The 2020 season was a season full of changes, adversities, and triumphs for both the teams and the fans. From the infamous news conference with Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz in March, to the Lakers championship win inside the bubble, this last season was one to remember. With the 2020 season behind us, it may come as a surprise to many, that the 2021 season may be even more eventful.
With the 2021 season well underway, there have been multiple changes in the dynamic of the league. One of the most notable of these is the New York Nets. The team does not have an amazing record; however, the addition of several star players within the last two seasons has made the Nets a team with one of the fastest growing fan bases in the league. This all started when the Nets signed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in 2019. In addition, the Nets have also signed James Harden in 2021. Many have speculated that the future of the Nets will be much like the past few years we have seen from the Warriors during the 2017-2018 season. It is very likely that the Nets will become one of the more dominant teams in the league. With this success, the Nets are sure to draw more fans, giving them more capabilities to bring in new star players.
Despite some teams in the NBA having great success in bringing in new talent, some are having to deal with the opposite. During the 2019-2020 season, the Milwaukee Bucks were a front-runner in the league. Much of this success can be attributed to Giannis Antetokounmpo. With the early 2020-2021 season not going as well as the early 2019-2020 season, many fans were wondering if Giannis would stay. It has been made clear by Giannis that he does not have a desire to leave, as he agreed to stay with the Bucks for five more years. It is likely that a trade does not happen with Giannis as the team currently sits number two in the eastern conference.
Throughout the 2020 season, the Warriors win total was a stark contrast compared to prior seasons. It is easy to contribute much of this to when the organization was shaken by an injury obtained by Stephen Curry in October 2019. With Curry back and a current respectable record, it is very possible that the Warriors can make a comeback and once again be a leading team. This will probably not happen with Curry leading the team, who reportedly is not in as good condition as the past and is 31 years old. His 62 point game aside, if the Warriors manage to become a dominant team in the NBA, it is likely that they bring in new talent, which would ideally be much younger than Curry.
Though players are definitely a big part of the NBA, some teams have been struggling in other aspects during the pandemic. One of the most notable examples is the Raptors. Followed by a ruling from the Canadian government not allowing them to play in Canada, the Raptors have moved to Tampa Bay. It has not been made clear when or if they intend on returning to Toronto. They have only announced that they will remain in Tampa for the rest of the 2021 season.
As a 76ers fan, I would say the 2019-2020 season was definitely an exciting one, which unfortunately did not end in the way in which I would have liked, however I am optimistic for this year. I am very happy to see the team currently number one in the eastern conference. Furthermore, I was ecstatic to see Joel Embid put up 42 points recently against the Celtics. I think that Embiid is definitely a team leader and dominant player, but I think it would be very beneficial for the 76ers to bring in some players closer to that level in replacement for some who tend to not contribute to the game at the same level. As the season moves forward, I am grateful that this sport continues to be played despite the pandemic and I think the NBA is going to have an exciting 2021.