NBA storylines to watch

Jaylon Brown and the retooled Celtics look to prove they are still contenders

The NBA regular season is coming soon to a TV near you

The NBA season is less than a week away from tipping off, but as we all know there is no sport that dominates the headlines year-round like the NBA. This past offseason saw a tremendous number of stars change teams, the most hyped prospect since Lebron James has entered the league and the NBA’s sudden beef with China.

China threatening to cut ties with the NBA

The NBA has been trying to expand its game all over the world but after a tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, the NBA could be losing business to one of their biggest international markets. On Oct. 4, Morey tweet “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” This has led to China expressing their frustration and they have even gone as far as to try and get Morey fired after his tweet. The NBA is caught in the middle of a complex situation as they want to continue to do business with China but also want to support their league member’s right to free speech. Two Chinese companies, sportswear brand Li-Ning and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank have suspended their sponsorship programs with the Rockets, while the streaming platform Tencent has reportedly suspended NBA broadcasts in China. There appears to be no end in sight for this conflict to be resolved.

Was Kyrie the Problem?

Kyrie Irving chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets this past offseason after a disastrous season with the Boston Celtics. Irving got a lot of criticism for how he handled being a leader and was given the majority of the blame for the Celtics underachieving last year. Now Kemba Walker will step in and replace Irving on the Celtics. Walker has been an all-star level player, but he had been held back by the Charlotte Hornets not surrounding him with talent. The Celtics are hoping that young wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can take their games to the next level and rebound from a disappointing campaign. Irving, on the other hand, will step in and replace all-star point guard D’Angelo Russell. The Nets were a great story last year and were a young, up and coming team that played fast and extremely hard. With the additions of Irving and the injured Kevin Durant, there will be lofty expectations on this young Nets team and with Durant most likely sitting out the season recovering from a torn Achilles, Irving will once again be tasked with being the team’s leader. This Nets team is young and talented which is a lot like the Celtics roster was last year. Irving will get the chance to prove that he wasn’t the problem in Boston, or he will prove the critics right and show that he isn’t capable of leading a team.

The western conference runs through LA

No city saw a greater influx of star power than the city of Los Angeles. The Clippers landed superstar Kawhi Leonard while adding all-star Paul George via trade. The Lakers weren’t going to be left in the dust as they traded for superstar Anthony Davis. Lebron James and Anthony Davis give the Lakers the best 1-2 punch. The Clippers have surrounded Leonard and George with a deep roster and have one of the best coaches in the league in Doc Rivers. The west is loaded with talent, but both the Clippers and the Lakers lead the pack before the season begins.

The Zion hype is real

Zion Williamson has been the most hyped NBA draft prospect since Lebron James entered the league in 2003. Williamson will be the face of the franchise for the New Orleans Pelicans, who traded away superstar Anthony Davis this offseason for young players Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. The Pelicans are going to be one of the most fun teams to watch in the league as they are going to get out and run and take advantage of all their athletes on the team. Williamson has not disappointed so far this preseason (I know preseason doesn’t matter but still) as he has scored 77 points on 80 percent shooting in three preseason games. The Pelicans are a sneaky contender for a playoff spot if everything breaks right. No matter where the Pelicans finish in the standing, Williamson will be must-watch tv all season long.

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