Soon enough, NBA fans will have basketball games back on their TVs. Many eyes will certainly be focused on LeBron James as he goes for his fourth NBA title with his third different team, the Los Angeles Lakers. However, James will be back on fans’ TVs before the NBA restart begins at the end of July. He won’t be alone either. Sports legends like Tom Brady, Usain Bolt, and Alex Morgan will also join James.
The NBA season is set to restart at the end of July
The 2019-20 NBA season has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the league is finally scheduled to resume play at the end of July.
The season will first resume with each of the 22 participating teams playing in eight seeding games. There could then be a play-in for the eighth seeds. This will be if the team with the eighth-best winning percentage in a conference is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best winning percentage, according to NBA.com.
Then once the 16-team field is set, the playoffs will begin as usual on Aug. 17.
For the seeding games, James and the Los Angeles Lakers will begin play against the Los Angeles Clippers on July 30. They will then play the Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, and Sacramento Kings.
LeBron James will be on TV before the NBA restarts its season
Before James and the Lakers return to play on July 30, James will be on TV, Apple TV+ specifically. He will star in new short-form docuseries called Greatness Code.
The trailer for the series was recently released, and it started with James discussing Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.
“I played in Boston so many times, the history speaks for itself,” James says in the trailer. “For this one time, when I went to Boston for this Game 6, I felt absolutely nothing.”
Later in the trailer, James also said, “I wish I could bottle ‘nothing’ up, I’ll tell you that.”
He is not the only legend who will appear in the docuseries, though. Also in the trailer were NFL legend Tom Brady, USWNT soccer star Alex Morgan, sprinter Usain Bolt, swimmer Katie Ledecky, snowboarder Shaun White, and surfer Kelly Slater. Each athlete appears to be talking about their defining moment.
Greatness Code is co-produced by Religion of Sports, which Brady co-founded with director Gotham Chopra and Michael Strahan, as well as James’ Uninterrupted, according to Rolling Stone.
Can James and the Lakers win it all when the NBA returns?
James and the Lakers are going into the NBA restart with the No. 1 record in the Western Conference and second-best record in the entire NBA.
There are plenty of good teams in both the Western and Eastern Conferences. However, two teams really seem to be standing in the Lakers’ way of an NBA championship — the Milwaukee Bucks and the Clippers.
The Bucks are, of course, led by the league’s reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is averaging 29.6 points per game, 13.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists this year. Kris Middleton is also having an excellent year for the Bucks. He is averaging 21.1 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.
The Clippers, on the other hand, have the reigning NBA Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard. He is averaging 26.9 points per game, 7.3 rebounds, and five assists. He is also playing alongside Paul George, who is averaging 21 points per game to go with 5.7 rebounds. The Clippers also have two guys averaging over 18 points per game in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.
For the Lakers, the James and Anthony Davis duo is arguably the best in the NBA. James is averaging 25.7 points per game to go with 10.6 assists and 7.9 rebounds while Davis is averaging 26.7 points per game and 9.4 rebounds. They also have some nice pieces in Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dion Waiters, and they are reportedly finalizing a deal with J.R. Smith.
With how strange this season has been, any team participating in the restart has a chance to make some noise in the playoffs. However, if James and Davis are clicking on all cylinders, the Lakers will be hard to beat.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference