With the fall season beginning, so is the anticipation for the 2019-2020 NBA season. The annual NBA Media Day brought professional basketball unofficially back as fan-favorites shed light on the upcoming season. NBA Media day began on Sept. 26 and continued throughout the week till Sept. 30.
Starting off the event, former Warriors star Kevin Durant-now a part of the Brooklyn Nets-confronted the media’s questions portraying to the future season alongside his newly uniformed teammate Kyrie Irving. When asked about his reasoning behind the decision to move to the Nets in contrast to a team like the Clippers, Kevin Durant replied that he thought about his outlook on other teams but “ultimately” wanted to end up in Brooklyn. In a question regarding Durant’s health and the expectations garnered from it, Kyrie stated, “We all know [Kevin Durant] was not ready to play in that environment… we put him on a national stage in the finals to end up selling a product that came before the person.” Kyrie then specified that the team would not put any pressure on the recovering Durant as he had been in a similar situation with his past teams.
Later that day, Houston Rockets’ stars Russel Westbrook and James Harden commented on their team’s new chemistry. Westbrook stated, “It’s gonna be scary… that’s all I can tell you, not for us,” followed with a smile. On the other hand, Harden replied to a question regarding how the team would handle the ball amongst themselves now that former Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Westbrook is part of the team. His reply was that, “things happen throughout the course of the game that you just go, ok this is what’s gonna happen… if Russ got it going and Russ is on one of them games that we’ve all seen before, guess what imma do? Sit back and watch the show.”
Making their presence felt, Lakers stars Lebron James and Anthony Davis described their initial thoughts going into the season. In a conference with Lebron and Davis, Lebron stated that he is excited to have a “beautiful young mind” like Davis on the floor with him. Davis mentioned that the Lakers are going to be a defensive team and he would want to achieve Defensive Player of the Year. Overall, both players seemed eager to play in Staples Center together.
The most troubling news comes from the Los Angeles Clippers Media Day event on Sunday. Former OKC shooting guard Paul George announced that he would be absent, due to shoulder surgeries, until “November-ish.” As far as his health, George claimed he was fine and would attend training camp beginning soon. Also addressing the assumptions of an essential rivalry in L.A, George stated, “There is no battle for L.A. between the Clippers and Lakers.”
When Clippers shooting guard Kawhi Leonard was asked about his attendance in the Olympics, Leonard replied that his main focus was to give the team an NBA title even though he would be interested in participating. In addition to this, Paul George exclaimed that their team’s defense is going to be scary for other teams and is the primary reason why a championship is a realistic goal; this sounds familiar to the Lakers food for thought. Furthermore, the Clippers carry a similar belief to being an elite duo as their local counterparts the Los Angeles Lakers going into the season.
The Golden State Warriors made it clear in their conferences that the team is looking forward to playing with the underdog persona. When power forward Draymond Green was asked about his perception of the underdog outlook, Green stated that he takes pride in it and regardless of the media’s stance on the team’s ranking, they are still contenders for their sixth appearance in the finals. When point guard Stephen Curry was confronted with questions regarding the team’s internal expectations for the season, he stated, “We want to be a team that’s feared across the league… at the end of the day, myself, Draymond, and Klay are going to lead the charge,” but also that there will be teammates ready to step up.
Similar to the Clippers, the Warriors have also been hit with the injury bug as shooting guard Klay Thompson-out after ACL surgery-had announced his absence throughout the season until the All-Star break. Confirming his reasoning for taking half the season to recover, Klay replied, “The last thing you wanna do is rush back, especially for a player like me who wants to play till he is in his late 30s.”
Despite the unfortunate news from the Clippers and Warriors, the NBA season is just around the corner and the players couldn’t be more excited.