NBA set for 75th anniversary season

October 20, 2021
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top
    Share on facebook
    Share on whatsapp
    Share on telegram

    Kyrie Irving (left), Giannis Antetokounmpo (centre) and LeBron James (right)

    A Hall of Fame-bound player who refuses to be vaccinated. A superstar point guard desperate to find a new team. And one of the greatest of all time desperate to prove he's still got it.

    As the NBA celebrates its 75th anniversary, it promises to be a season full of twists and turns.

    It's been three months since the Milwaukee Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, defeated the Phoenix Suns and were crowned NBA champions for the first time since 1971.

    In doing so, Antetokounmpo, nicknamed 'The Greek Freak', silenced many of his critics and was also named the Finals' Most Valuable Player (MVP).

    After a busy off-season which featured some eyebrow-raising trades, the league starts again on Tuesday night (00:30 BST Wednesday).

    Here are some of the key factors which could play a part in where the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship trophy ends up next summer.

    • Giannis Antetokounmpo: The making of 'The Greek Freak'

    Is it Championship or bust for the Brooklyn Nets?

    James Harden (left), Kevin Durant (centre) and Kyrie Irving (right)Can the Nets finally make the most of their star-studded trio?

    Ask most experts and they'll tell you Brooklyn is the most likely destination for the title. Although that prediction comes with an 'if' – if they can get their big three – Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden – on the court at the same time.

    Before a ball has even been tipped that projected journey has hit a bump in the road.

    "In New York City, in order to work in an indoor public space you have to be vaccinated. And Kyrie Irving has taken the stance that he is not going to get vaccinated which would make him ineligible to play games," explained Chris Carrino, the Nets' play-by-play announcer.

    "I think it's fair to say that there's a high expectation level to win the championship, but if they don't win it, it's not a disaster," he added.

    • Why Irving's absence is at centre of NBA's Covid-19 vaccine debate as season starts
    • Kyrie Irving: Unvaccinated Brooklyn Nets star 'doing what's best for me'

    The Nets were heavily favoured to win the title last year but injuries meant their star-studded trio only played a handful of games together.

    Irving's salary for the upcoming season is $33m (£24m) – so if he remains ineligible to play there is the possibility he could be traded to a state where Covid rules are not as strict as they are in New York.

    "I hope that Kyrie, despite how strongly he feels about the vaccination, ultimately decides to get vaccinated because I'd love to see him play basketball this season," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on the eve of the new season.

    "This is between Irving and New York City right now. This is not a league issue… but I think it would have been best for everyone if every player were vaccinated."

    Ben SimmonsIt's still unclear which direction Simmons will head this season

    READ:  Suns beat Nets for 16th straight win

    If Irving leaves New York a straight swap deal for Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons has been touted as a possible solution.

    However, the 76ers are thought to be keen on keeping the 25-year-old three-time All-Star.

    The Australian is unhappy with his team and initially failed to report to pre-season training, although he's since joined up with the squad.

    LeBron James & friends

    Russell Westbrook (left), Anthony Davis (centre left), LeBron James (centre right) and Carmelo Anthony (right)James (centre right) has helped bring a wealth of All-Star talent to the Lakers this off-season

    Not only has LeBron James spent more than half of his life in the NBA – he's consistently been one of its best performers. Now aged 36, the big question is how much longer can that last?

    The four-time NBA champion missed a chunk of last season because of an ankle injury then returned only for his Los Angeles Lakers to be eliminated in round one of the play-offs.

    Often debated alongside Michael Jordan as the game's GOAT, James will be eager to prove he's still the main attraction. He's used his influence to convince long time friend Carmelo Anthony, 37, to join him in L.A.

    Also back in the famous purple and gold jersey is Rajon Rondo, 35, who previously played for them in 2018-2020. Key to any hopes the Lakers have is how well nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook, signed from the Washington Wizards, fits into their system.

    It'll be the 32-year-old's fourth team in three years.

    With his all-action displays he's proven he can be the main man – what James and the Lakers need him to be is a good co-star. A role Westbrook is yet to warm to so far during his 14-year NBA career.

    'The league is Giannis' for the taking'

    Giannis AntetokounmpoAntetokounmpo claimed the NBA and MVP titles last season as the Bucks won their first championship since 1971

    READ:  GB lose second World Cup game to Turkey

    It's no surprise that after winning their first title in 50 years the city of Milwaukee is still on a high following victory in the summer.

    It's thanks largely to Antetokounmpo – who at times can be impossible to guard. At 6ft 11in and 110kg he's been described as the most dominant force in the league since Shaquille O'Neal.

    And if that wasn't scary enough for the opposition – the 26-year-old hasn't peaked yet according to those that watch him week in week out.

    "I really hope there's not a sense of being content especially among the players. I'm hoping they come out with that fire and get back to the championship game and win another title," Nathan Marzion told BBC Sport. The 21-year-old writes for Behind the Bucks website.

    "I think Giannis can be more dominant than he was last season. I see him averaging 30 points a game, shooting 70% from the free throw line and improving his jumpers. The league is his for the taking," Marzion added.

    Dark horses

    Thanks largely to the acquisition of Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors, the Miami Heat could be this year's surprise package.

    Lowry an NBA champion in 2019 brings the experience and leadership skills that will complement the Heat's squad of young talented players.

    The same could be said for the signing of PJ Tuckerwho, who was part of the Milwaukee Bucks' title winning team last season. Add to the mix All-Star players Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and the Heat could have one of the deepest squads in the league.

    Around the BBC - Sounds

    • All About Michael Holding: Listen to a revealing conversation with one of cricket's defining voices
    • The best of the Bond villains: Exploring the memorable music that made 007's foes

    Around the BBC footer - Sounds


    READ:  Lakers lose to Kings in triple overtime
    Atlanta - Boston
    Prediction for the game Atlanta – Boston

    Atlanta is the 15th in the East, having 13 wins and 37 losses. A powerful forward, John Collins, has returned and Lloyd Pierce’s team becomes …

    Portland Trail Blazers - Houston Rockets
    Prediction for the match Portland Trail Blazers – Houston Rockets

    It was a big surprise: the Houston Rockets won the game with Utah. We are looking forward for the match against the Portland Trail Blazers, …

    Olympia Milan - Bayern -
    Prediction for the match Milan – Bayern

    The team from Bayern defeated with a score 78:64 in the first round in Munich. In the Euroleague, the German club won 3-2. The team …

    Notify of
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    Our News
    Follow Us
    • Bookmakers Bonus

    Registration bonus up to 250 Euro!

    Sign up for our Newsletter
    Logo for footer

    Copyright 2019 © All rights Reserved.

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
    This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.