What’s one regular-season game in NBA history you wish you could’ve attended?
I’d probably pick a game during Michael Jordan’s rookie season, something like his 33-point outing in his first appearance at MSG or his 49-piece against the Pistons later that season. No matter the game, I’d just want to make sure my mind was wiped – Men in Black style – so I could sit there in complete awe with everyone else.
• Earlier this week, we learned the NBA would push back several important upcoming dates. The goal is to not only give themselves more time to figure out the salary cap implications of this weird season but to also see if they can come up with a way to hold the 2020-21 season outside of a bubble. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, they seemed to make some progress on the latter, as the idea of in-market play with reduced travel and minimal fans has gained popularity. We’ve seen football take a similar approach with fans and baseball alter their schedule to reduce travel, so the fact the NBA might combine the two isn’t all that surprising. However, whether or not this will still feel like a do-able approach by the start of next season completely hinges on the state of the pandemic. Everything must remain fluid.
• Speaking of the start of next season, the NBA still doesn’t know when that will be. All that’s been decided is that the 2020-21 campaign will not start before Christmas Day. How far it could stretch past that is anyone’s guess. Obviously, if there is reason to believe a start at the end of January could put more fans safely in arenas for more games than it’s going to be something the league considers.
• In other (more fun) news, we should have a draft combine! The NBA has agreed on tentative plans to hold medical exams and on-court drills sometime in the mid-September to early October range, per Charania. Then, teams will conduct in-person interviews (not workouts) from mid-October until draft day (which looks as if it’ll be on November 18th). I don’t know about you, but I got pretty damn happy to hear this news. With an already confusing and somewhat underwhelming draft class, these exams and drills could hold a lot of weight. Not to mention, it’s just been a long time since we’ve seen many of these prospects on the court. Think about it – most college players haven’t taken the court since March, while guys like LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman haven’t played since last November. I know they’re all working out and keeping themselves game-read (or they’ve been on the couch eating chili cheese dogs all day … which would be a problem), but these organizations need something more up-to-date to work with.
• Also, this decision should be especially exciting for Bulls fans. Arturas Karnisovas’ eye for talent is supposedly his best quality, and the more the league can provide him with the normal predraft tools, the more likely it is he hits another home run on draft night. I’m sure he has a decent grasp on who could be the best NBA talent after intense film deep dives, but a closer look at players through on-court activities should help him hammer this home. You got this, AK!
• The bubble is starting to feel like the NCAA Tournament.
Kept hearing Bubble Ball would be unpredictable. Celtics and Heat earned it for sure. https://t.co/lzBrMc5LT8
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 12, 2020
• How’d that turn out?
On this day in 1984, the Chicago Bulls officially signed their 3rd-overall pick ✍️ pic.twitter.com/1nAXyxLXoh
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 12, 2020
Giannis Antetokounmpo unfollowed ALL of his Bucks teammates on Instagram. He’s only following 9 people.
— Dionysis Aravantinos (@AravantinosDA) September 12, 2020
• By the way, I’ve missed reading too much into social media decisions. Whether it’s unfollowing or tweeting, the offseason can be full of online decisions that stir the pot, and this move from Giannis is definitely one of them. After the Bucks lost in the Eastern Conference Finals he seemed to set the record straight that he isn’t going anywhere … but then why you being Instagram petty!?
• I’m still pissed he isn’t higher. The guy was an 85 last season, he deserves a bump.
• Kevin Durant to the Bulls. Book it.
Kevin Durant Says Zach LaVine Has Superstar Potentialhttps://t.co/MwuoW6sVJ5
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 11, 2020