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10 Things You Need To Know About The 2010-2011 NBA Season

It’s NBA T-Shirt TIMMMMMMMMMMMMME!!!!!!

Between Miami’s two and a half “kings”, the Lakers quest for three consecutive rings, The Big Constipation and the rest of the entire Wu-Tang Clan in Boston, Durant’s ascension, Orlando’s perpetual Orlandoness, the uncertain futures of Carmelo and Chris Paul, and, unfortunately, the seemingly imminent lockout, I can’t remember an NBA season with as many genuinely compelling story lines and potential narratives.

Before watching the Heat open the year tonight at Boston, here’s 10 things you need to know about the upcoming NBA season.

1. Lebron James has a chance to simultaneously be the most overhyped and the most underrated player in the NBA

The myriad reasons why Lebron Ramone James is overhyped have been repeated, regurgitated, re-swallowed, and regurgitated again ad nauseum , and I feel no need to reiterate. (This commerical does a great job parodying it, though) At this point, screaming “Lebron” in a crowded building is likely to cause more mayhem than screaming “fire”.

But, somewhere between The Decision, the ongoing reaction(s) to The Decision, and the summer of Durant, people have seem to forgotten exactly how historically great of a basketball player Lebron has been. And, although I’m aware “overhyped” and “underrated” seem to contradict, when a 25 year old athlete with back to back MVP’s in his pocket is regarded by many as a “Robin” to another player’s “Batman” (My two words on that train of thought? Either “Nigga please” or “Nigga, STFU”), black becomes white, yin f*cks yang, and the extraordinarily overhyped becomes underrated.

2. If there was ever an NBA team that deserved the Hard Knocks treatment, it’s the 2010-2011 Boston Celtics

Between The Big Constipation’s (because at this point in his career, Shaq is basically just full of shit) hijinks, Paul Pierce’s strangely intriguing perpetual half beard, KG’s strangely intriguing perpetual Wesley Pipes impersonation, Nate Robinson doing Nate Robinson things, Big Baby’s breasts, Jesus, Delonte West’s on-going struggle with bipolar disorder, Delonte West’s on-going struggle with not taking Jesus’s surprisingly milfy mother out for a nice seafood dinner and never calling her again, Doc Rivers’ voice, Rajon Rondo’s indiscreet otherworldliness, and the fact that this might be the single richest team in the history of professional sports (if you’re bored and you feel like hating your life, do some research on how much money Shaq, KG, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Jermaine O’Neal have made in their careers) who wouldn’t watch an unscripted and uncensored behind the scenes documentary about this team????

3. Blake Griffin seems poised to replace Jason Kidd and Deron Williams as the league’s preeminent Mulatto-American superstar

Combining a level of above the rim violence not seen since pre-1994 Shawn Kemp with a level of stone-faced kamikaze not seen since pre-”My name is MY NAME!” Marlo Stanfield, Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin is, to quote Nicki Minaj, a motherf*ckin monster, and only The Clippers Curse can stop his reign.

Also, it’s going to be quite interesting watching Clippers games this season and listening to analysts trip themselves up while trying to find someone to compare Griffin to. As any veteran sports follower knows, there seems to be an unspoken rule stating that white players can only be compared to other white players, and black players can only be compared to other black players. Case in point: Since Griffin is biracial, he’s usually compared to Carlos Boozer—the only other muscular and light-skinned all-star caliber power forward in the NBA—when his game is actually much more similar to Amare Stoudamaire’s.

This phenomenon also applies to Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (usually compared to Reggie Miller—another thin, light skinned shooter—when his game is actually more similar to Steve Nash’s) and Memphis Grizzles center Hasheem Thabeet (usually compared to Dikembe Mutombo—another 7 foot plus, African shot-blocker—-when his game is actually more similar to a pile of horse shit’s)

4. You will see much, much more of Kevin Durant this season (on Sportcenter, in commercials, on magazine covers, etc), and you will be very bothered by the fact that he never seems to brush his hair

Trust me.

