Okay, so what's going on in the NBA these days? I know it's the dog days of summer; a time when NBA players are trying to stay out of the news (except Kobe), relax with their families, and work on their games to bring some new skill set to the court next season. In the meantime, we fans hang out on the blogsites (Slamonline!) and pontificate about off season trades, draft pick studs and duds, and any juicy gossip we run across about our favorite players. But this summer, something rather strange is going on. First, there was the (melo)drama of Kobe calling out Laker management and screaming for a trade. Then there was the exposure of an NBA referee possibly officiating games in a way to benefit "the mob", and (gasp) prove Mark Cuban right. Now, we have several last-era players attempting to come out of retirement and add quality shooting (and muscle = Charles Oakley) to squads who are lacking this valuable commodity. I'm not sure what I find more troubling--retired players unable to let go of their past glory, or the fact that the skill level of my beloved league is in such a sad state that the stars of yesterday need to return from the golf course to show these new school cats how it's done.
The 2005-2006 season was so exciting, especially for me as a Heat fan. There was increased competition between the conferences. The new kids on the block--DWade, LeBron, Melo, Bosh, JHoward, Chris Paul, Deron Williams and others were moving to the forefront as the new stars of the league. And in May and June of that year we witnessed one of the most competitive post seasons in decades. This time last year, fans of the NBA were riding high on the promise of a bright future for the league. Then came the 2006-2007 season and the "new ball" fiasco, injuries to many teams' star players, and then an underwhelming, yawn-inducing post season. Does this "summer of the comeback" and "rogue officials" portend the beginning of a downward spiral in the quality of the game I'm so passionate about? Man, I hope not.
I'm still looking forward to the start of the new season. But with equal parts excitement and anxiety.