By Colin Lawless, Staff Writer
The NBA has returned for its 2022-23 campaign, and it certainly has not lost its charm. Coming off a season that saw the Golden State Warriors return to the mountain top, the organization has been met with high expectations.
Stephen Curry continues to be the electric player fans know and love, but the biggest story has been around Draymond Green and Jordan Poole. Just before the season began, footage from practice was released showing an altercation between the two players that climaxed with Green punching Poole. It was a truly shocking development. All seems to be resolved in their camp, but it was surprising nonetheless, and it may come back to haunt them during the season.
The Boston Celtics have also met with a large amount of controversy. They, too, had high expectations heading into the season after their first Finals appearance in over a decade last year. They have started the season strong at 10-3 (as of Nov. 14), but they also experienced a preseason bombshell. Head coach Ime Udoka, who led the Celtics to the Finals in his first year on the job, was suspended by the league for the season period after news broke that he had an inappropriate relationship with a coworker. This is certainly not something the Boston players and fans anticipated, but the Celtics appear to be taking it in stride as they look to repeat their success in 2022-23.
Then, there is the Brooklyn Nets, who are still plagued by an offseason filled with uncertainty surrounding Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. After a 6-8 start, they fired head coach Steve Nash. They looked poised to bring in the aforementioned Ime Udoka, but passed him in favor of Jacque Vaughn, who has been in the organization for years. Kyrie Irving then promoted an anti-semetic film on social media. While Irving has denied harboring any anti-semetic beliefs, the team has accordingly suspended him until further notice.
Outside of teams littered with controversy, the season has started strong. Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Utah Jazz have exceeded expectations after big offseason changes. The LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers are off to one of their worst starts ever. Teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, and Atlanta Hawks are off to great starts as they look to capitalize on the young cores they have employed.
It is truly an exciting time to be a basketball fan. A new era has begun, and the hierarchy of old, consisting of players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, are no longer the paramount leaders of this league. It is hard to say how everything will play out, and that is what makes everything all the more exciting.