You’ll also see much more of the following players (in parentheses are things that will probably bother you about them)

Chris Bosh (his relatively unmasculine gait. he runs and looks exactly how you’d imagine a velocipede would run and look if it was from Texas and had an automatic 15 foot jumpshot)

Mike Miller (he never misses any shots, but he also never takes any shots. this will confuse and annoy you as much as it confuses and annoys me)

Russell Westbrook (how much better he is than Derrick Rose, and why you seem to be the only person who feels that way)

Steve Blake (the fact that you won’t be able to put your finger on why he looks like the type of white guy who only dates black women)

5. John Wall is more Dwyane Wade than Derrick Rose

From his ability to impact a game defensively and his deceptively long strides to his ability to shift his momentum on a dime and his innate sense of the moment, Washington Wizards rookie point guard John Wall reminds me much more of a younger D. Wade than the player he’s most compared to, (slightly overrated) Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose.

With that being said, both Wall and Rose do share a spot on the starting line-up of the all-NBA team of “Players You Do Not Want To Put a Microphone in Front Of, Under Any Circumstances. I won’t say that listening to both of these dudes speak is like listening to Waka Flocka Flames recite the Pledge of Allegiance…in German, but listening to both of these dudes speak is like listening to Waka Flocka Flames recite the Pledge of Allegiance…in German.

6. Carmelo Anthony’s wife, TV personality Alani “Lala” Vasquez, is (all of a sudden) extremely good-looking

I have no idea when, where, how, or why this happened. All I know is I accidentally happened upon an episode of  “La La’s Full Court Wedding” last weekend, and I was shocked at how good looking Lala was. It’s not even that I thought Lala used to be an unattractive woman, but she mysteriously went from “She’s nice looking” to “If I didn’t know who she was, I’d be asking myself ‘Who the F*ck is that?‘ right now”

Just to see if I wasn’t imagining things, I asked Panama—who’s basically the black Simon Cowell when it comes to women’s physical attractiveness—if I was the only one who noticed this unforeseen and unprecedented development, and he agreed that she inexplicably got much, much more attractive seemingly overnight.

What makes this information relevant to an NBA preview?

Well, there’s been a rumor floating around all preseason that Carmelo Anthony wants out of Denver, and New York seems to be his preferred destination. Why New York? Well, aside from the fact that he’d be a perfect fit in Mike D’Antoni’s offense, Lala apparently wants to live in New York City because it would be easier for her to continue to be a relevant TV personality there than in Denver. And, after watching a few minutes of “La La’s Full Court Wedding“, trust me when I tell you that if Lala wants Melo to force a trade so they can move to New York City, Melo is definitely going to force a trade so they can move to New York City.

The Melo to NYC rumor actually segues to number seven…

7. Superteams—like the Heat, the Celtics, the Lakers, and the Knicks (if they manage to land both Melo and Chris Paul)—are good for the league.

While professional parity—the idea that any team in any season has a chance to compete for a playoff spot and/or championship—is one of the NFL’s calling cards, the NBA is a star-driven league that thrives when there is a distinct upperclass, a pseudo-competitive middle class, and a lower class that should basically just kill themselves. Basically, while the NFL sells itself as an 80′s era Soviet Union, the NBA strives to be, well, America.

But, although the Heat, the Lakers, the Celtics, the Magic, and the Thunder (yes, the Thunder) are the only teams with a chance in hell of winning a championship this year, there at least a dozen other lower to working middle-class teams still worth your attention. Of these, my favorites are the Spurs (because the best basketball player the city of Pittsburgh has produced in the last 30 years happens to play for them), the Kings (because of the single most intimidating guard I’ve seen in the NBA since Gary Payton), the Grizzlies (O.J. Mayo and I have a history), and the Cavs (ha! just seeing if you were still paying attention)

8. There’s a strong chance this NBA season will break all types of attendance, ratings, merchandise, and interest level records. There’s also a slight to strong likelihood that, following this outstanding season, the NBA might be dumb enough to have a lockout.

F*ck.

9. The Orlando Magic will continue to be the least exciting “exciting” team in the NBA

On paper, the Orlando Magic seem to have every characteristic you’d need when making a check list for an exciting NBA team.

A ridiculously athletic center/Jesus freak/porn star stalker who dunks everything and blocks shots into the third row? Check

An smorgasbord of three-point marksmen? Check

The best dunker in the history of the planet Earth (and any other planets where they happen to play basketball)? Check

A charismatic, Philly-bred point guard with an And-1 caliber handle and a bevy of equally charismatic tattoos? Check

A “You know, he’s actually really not that bad” white guy from Duke? Check

Afro-clad French-Africans? Check

Polish men who look like they can star in the sequel to High Tension? Check

A head coach who happens to look exactly like the most famous male porn star of all-time? Check

Yet, despite filling every conceivable “how to build an exciting team” box, the Magic remain one of the boringest teams in the NBA. This “good on paper” ness also applies to their seasons, as they’re the one team in the league that doesn’t seem to have any real flaws, but their lack of, I don’t know, something keeps them in a never-ending “win 60 games, get love from stat geeks and chicks obsessed with Superman’s arms, win a first round playoff series no one will watch, lose to the team that’ll eventually win the championship” loop that probably won’t change or end until Vince Carter’s hymen grows back.

10. The Lakers are still the favorites

As much as I’d like to see the Heat run roughshod through the entire league, I just can’t ignore the fact that the two-time defending champions actually got better. While Kobe continues his barely perceptible (but very real) decline, the parts surrounding the Black Mamba got much more fierce. The Ugliest Gasol brother is still the most skilled big man in the league, Andrew Bynum is still tall as f*ck, Ron Artest is still heavily medicated, and the severly underappreciated Lamar Odom is still married to the best looking man I’ve ever seen. I especially like the addition of Basketball Wivesbeater Matt Barnes, who’ll be a decided upgrade from the Vujacic/Walton buffet of shit they’ve included in their rotation for the past several years.

As much as it pains me to say it (seriously. my hand started convulsing while writing this sentence), all signs point to us saying “Queensbridge!!!” again in late June. I just hope the two kings and the komodo dragon can prove me wrong.

—The Champ

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    David Stern will be MORE hyperactive about fining people. I loved that he welcomed the Wizards owner to the league by fining him $100K for suggesting a hard cap like the NHL. Even though Stern was the one who said the NBA needs to reduce salaries by $750mil overall. Boo.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “David Stern will be MORE hyperactive about fining people. I loved that he welcomed the Wizards owner to the league by fining him $100K for suggesting a hard cap like the NHL.”

      it always makes me laugh when owners—all of whom are multi-millionaires (and even billionaires)—are basically told to sit down and shut up the f*ck up by a man who makes about a tenth of what they do

  • http://kamakula.wordpress.com kamakula

    Every once in a while, I pop on here to be the first commenter. Kind of a homage to the days of yore. I guess I now either have more of a life, or much less of one. Hard to figure out which at this point.

    Anyway, all I can hope for is that I finally get my Baron Davis or Vince Carter kick ass moments.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “Anyway, all I can hope for is that I finally get my Baron Davis or Vince Carter kick ass moments.”

      please expound.

      actually, nevermind.

      • http://kamakula.wordpress.com kamakula

        For me, they are guys you cannot help but root for. And every season seems to have that almost moment that ends in disappointment. Think Karl Malone/John Stockton or Steve Nash.

        The reason Nash is not in my list is that he’s a lot more reliable. So the anticipation is not as great with him.

  • Perfect Square

    I waited – clicking refresh several dozen times – to respond super early to a post that, to my chagrin, is out of my league.

    At least I got a modest pun out of it.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      you refreshed several times and still didn’t manage to post anything until 12:13? (well, at least i know you actually read it)

      • Perfect Square

        What! is there some sort of “First-Post Award” or something? Gimme a break I!

  • http://twitter.com/naimasmanifesto TheTalentedMs.Fiasco

    …so Mavericks and Wizards 2011 NBA Finals???? WHOS WITH ME??????

