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.
I haven’t been this excited for the NBA season in a long time. Obviously, the action is going to be incredible, especially in the Western Conference. Stephen Curry is coming off a season for the ages while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are under more pressure to win than ever before. Meanwhile, in the East, we’ll be watching to see how badly LeBron James, Kyrie Irving (whenever he gets healthy), and Kevin Love (same) can wreck the competition.
All of that should be relatively unexpected and while I can’t wait for that first double-overtime West Coast late-night thriller, I’m probably more excited for everything else. The sneakers. Instagram. The memes. The Vines. The music. The fashion. Unlike other major American sports, basketball is about so much more than what happens on the field. It’s the perfect sport for the modern age and social media.
At Champs Sports, we know game. For the NBA, “game” encompasses so much more than bounce passes and pick-n-rolls. See how here.
Take a look at 50 Fearless Predictions for This NBA Season and fasten your seat belts. This will be good.
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1. Tonight, we will see the Grizzlies beat the Cavs, the Thunder beat the Spurs, and the Nuggets beat the Rockets.
2. Despite that, throughout the early weeks, it’ll become clear that no one in the East is going to beat Cleveland.
3. Meanwhile, the West will be an absolute bloodbath, with the Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, Thunder, and Pelicans all looking like title contenders early on.
4. No team will start as quickly as Houston, however. They will be too deep and too good for anyone to deal with at first.
5. At the center of that will be Dwight Howard, who will loudly reassert himself as one of the best players in the league.
6. Kyle Lowry will quickly become the best player in the world that nobody talks about.
7. But the Raptors will barely get by, even in their division
8. The official arrival of Stance Socks in the NBA will completely change what young kids wear on the court in terms of styles and colors.
9. And Dwyane Wade will have two or three wildly stylish nights this year with Stance that’ll cause Charles Barkley to lose his mind.
10. A player will attempt to wear the Yeezys at some point during an NBA game. Other players will wear the Air Force One in-game, which will be one of the tipping points of finally bringing the sneaker full circle again as one of the very best lifestyle pieces out there.
11. A big-name superstar will be traded early in the season after a team has a rough start.
12. The LeBron 13 will again be the most important signature basketball sneaker release of the year, easily outselling the competition. However, the Curry Two will leap all the way up to No. 2.
13. Speaking of Golden State, Stephen Curry won’t win the MVP award, but he will win the All-Star Game MVP.
14. And the Curry Two will help drive Under Armour footwear sales up another 15 percent.
15. The Jamie Foxx and Curry sneaker campaign will become the new Mars and MJ.
16. James Harden will make the adidas Crazylight Boost one of the best on-court sneakers of the year.
17. And Harden will begin discussions with Kanye West on a future adidas collaboration project, all while continuously stunting in collaborations with high-end fashion designers.
18. The Harden x Kanye x Kardashian trifecta will boost adidas’ lifestyle appeal to new heights and the brand will once again drop a new silhouette that’ll be considered the top sneaker of the year.
19. The rivalry between Nike and adidas will have them bringing out inspired lifestyle silos for both brands.
20. These lifestyle silhouettes will dominate sneaker influencer Instagram pages even more than usual. NBA players, though, will opt for more high-fashion choices on a more consistent basis.
21. Interestingly, you will see a bunch of NBA players falling in love with Victor Cruz’s first signature Nike silhouette, and it will be all over Instagram.
22. The Travis Scott hype machine will get another massive boost through NBA players on social media, and from pregame playlists through arenas all over the league.
23. But when Drake drops his new album, it’ll become the unofficial anthem for basically every team.
24. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the crown prince of the NBA’s YouTube page, creating highlights every night.
25. But no one will log more time there than Russell Westbrook.
26. Speaking of Drake, he will own All-Star Weekend in Toronto, dropping a special OVO sneaker collaboration with Jordan Brand and hosting multiple major events.
27. However, in the game and throughout the weekend, Harden will have the most talked-about shoe game.
28. The weekend will also see the sequel to the NBA’s inaugural fashion show from last year, except this time Paul George will come out and knock off the champ, J.R. Smith.
29. Paul George will also make a triumphant return to the All-Star Game again.
30. You will also start to hear rumors of a potential Paul George signature sneaker.
31. In other news, Indiana teammate George Hill will not have the boldness to keep his blonde hair all year.
32. Jeremy Lin won’t be able to keep his hair either, thankfully.
33. Wilson Chandler, Nick Young, P.J. Tucker, and Rudy Gay will continue to rock absolute gems on the court, showing out for the West.
34. The Toronto team, however, will get a number of incredible OVO-inspired kicks to stunt.
35. Kobe Bryant will play over 50 games, and Derrick Rose will play over 60.
36. But by the end of the season, both players will cede control to D’Angelo Russell and Jimmy Butler.
37. Russell will also win the Rookie of the Year award.
38. Lou Will won’t be the 6 Man.
39. But Cory Joe will get another Drake shoutout in a song.
40. Dwight Howard will win another Defensive Player of the Year award, narrowly edging Anthony Davis.
41. Damian Lillard will finish among the top six scorers in the NBA.
42. He will be so good some will argue he should win Most Improved Player, but instead that will go to C.J. McCollum, his own teammate.
43. Kevin Durant will lead the NBA in scoring, and Russell Westbrook will finish third behind Anthony Davis.
44. The Cavs will stomp over the competition in the East Playoffs, not needing more than five games in any series.
45. The team’s toughest battle will be between LeBron and Kyrie over who has the most fire PE shoe colorways.
46. Oklahoma City will finally again break through in the West after another MVP season for Kevin Durant. They will take out Houston in the conference finals.
47. But they will lose 4-2 in the NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron will win another NBA Finals MVP award. Cleveland will break its long championship drought and all will be right in the NBA. In the aftermath of the Finals, Durant will pledge to stay longterm in OKC to team up with Russell Westbrook and, finally, bring OKC a championship.
48. Meanwhile, Jaylen Brown will become the most exciting and talked-about prospect in next summer’s NBA Draft after a huge finish to the college season, only to see Ben Simmons blow up immediately after. The 76ers will end up with two more top-3 draft picks.
49. Westbrook will be the obvious choice as this year’s unofficial Instagram MVP, but Tristan Thompson will actually be the most impressively stylish player on the ‘gram only to have not enough people notice.
50. By this time next year, with a rising salary cap and new TV deal, the NBA will be bigger and better than ever.