I’m a bigger football fan than anything else. The NFL hijacks my sundays and on the rare sunday that a Bengals game is airing in the Dallas market I will literally clear everything around the game and make sure I’m sitting in front of the TV for those three hours. All that being said, I feel like the super bowl ended 12 years ago and I can’t get excited about anything in the off season. Seriously, I’m trying. I watched All or Nothing on Amazon, I’m watching Hard Knocks, I’m watching clips of training camp, but ultimately nothing happens.
Baseball to me is just baseball. No manner of giants or diminutive men running around in high socks is enough to really get my blood running.
There’s too many soccer leagues and transactions going on. Neymar’s transfer was insane this year, but other than that there really is nothing outside of the champion’s league.
Enter the NBA. The finals ended on June 12, more than 60 days ago and the NBA is STILL getting headlines and exciting anyone who follows the sport. There’s massive free agent signings, there’s stars going across the pacific and touring Asia doing weird things including playing against 30 foot tall balloons and in the case of one Android, smiling. There’s NBA players playing the The Drew league,which is a summer league in a High School gym, stars demanding trades and most surprising of all those trades actually happen! Today, August 22, 2017 The Boston Celtics and The Cleveland Cavaliers traded All Star Point Guard Kyrie Irving for All Star Point Guard Isaiah Thomas(and Jae Crowded and a 2018 1st round draft pick).
This is crazy on a number of levels. First of all, both of these guys are very good players and think of a sport where very good players are traded between rivals. The two teams involved in this trade were competing against each other in the Eastern Conference Finals last season(less than four months ago) and are virtual shoe ins to be there again. That’d be like if Real Madrid and Barcelona traded players or if the Patriots and the Steelers traded players or if the Dodgers and the Giants traded players. Take any team and have them trade with their biggest rival on the way to the finals in any sport and suggest a trade between them and it wouldn’t happen, but it happened today. God Bless the NBA.
Not only are these teams rivals these guys were VERY important to their team. When LeBron James, arguably the greatest player of all time, left Cleveland to go play for Miami Kyrie Irving was drafted after only one year of college and was going to be the centerpiece for whatever Cleveland was building. LeBron came back in 2014 and Kyrie fell to second place, but second place behind the GOAT means you play in 3 straight finals and win 1. Still despite being second fiddle in Cleveland, Kyrie Irving was a very important part of the team and tended to take over games especially in the postseason. Isaiah Thomas on the other hand is a freak of nature that finally found a home in Boston after being discarded by Sacramento and Phoenix. What’s so great about Isaiah Thomas is that he’s “freak” status isn’t like LeBron’s for example, Isaiah isn’t a huge mountain of a man he stands at 5’9, but really it’s more like 5’8. A normal sized man playing amongst giants and playing well. He had one of the best scoring seasons in terms of efficiency last year and was the leader of the team, even making an effort to recruit players onto it. Isaiah Thomas believed he was the face of the franchise in Boston.
The best part of all this is that these two teams will play on the opening week of the upcoming season. I can’t wait to see Kyrie’s presentation at Boston, and I can’t wait to see Isaiah Thomas in Cleveland. One will get his chance to emerge from the shadow of the Greatest of all time and the other will once again embrace the role of the underdog and face the team that turned their back on him. Why can’t all leagues be as fun as the NBA?