    • http://twitter.com/naimasmanifesto TheTalentedMs.Fiasco

      …I’m serious doe.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      it looks like it’s just you and your vial of crystal meth

    • Girl Kanyeshrug

      I’m down. Dirk @swish41 Nowiitzki all the way….

      • Girl Kanyeshrug

        Why nobody else down with the MAVS???? – Geez :(

  • P.

    Ted Leonsis considering changing the Wizards name back to Bullets is the most I’ve cared about professional basketball in at least four years. Do it, Ted, and your craptacular franchise will have regained a fan.

    • http://twitter.com/ManAboutIt Man About It

      I heard that the Arenas incident may have killed the change back of the name. But I would love to see it happen.

      Cut Leonsis some slack. The man just took over from Pollin’s death. The Caps have been in pretty decent shape for a while now with Ovechkin, so maybe that magic can rub off on the Wizards (pun intended)

      • P.

        I wasn’t trying to slight Leonsis; I’ve been a huge Caps fan for 13 years and I’m happy with what he’s doing with the team. Besides, he’s one of the two owners in the area who seems to have any idea what the hell he’s doing (Steve Biscotti being the other).

        I guess I should’ve specified “newly-acquired craptacular franchise.”

    • http://sleep-is-the-cousin-of-death.blogspot.com/ MadScientist7

      as a wizards/bullets fan i would love to see the name get changed back to the bullets. while they’re at it why not just move the team back to us airways arena (at least for a couple home games).

  • Jessica

    I sooooo agree about Lala. I didn’t really watch the series, but I guess they were doing a marathon the other day or something so I caught some of it. As I watched, I caught myself thinking, “Omygoh, since when is Lala *this* pretty!?” She really is pretty. She was never ugly, but her presence used to annoy me and that’s so different now for some reason.

    • 90sgagirl

      This sounds like an episode of THE GAME: basketball version

      Marsha Ambrosious from Floetry’s song plays: “I hope she cheats on you with a Basketball Playa, hope that she Kim Kardashianed her way up, don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a lay up….”

      —Lalas bestie/cousin Dice dresses like a “tomboy” , but after her makeover (waxed eyebrows + makeup+ flat iron+ fitted lcothing= Amazin’! for that girl! even Carmelo’s teamates were like o_O wow!
      –Lala gets preg for season 2 or a Khloe K is preggers or divorce$ –Kim K gets tired of the NFL and decides to try out the NBA, or
      –Maybe Lebron James marries his babymoms/fiance of a few years Savannah….hmmmm..I think not
      – Basketball Wive$/Babymomma$/Jumpoff$/$idepieces Season 2
      and now they’re doin’ some kinda competition show called FOOTBALL Wive$ (with Dion Sanders model wife on there)

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        as much as I hate to admit this, I’d definitely watch this show (and frequent the thread devoted to it at televisionwithoutpity)

      • JessicaL

        Awww, I liked that show with Dion and Pilar.

    • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

      i, too, caught a glance of her show and was amazed that (a) they actually made a show about this long awaited wedding whose planning wasnt exciting at all and (b) how pretty lala looked. her eyes seem to pop out much less. and her weave has been looking good.

      • JessicaL

        Maybe she got an eye reduction?

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          LOL

        • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

          lmao yes, eye bag suction ftw!

      • Mo-VSS

        I’m sorry, but I don’t see it. She’s not ugly by any means….she just not that much more attractive than any other time I’ve seen her.

        No hate…I’m really just not seeing it.

  • Leila

    I’m happy the NBA is back esp being a Heat fan and seeing my two NFL teams basically fighting for last place. Basketball season couldn’t come fast enough.

    My predictions for this season…
    - Higher attendance, viewers, and attention in the press
    - The Heat will be heavily scrutinized and lots of media attention for every loss and whether Lebron made the right decision
    - Melo will get traded
    - Lakers will not make the finals
    - Lebron will finally get his ring

    Go Heat!!!

    • http://twitter.com/naimasmanifesto TheTalentedMs.Fiasco

      //Lakers will not make the finals//

      Just no…but I agree with the first two. Lebron probably won’t get a ring, he is the Susan Lucci of Basketball!

