The NBA Offseason
After countless games, incredible buzzer-beaters and unfortunately, plenty of injuries, the NBA season has finally concluded with the Golden State Warriors hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy. For casual fans, their NBA offseason means taking a four month break before attending/watching their next NBA basketball game. But, for some fans that I affectionately dub, “NBA heads,” the NBA offseason can be one of the most exciting times during the year.
The offseason can make or break your team’s chances for a title next season via free agency. For example, at the end of the 2010 season, nobody expected the Miami Heat to challenge for a championship the following season. But in that wonderful offseason of 2010, Miami acquired LeBron James, Chris Bosh and other free agents who helped construct a championship contender on paper within a matter of weeks. In this case, Miami was lucky enough to have offseason moves work on paper and on the court and ended up winning two of four championships from 2010-2011 through 2013-2014. In the 2014 offseason, the opposite happened for Miami as they lost LeBron to the Cleveland Cavaliers and went from NBA Finals participant to lottery team within eight months.
The offseason also includes the NBA draft. What the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to do from 2007 through 2009 drafting Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden was incredible. After drafting Durant number two in 2007, OKC made the climb from high lottery team to NBA Finals participant in 2012. Now in 2015, Durant, Westbrook and Harden are all conservatively considered top 10 players.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, they were unable to keep their cast of characters together as they traded Harden to the Houston Rockets during the 2012 offseason. Houston became a playoff team that upcoming season and has continued to rise, making the Western Conference Finals in 2015 as the number two seed in a loaded Western Conference.
Free agency, the draft and trades are all a huge part of what goes on during the NBA offseason. It has a major impact on your favorite team and how they perform in the following season and seasons to come. What the offseason sells is hope for all 30 teams. With many different possible outcomes, your favorite team could go from last to first or first to last within a matter of weeks, and that anxiety is beautiful.
So pay attention to the NBA offseason and fall for the hope, excitement, agony and misery because the offseason could have it all in a 24 hour period. Maybe this year is when your favorite team finds that player who will lead your city to the NBA Promised Land. Maybe it’s the year where your team just misses out on a franchise changer. Either way, something will drive you crazy, and that’s why I love the NBA offseason.