More so than in any other league, game takes on a vital role in the NBA. It isn’t just about making shots or playing defense. It’s about staying fly for the cameras, crowds, and fans. In the week leading off to tipoff for the 2015-16 NBA season, this will be the only preview you need. At Champs Sports, we know game. We can see it in the sneakers. The uniforms. The sounds. The faces. The fans. We see it everywhere. Get schooled on what’s going to happen next.
The NBA might be in a better place than it has ever been, both in terms of talent and its gravitas in the American sports landscape. It has come a long way from a fledgling league that had to fight to get air time; predecessors like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and plenty of others helped push it to the space it occupies today.
Jordan in particular helped establish a baseline that perhaps defines the league today–the blend of cultural importance and sporting interest. Sure, being Like Mike was about imitating his moves on the court, learning how to perfect your turnaround fadeaway or hang your tongue out on the way to the rim. But it was also about style, the transcendent sneaker line and the iconic commercials, the appearance in Space Jam that sucked in people who had no interest in the NBA.
Both the league and its players are aware of the power they hold today. They are the only major sport in America where the athletes faces are on full display at all times. Other leagues cover faces with hat brims, facemasks, and visors, but the NBA’s talent is front and center at all times. The instant recognition that comes with that allows players to be trendsetters and cultural tastemakers, whether it’s from flashy dunks or teasing sneaker releases on Instagram.
Of course, not everyone (or everything) can be relevant at once, and select names and trends will dominate the NBA scene this season. Who and what are they? These are the Names and Storylines That Will Matter This Year in the NBA.
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