Kick Back with Kushal: Another unusual NBA offseason


by Kushal Shah, Sports Columnist

Absent for the summer? Or a rookie NBA fan not yet able to understand the gigantuan and mind-boggling moves this past offseason? Or just absolutely missed out on the cosmic waves that were emanated from the depths of the NBA’s offseason earth-shattering blockbuster deals? No worries! Your Sportsman is here and reporting for duty.

First off, it should be said that as of this moment, it is a widely believed notion that with the crumbling of the once-dominant Warriors in the last NBA Finals, the Dubs’ throne atop the league is now ripe for the taking. Indeed, it is now open season on who will replace the former champions, and if anything, this past offseason is clear-cut proof of this with all teams vying for, without question, the most dominant NBA All-Stars of this generation, who will, they hope, advance their squad to the throne. I stray, however, let’s dive right in.

On June 30, the 2019 NBA free agency kicked off with perhaps one of the most influential offseason signings — the departure of Kevin Durant. With KD leaving the Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets, the move was certainly not expected, though it was not exactly unexpected, either. Early in the 2018-19 season, there were reports of KD distancing himself from his team as well as an intense locker room altercation involving teammate Draymond Green regarding the upcoming offseason where it was rumored that KD would be leaving. Despite this, from a personal viewpoint, this is the best move KD could make: he no doubt yearns for an opportunity to step out of Steph’s shadow and to take the full reins of his own team. Besides, by signing with the Brooklyn Nets, KD will assert his dominance over the previously laughable Brooklyn Nets and transform it into a championship contender, which would cement his legacy as an NBA all-time great. 

Unfortunately for him, however, he will have to wait until his ruptured Achilles has completely healed, which may take up to the 2020-21 season. But, fortunately for the Nets, the Brooklyn based squad were also able to lure All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to their roster, an addition that will certainly draw benefits for the team, as well as former All-Star Deandre Jordan, who has the power and size to post up and crash the boards.

In the Western Conference, it appears that the All-Star hub has relocated to Los Angeles, home to two NBA teams: the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers are currently quite the star-studded team with Lebron James, “The King,” Anthony Davis, “The Brow,” and now newly acquired Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins. In fact, Boogie was Davis’ former teammate from the New Orleans Pelicans, and the duo have a great chemistry — something many fans undoubtedly were looking forward to. However, just a couple weeks ago, Boogie suffered a devastating ACL injury; thus making a return this upcoming season unlikely.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the Los Angeles Clippers made a staggering move to obtain, arguably the offseason’s most sought after player, Kawhi Leonard, the man who, some claim, single-handedly destroyed the Warriors dynastic run. In another brilliant deal, the Clippers traded for the OKC Thunder’s Paul George, another All-Star. Boy, oh boy, is LA going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.

Lastly, but certainly not least, we have the Golden State Warriors, who have already been, in my opinion, unreasonably, been disregarded as a championship contending team. Honestly, I feel offended and so should the rest of Dub nation. Here’s my case. First, there are two main reasons why the Warriors have been discounted: they lost to the Raptors in the Finals and they lost KD, an integral role player.