KEY QUESTIONS BEFORE THE NBA SEASON STARTS:

By: Ismail Hussein
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With the NBA season starting on October 19,  many fans are preparing to root for their favorite teams. Whether you’re wasting your time cheering for the Kings, or sobbing about the Laker’s troubles, I am here to help you understand the hot topics of the NBA preseason. 

 

BEN SIMMONS:

During the postseason last year, Ben Simmons was a big disappointment. During Game 7 of the Hawks vs. Sixers east semifinals, Ben Simmons scored 5 points. As an All-NBA player and 2 time All-Star, this was a great disappointment. Not only was he too scared to shoot beyond the arc, he was scared to even drive in for lay-ups. His own fear led to his now infamous lay-up shot, leading to the Sixers loss against the Hawks. As a top seeded team, the Sixers were greatly disappointed in his performance, even alluding to trading him during the off-season. Simmons, angered by the organization’s actions, essentially threw a tantrum, refusing to go back to the team and play for them unless he was traded. After so many months, it seems like Simmons will be coming back to the team. However, fans are left unanswered, “Will he play better? Does he still want to leave?” No one can know, but it seems like Simmons and the organization are giving each other a second chance. Hopefully, Simmons will improve his mindset and support the Sixers.

 

KYRIE IRVING; VACCINE OR NO VACCINE?

Probably the most controversial topic in the league, Irving is still at a crossroads about the vaccine. The NBA placed a league-wide vaccine mandate earlier this year, requiring that all players get at least one shot of the vaccine or wear masks during all practices. Irving, one of the best point guards of the league, has decided not to get the vaccine. As a member of the Brooklyn Nets, who are expected to win the championship this year with a stacked team (Kevin Durant and James Harden to name a few), not playing in games will greatly affect their chances of success. New York City has issued a mandate requiring all participants in sports leagues in their city to get at least one shot of the vaccine. On October 10th, Irving took to IG Live to explain his thought process for not getting the vaccine. He states “It’s just about the freedom of what I want to do.” Irving’s teammates have accepted his choice, and the organization is preparing to go through the next season without Irving. Hopefully Irving will change his mind in the near future!

 

LA LAKERS; CHAMPIONSHIP OR BUST:

The Lakers went ahead with a crazy move during the offseason, trading away many of their bench players to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Russel Westbrook. With this addition, the Lakers now have three All-NBA players: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russel Westbrook. Anonymous executives and scouts expect the new addition of Westbrook to skyrocket the Lakers chances of winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season. However, the preseason games have shown a different story: the team went 0-6, not winning a single game. Hopefully the Lakers will tune-up their starting lineup before the season starts, or their chances of winning the championship will go down the drain.