. The same way Presidential candidates try to woo people to vote for them by touring the country making speeches. Lastly, the entire NBA is involved in this. This is similar to how the entire country is involved in a Presidential election. The only difference between this and a Presidential election really other than voting is that this will have an effect on the entire League for well over 4 years. The Presidential election only results in a 4 year contract while most of these contracts will be for more than 4 year periods (and their impacts on the League will extend for well over a decade).
So there you have it. I would love to give you further analysis and reasoning on my predictions on where everybody is going to land and what is going to happen during the course of this bonanza. But my predictions, similar to the experts like Bill Simmons, Tim Legler, Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, etc are all void in that nobody really knows what is going to happen (as I stated before).
This is truly an enigma and is the only reason why I and most people can tolerate all the attention it has been getting each and every day for the better part of 3 months.
Get ready for the dawning of a new day in the NBA.
Also, if you would like to see a conversation that I had with a fellow sports enthusiast/blogger (Bryan Setz) a couple of a days ago, who has a blog called 3 Cats 1 Nut, go to http://www.3cats1nut.com/ and check out the gist of the conversation.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.