We’ve had a week of NBA action for the 2015/16 season and there is more than enough NBA news to go around. There are already some fans panicking about the season that lies ahead while there are some who are making bold predictions due to the promising start shown by their heroes. There has also been plenty of off the court NBA news in the past couple of days and we’ll focus on some of the bigger stories in our NBA news round-up.
Sponsorship is coming to kits
It is something that is so commonplace around the world that people no longer pay much attention to it but in America, sports sponsorship hasn’t been plastered across kits and uniforms in the manner that is everywhere else in the world. This is likely to change though, and it may happen sooner than you think. In amongst the excitement of the new NBA season last week, an announcement about a Kia logo adorning the All-Star kits went largely unnoticed.
This is just the start though. Yes there will be criticism and complaints when the players come out wearing kits with sponsors on them but the All-Star game isn’t the same as regular games. This means that criticism will be batted away and complainers will be told what’s the harm? After all, anything that brings more money into the game has to be a good thing. If they could somehow use the additional funding to make life more affordable for fans or ensure that a better standard of basketball was on show, it would be money well spent.
And that is how the argument for sponsorship for all teams begin. Before too long, you can expect to see NBA teams running around with kits and uniforms adorning the names of major brands and companies. Some teams may be sponsored by local companies, some sides may have a lot of money pumped into them to allow a major national or international company to have their logo on their uniform. No matter the name or branding, some fans will complain but it looks as though uniform sponsorship is on its way to the NBA. When it comes to NBA news, there is unlikely to be bigger news than that this month or for the rest of the year!
20 year celebrations in Toronto
It’s always good to receive some positive NBA news and the 20 year celebrations for the Toronto Raptors is definitely a good news story in Canada, and for the league itself. It is fair to say that basketball has taken off in Toronto and the team was ranked fifth in the whole NBA for attendance in the previous season.
Back on November 3rd 1995, the Raptors defeated the New Jersey Nets (whatever happened to them?) by a score of 94-75 in the Sky Dome. It may have taken a while for basketball fasn to take to the team and the sport but nowadays, the city is blooming with love for their basketball team. At the time of going to press, the team has a 4-0 record and they sit at the top of the Eastern Conference after making their way past the Mavericks by a score of 91-102 in Dallas.
20 year celebrations for Kevin Garnett
On the same day that the Toronto Raptors were making their NBA debut, Kevin Garnett was making his. He managed to get 16 minutes of game time from off the bench on November 3rd 1995. In the game, which was lost to the Kings, Garnett managed to score 8 points and pick up one rebound. ESPN Stats & Info have kindly pointed out that 14 active players were not even born at the time Garnett first played in the NBA!
J.R. Smith will sit out games
The last thing any NBA player wants is an injury but at the start of the season, you don’t want to fall out of plans and spend time building your fitness back up. This is why J.R. Smith of the Cavaliers will be hoping that his bruised right knee doesn’t keep him out of action for too long. He is expected to miss the home game against New York on Wednesday night, although Thurdsya morning for all the European and UK NBA fans, and then in the game against Philadelphia at the start of the weekend. These are the two games he is scheduled to miss but there are concerns that he may be absent on Sunday when the Cavs take on the Pacers.
David Blatt, coach of the Cavs, initially feared that this was a more serious injury and the way that Smith “locked legs” with Nerlens Noel of the 76ers looked rather painful. The injury happened early on in the game, and although it didn’t prevent the Cavaliers from grabbing the win in Philadelphia, it did case a bit of a shadow over the evening.
Magic’s get up and running while leaving Pelicans grounded
A match-up between two teams who are 0-3 is quite an exciting prospect. This is a game that both teams will be thinking that they can win but the psychological impact for the team that slips to a 0-4 record can be quite damaging. This can create a situation where there is a bigger desire to avoid defat again as opposed to go out and get the win. Ultimately in basketball, these are the same things and there are very different ways of achieving the goals.
Orlando Magic will be feeling rather relieved at grabbing the win in a 103-94 win and the Pelicans will be feeling rather low. In the NBA, there are always games coming thick and fast but the Pelicans will feel more desperate the longer this run continues.