      I don’t follow football that well cause I’m a quasi Redskins fan, but all my teams stay losing! My only hope is in soccer, my favorite team is Chelsea and we kick some major arse! :D

      • http://twitter.com/ManAboutIt Man About It

        Lebron probably won’t get a ring, he is the Susan Lucci of Basketball!

        Exaggerate much? Speak too soon much?

        Duke’s only 25, best years probably ahead of him. I may not wanna see him win in the Miami era (if he was gonna leave Cleveland, NYK would have been better), but he’s got one hell of a shot.

        • Mo-VSS

          UHmmmmmm…NEGATIVE on if Lebron was gonna leave Cleveland then NYK was the better choice. Hells no! He should have gone to Chicago and took his place amongst a team that has a good coach, starting players with heart and bench that stays putting point on the board.

          But since Lebron has no heart, he couldn’t possibly be around Joakim Noah…arguably the best sh*t-talker who can actually back it up in the league.

          I’m sorry, but I’m from the Cleveland area and I am STILL upset about ‘Bron national f-king decision.

          I hope his career in Miami sucks major donkey balls!

          • http://twitter.com/ManAboutIt Man About It

            Me, I’ve just never been a big fan of the Heat franchise. Never much cared for their brand of basketball.

          • Intelligentleman

            I think it’s funny how critical folks are about lebron choosing to go to Miami. I especially think it’s hypocritical in today’s era where everyone whines about players choosing selfish accolades over winning. Lebron wanted a championship. Miami was the right choice with that objective. Admit it. He’d win no championships in Chicago. Ditto with NJ and probably NY too. With Miami (D.Wade and eventual coach Pat Riley) he’s got a shot.

            And LOL at the Bulls having heart and Joakim Noah backing up his talk.

      • JessicaL

        That made me sad for Susan Lucci all over again.

      • Leila

        “Lebron probably won’t get a ring, he is the Susan Lucci of Basketball”

        Umm I highly disagree. First, Lebron is still very young (he’s only 25) and he spent the last 7 yrs in Cleveland without any support and honestly took them farther than most people expected. Even Jordan had Pippen to get a ring and that wasn’t until he was 28. I can’t wait to see Lebron prove the critics wrong and get that ring…

    • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      - Lebron will finally get his ring

      Then maybe his girlfriend will too. Hey, the Carmelo-Lala wedding gave hope to baby mamas everywhere

      • legitimate_soul

        “Then maybe his girlfriend will too. Hey, the Carmelo-Lala wedding gave hope to baby mamas everywhere”

        ^So did the Iverson wedding, but, well…..

  • B. Brown

    1. Total co-sign on this. LeBron’s ability to be whatever his team needs can’t be counted on a stat sheet, which is why most people will not see it. The hype is what it is.
    2. I’d have to still roll with the obvious on this one: Heat and Lakers. LeBron at KOD would be must-see TV, and Ron Artest…enough said.
    3. Griffin won’t stay on the court long enough to make an impact, and as a UConn fan I totally agree on Thabeet (should have stayed another year).
    4. My boy and I always talk about Tom Jackson never brushing his hair, so this wouldn’t surprise me a bit.
    7. Agreed…storylines drive the NBA more than any other sport. They drive others to a certain extent as well (watch what the lack thereof does to the World Series), but it’s definitely most important in the NBA.
    8. Oh, there’s no might. You can cancel Christmas on that one.
    9. If Rashard Lewis actually decides to show up during the playoffs, this may change.
    10. Thank you…with all this stuff about the Heat, people want to forget about the black Jack Bauer. He’s got six (or seven, depending on playoff draw) to rest and get right.

    • B. Brown

      *six (or seven, depending on playoff draw) months to rest and get right.

    • MzPW

      y’know….something tells me that the collective NBA world is going to be in for a shock when the Lakers actually hit the floor this season. obviously, kobe’s team is @ their peak but what goes up….must come down. I just don’t feel like there will be a 3-peat this year for the lovely LA, and boy that will be a joyous finale to an interesting year. (no, I’m no lakers hater, but the West Coast just doesn’t do it for me. Sue me.)

