Kobe Bryant has officially made his return to the Los Angeles Lakers, and it didn’t go unnoticed around the league. Very few players can command this type of attention from their piers. The anticipation was coming from every corner of the league.
You may think you know the biggest NBA fan…or, perhaps, you think you deserve that distinction yourself.
Everyone has their moment, impassioned by the play of their favorite player(s) on their favorite team(s) while watching their favorite sport. Some fans are crazy and have fits of rage when their team doesn’t play to their expectations. Others, however, may be more subdued when facing . They’d rather turn off the television and go to bed before seeing the end of the game if their team is losing.
Some fans enjoy a great game, regardless of who is playing.
However, the greatest fans—in any sport, but especially in basketball—are likely the guys who have committed their lives to it…the players, themselves.
BROOKLYN – Through three regular season games, Alec Burks led the Utah Jazz in points per game (18.0), two-point field goal percentage among players who took at least one shot per game (57.6), offensive rating (107), win shares, win shares per 48 minutes (.131) and PER (19.2).
Sounds like someone who should start for a rebuilding team like the Jazz, no? Yet the 12th overall in the 2011 draft has yet to start a game in his NBA career.
“He’s deserved to start for us, but right now he could help us coming off the bench and give us some bench scoring,” Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. “He’s continuing to grow. He’s been a great guy, his game is growing. He’s worked his butt off for us all summer to continue to grow his game. He’ll play a lot of minutes for us.”
After Burks averaged just under 18 minutes per game last season, Corbin has rewarded his work with a bump in playing time. The 22-year-old Burks is now playing a solid 30 minutes a game. Although Utah hasn’t had success as a team, Burks’ work is paying off, and he credited his assertiveness for his fast start.
“I’m just being aggressive,” Burks told Sheridan Hoops. “Shots happen to fall. It’s been good.”
The 6-6 Grandview, Missouri native was extremely soft-spoken, almost to the point of being shy, but he has already gained the respect and admiration of his teammates.
“He’s been playing brilliant,” said veteran guard Brandon Rush. “Just attacking, attacking.”
“He’s playing really well right now,” rookie reserve Ian Clark said. “He’s stepping up, playing a big role for us on this team both offensively and defensively. He can guard with his size, and his offensive ability is really helping us down the stretch in the games.”
The problem is that Utah hasn’t won any of those games, and it only got worse on Tuesday night. The Jazz were overmatched by the Nets on the defensive end and were sloppy on offense in a 104-88 loss that exploited Burks’ greatest weakness.
The day is here. The time is now. So it is, that we begin the 2013-14 NBA season.
After a summer full of drama and change, the teams, players and fans are ready for the new season to start.
Opening night kicks off with three games on Tuesday, starting with the Orlando Magic visiting the Indiana Pacers at 7:00 pm Eastern, which can be seen on Fox Sports Florida or NBA League Pass.
That game is followed by a double-header on TNT. At 8:00 pm, the Miami Heat open the season with their Championship banner and ring ceremony and a prescription dose of a healthy Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. The night will be capped off with the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 pm.
Wednesday night 28 of the league’s 30 teams will be in action.
Hopefully you’re ready for a lot of basketball, the players definitely are.
Anytime expert analysts and writers are tasked with ranking the competitors within their industry, unless it is based solely on statistics and analytics, people will always find fault with them.
Such is life.
No one can perfectly judge a group of individuals—much less 500 of them—when weighing their value, ability, talent and skill when using a blend of factual numbers and subjective opinions and biases.
Yet, that seems to be the expectation.
Once again, while compiling its complete 1-500 NBA preseason player rankings, the four-letter network has people complaining.
Entering his 18th NBA season having finished second in total points at the age of 34 and coming off of a ruptured Achilles, Kobe Bryant was ranked 25th among all active players.
His ranking places him just behind Miami Heat big man Chris Bosh, which might be perceived as an insult by some.
Certainly, it ruffled the feathers of a few NBA players.