Previewing the 2021-2022 NBA Season: European Stars, LeBron James, and the Road to the Championship

Denver-Lakers, the European star Jokic against the legend LeBron James, the reigning champions against one of the main challengers: the NBA season begins here tomorrow night, a novel of 82 episodes plus play-ins and playoffs. Here are the instructions for use for the next eight months.


All eyes are on Victor Wembanyama, a 19-year-old Frenchman making his debut with San Antonio, 224 centimeters of harmony that allow him to play with ease in every position on the pitch: it was since LeBron James’ debut, when social media didn’t yet exist, that a first choice did not arouse much expectation.


When he scores the basket that decides the game Steph Curry, star of Golden State, mimes the gesture of resting his head on the pillow: he has already started putting everyone to bed in the preseason… COEXISTENCE

Doncic and Irving in Dallas, Holiday with Tatum and Brown in Boston, Beal with Durant and Booker in Phoenix, Chris Paul with Curry in Golden State, Lillard with Antetokoumpo in Milwaukee, Westbrook with George and Leonard at the Clippers: for the stars to work they will also need that they get along.


At the age of 39, which makes him the oldest in the league, LeBron James begins his twenty-first season, where new records and the Paris Olympics await him. Whether it will also be the last will depend on his son Bronny, who has recovered from his heart problems and continues to chase his NBA dream. To play with his father.


One player in four in the league was not born in the States, most of the new ones arrive from the Old Continent: the best known are the Serbian Micic, who landed in Oklahoma, and the Bulgarian Vezenkov, who however already has space problems in Sacramento.


In the East, in front of everyone there are Boston, which added Holiday and Porzingis, and Milwaukee, strengthened by Lillard. Followed by Miami and New York. In the West, Denver leads, which has maintained the backbone of the title, and the Lakers, in the wake of Phoenix and Golden State.


Doncic stopped due to a calf that is acting up and risks making him miss his debut, Green has been in the pits for some time due to an ankle: for some it is already a false start.


After a year in the infirmary, Danilo Gallinari starts again from Washington, seventh team in 16 seasons, also counting the two spent watching. After a year of apprenticeship, Simone Fontecchio in Utah is looking for confirmation and above all space.


Kevin Porter jr and Miles Bridges without a team after ending up under investigation for violence, the former good guy Ja Morant out half the season for his questionable behavior off the field: when faced with those who make mistakes in life, the NBA always has a severe reaction .


From November the NBA Cup will also be played, a sort of national cup within the tournament based on the regular season matches: six groups, the first with the two best second groups at the beginning of December will make the finals in Las Vegas. Objective: to immediately shake up the season.


Over three hundred seasonal matches on the dedicated Sky channel: every week, at least five matches with commentary in Italian.


We need to relaunch the All Star game, less and less of a game and an increasingly boring exhibition. The issue is already being studied: after the last formula didn’t work (teams chosen by the two most voted players), the league will surely find a solution, as always.


There are those who rely on the creativity and class of their stars, those who instead focus on the game. There are more and more teams with a convincing system: for example, Sacramento with Mike Brown and Michael Malone’s Denver, which reached the title with Jokic and Murray perfectly integrated with the rest of the team.


Not just Wembanyama: even the highly anticipated Chet Holmgren, out for the entire last season which should have been his debut, and Paolo Banchero himself, are universal players. They don’t have a defined position on the pitch, wherever you put them they do great.


Steph Curry leads the salary ranking, which is close to 50 million dollars, in his wake are LeBron, Embiid and Jokic with 47. Then there is the chapter of individual sponsorships and the count is updated.


“Yes, a couple of times I went to the pitch to shoot,” revealed Jokic, who like his teammate Murray missed the World Cup. The Serbian spent the rest of the summer at racecourses and at auctions for his horses.


On the bench in Toronto is the second European head coach in NBA history, Darko Rajakovic, a 44-year-old Serbian, former assistant at Phoenix and Memphis: at the beginning of June he completed the list of coaches, canceling Scariolo’s dream of being the first Italian to lead a team in the most important championship in the world.


James Harden doesn’t want to stay in Philadelphia, which Embiid would also like to leave: with the Clippers hypothesis gone, Barba is still on the fence. But the precedents with Brooklyn and the Sixers themselves do not encourage potential suitors.


Who knows if this is the right time to see Williamson on the pitch for an entire season: among the stars, whether real or announced, he is the one who is still missing.

2023-10-23 03:51:40
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