    • http://twitter.com/ManAboutIt Man About It

      I think this will be a superb World Series. The storyline is that it’s something altogether new. Giants could win their first in the San Francisco era (for a Bay Area whose teams combined to win zero pro championships in the 2000s, so they know how L.A. felt in the 90s). Rangers are there for the first time in franchise history (for a Dallas metroplex who doesn’t know what it’s like to go that far in baseball, let alone win a World Series). Each team has a superstar ace pitcher in Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee respectively. Both are top 10 population size regions so there will be plenty of viewers. This World Series is not chopped liver.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “3. Griffin won’t stay on the court long enough to make an impact, and as a UConn fan I totally agree on Thabeet (should have stayed another year).
      4. My boy and I always talk about Tom Jackson never brushing his hair, so this wouldn’t surprise me a bit.”

      i agree that griffin is somewhat injury prone. his style of play basically ensures that he’ll never play a full 82 game season. i disagree about thabeet, though. another year or 100 years of college wouldnt have helped his ass out, and for his sake, it’s good he entered the draft and got his contract before he got exposed.

      lol, and yeah, tom jackson’s another cat who never brushes his hair either. i wonder if they’re related

      • Girl kanyeshrug

        Is it weird that I am jonesing for Dirk Nowitzki?
        (it hit me all of a sudden 3 weeks ago)

      • B. Brown

        @MzPW: I can’t see anyone running up on them. Amar’e and Boozer went east, and CP3 and Melo may leave the conference as well. Outside the Thunder and maybe the Jazz, I don’t think anyone presents much of a challenge for them in the West. Funny thing: I have a friend whose HS has the initials PW who has a personal issue with Kobe Bryant.

        @Man About It: I agree that the WS isn’t chopped liver, at least Games 1 and (likely) 5 due to the pitching matchups. Personally, I wanted an ’09 rematch just because I enjoyed watching it so much.

        @Champ: I can see the financial side of Thabeet jumping, and agree he likely wouldn’t have improved that much. Actually, the financial side makes it a no-brainer – especially if there’s a lockout.

  • Sandpaper

    LBJ’s latest commercial is genius! It is exactly like something I would produce. It is full of overt and subliminal shots to the dome of MJ, Chuck, and cleveland(lower case on purpose).

    I’m proud of him.

    No bullsh*t

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      NIKE always makes the best commercials. whoever their don draper is is a f*cking genius.

      • Sandpaper

        I wonder how quickly MJ put in a call to Nike? I wonder how he took being told to STFU and keep “selling shoes.” LOL

        No Bullsh*t

      • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young

        Nike’s Boom commercials are dope too.

        • keisha brown

          except the rick ross one.
          he clearly doesnt wear/use nikes, so why is he and his ugly piece of jewelery up in the commercial?
          an anti-athlete up in an athletic commercial…hmmmm

      • Cali

        LMAO @ “their Don Draper”!!! I smell a new phrase, better coin that ish!

  • Mr. Gundam

    “Chris Bosh (his relatively unmasculine gait. he runs and looks exactly how you’d imagine a velocipede would run and look if it was from Texas and had an automatic 15 foot jumpshot)”

    Great, now every time I see a heat game ill notice his goofy running.

    I appreciate you have come to terms with Lebron leaving, but Im still going to acknowledge it as dick move(even though its one that benefits him the most) and seriously I kinda want to see the lakers try to win this one. This is going to e an exciting season since everyone knows who is going to make it to the playoffs.

    O did anyone get a chance to see the Cavs new jerseys? Wth happen, I like the old ones better

    • http://twitter.com/ManAboutIt Man About It

      Cavs redesigned the uniforms because the previous ones are seen as a Lebron costume. Just like when Lebron came, they redesigned to distance themselves from the look of losing that was the sky blue and orange

      • I Don’t Care

        Chris Bosh = Jar Jar Binks

        • Tx10inch

          Chris Bosh = Jar Jar Binks

          LMAO. I couldn’t put my finger on it until now. Preciate it homie.