Usually when the NBA season is upon the horizon I am full of opinions and concrete thoughts that I could come up with some sort of tangible evidence to back up my claim, but this 2016-2017 NBA season, nope, nothing. I’m more full of questions and what if’s than anything. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t fear many things, but not knowing what to expect, especially when it’s not in your hands really makes me feel a certain kind of way. The entire league is going to look completely different next year. We have hit a new era in the NBA that is directly correlated to a combination of things. One, father time caught up to three legends Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan laced up the sneakers for the last time. Two, the super team/real life Monstar squad aka Golden State Warriors will be on display. Three, there are some very talented young teams that I think are poised to make noise this year.
You know what’s crazy? That’s the light things you should be pondering three weeks before opening night. There is issues bigger than the game of basketball at hand. Derrick Rose is going on trial for an alleged gang rape, this goes beyond the hardwood. A young woman was possibly brutally raped by three men or she could just be making this whole thing up. I’m not accusing her of it but we’ve heard it happen before. Regardless, the damage is done. In this day and age, you are guilty until proven innocent, and unfortunately, those kind of claims are attached to you forever. What if he does get convicted of the rape? What happens then to him as far as jail time? What happens to the Knicks organization?
Will Commissioner Adam Silver allow the inevitable protest of the National Anthem by marquee names? We can almost guarantee this will happen at some point and time early in the season and by the look of the Kaepernick situation, one man is all it takes for the domino effect to begin. The NBA has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to social issues so I can’t see this being any different, but you never know. Even though most guys associated with the league are progressive and use their platform to speak on important issues that need to be discussed, Donald Sterling owned a team very recently. Those old school Klan members didn’t just fall off the face of the earth, they replaced the hoods with business suits.
I guess what I’m really getting at is that this season is going to be more than what happens in any NBA arena. From Derrick Rose’s case, to the possible protest, to the player’s ability to feel comfortable to speak their minds freely without the fear of repercussions. This season can serve as the turning point for the NBA to show the NFL how you deal with your player’s opinions. They have an opportunity to show the world that they value their players as more than a puppet that makes them a lot of money and then toss away like the NFL does. These are human beings that have opinions and if the NBA showcases that they value what they do off the court for the world, as much as they do when they are on the hardwood, then we can start discussing solutions rather than problems.