By Bradley Sturgeon @BradSturgeon1 on August 7, 2014
This last NBA season was one of the most exciting in recent memory, and the offseason didn't disappoint either. There have been major changes on just about every team from new coaches, players and even a new team name in Charlotte's case. These shake-ups have led much anticipation and wonder for the season ahead. Here are the 10 reasons why you should be excited now.
The first game of the season has been set up so cleverly by the league that it has the makings of a game that will be remembered for many years. The reigning champion San Antonio Spurs will travel to Cleveland to face the newly revamped Cavaliers. The return of LeBron James to his beloved city combined with the team that denied him a third title -- what's not to love?
The Spurs will be making history as well this year by introducing the first full-time female assistant in the NBA. Becky Hammon has been an extraordinary player in the WNBA, for she's had many accomplishments over her 16 seasons. The Spurs have full faith in her basketball IQ and believe she will be a valuable asset to the organization. How confident should you be in Hammon? Popovich wants her on his staff, enough said.
Carmelo Anthony's free agency was a big story throughout the summer before his re-signing with the Knicks, but the more intriguing question revolves around first-time head coach Derek Fisher. Will he be a successful leader at the helm? Fisher is coming into a good situation in which Anthony is renewed and the overall squad is good as well. It will be interesting to see if he can surpass expectations.
I have repeatedly said that Byron Scott is a great hire for the Lakers. I don't think they just got whoever was decent enough to get them through their down years. The Lakers aren't used to losing and have always made big moves to land the top free agents, but that has burned them in the past. A plethora of mid-level talent was brought in during the offseason, so the meshing of all of the new pieces in Kobe's world will be fun to see.
The Miami Heat lost their savior in LeBron James. His absence will ultimately lead to Miami struggling to fill his void. The Heat made some very weak signings during free agency even though they had time to make some larger additions after James' announcement to return to the Cavaliers. It will certainly be quite a show when the Cavs play the Heat this season.
The league is finally free of the Donald Sterling saga. We will not have to endure players sitting out, and the guys with the Clippers can feel at peace once again. Doc Rivers handled the situation very admirably and the league united together as one. It is a great day when a bigot is no longer in discussion or control of a major sports team.
2014-15 will see a changing of the tide. There will be different teams vying for the top spots in the conference. In the East, for instance, I can guarantee that the conference championship game will not be between the Pacers and Heat. Teams like the Hawks, Raptors and Hornets will be catapulted into prominence this coming season, so those fanbases have much to look forward to,
The 2014 NBA Draft has been said to be one of the deepest in talent in over a decade. The future stars and leaders of the NBA will take the court for the first time this fall. Many struggling teams have a ray of hope with these star players now on their teams. It'll be very interesting to see if they can live up to the hype that has surrounded them over the past six months.
The infamous return of Derrick rose to the Chicago Bulls has been long awaited by their fans. He has already displayed that he is back to full form in the scrimmage for Team USA. Having one of the league's biggest stars back in uniform will greatly benefit the growth of the NBA as well. His excitement and wow factor on the court will be one of the top storylines of the season, especially since the Bulls are contenders for the title.
LeBron James' monumentous return to the Cavaliers will forever be etched in history as one of the most covered events in sports. The return of the King to Cleveland created mass shock and excitement in northeast Ohio. Now it is up to James to bring the coveted championship to Cleveland. The additions of Kevin Love and Mike Miller make his return even more incredible. This is a year in basketball history that you don't want to miss.
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