This archived article was written by: Nate Davis
The NBA offseason is drawing to an end. This offseason has seen Shaquille O’Neil switch teams once again, the draft has come and gone, Blake Griffin was selected first by the Los Angeles Clippers, and one of the most exciting players I’ve seen in recent memory, has decided not to play in the NBA next year, but continue playing in Europe. With these changes, I’d like to talk about some of the big stories from this NBA offseason.
Ricky Rubio is a name that some may not have heard of, but get used to it. In the coming years, he’ll be mentioned with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. Rubio was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, but didn’t sign a contract and decided to say in Europe for one more season.
Rubio’s style of play draws comparison to Pete Maravich and Magic Johnson. He is a flashy point guard who can shoot, play defense and pass as well as anyone. His nickname is Mozart. He was voted in 2007 and 2008 the FIBA Young Player of the Year. He’s won a championship, named Spain’s top point guard and is only 18.
His age is one of the reasons he decided to wait another year before making the jump to the NBA. By waiting another year, he will gain experience and only get better. He plays in the Euro League, which is the second-best league in the world, behind the NBA.
Another big story this offseason was the trade of O’Neil to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 37-year-old center will join James this season in hopes of bringing the city of Cleveland its first professional title in any sport in over 40 years. Last year, the Cav’s failed to advance in the playoffs due mainly to the fact that they lacked a dominant center. The only risk with Shaq is that he’s put a lot of miles on his legs, and with big men the knees are usually the first to go. He’ll be entering his 18th NBA, and could easily get injured, or simply run out of gas before the end of the season.
Blake Griffin was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers as the first pick in the NBA draft. The Clippers have a terrible habit of turning good players into washed up players, which has many analysts mourning the career of Griffin before he’s even stepped onto the court. But if anyone can break the curse of the Clippers, it’s Griffin. He was one of the most dominant players in college and helped the University of Oklahoma Sooners reach the NCAA tournament
One final story I’d like to mention from the NBA offseason, is the wild off-season of Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. This story isn’t so much concerned with Nowitzki as his fiancé. He was in a relationship with Cristal Taylor, when she was arrested at his house, on two outstanding warrants and had many different aliases. Taylor’s past is littered with criminal offenses, and just plain odd. She was married before, and racked up $330,000 in debt.
The NBA season still doesn’t get started for a little over a month, and we can look forward to a great season; these were just a few of the big stories from this offseason.