The media has intensely focused on certain players throughout the NBA offseason, with a lot of attention focusing on superstars changing teams. However, we’re simply tired of hearing about a few specific players. Enough already. We’re prepared for an NBA season that will spotlight other teams and players, not the following over-reported athletes.
Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
This has been a tumultuous offseason for Howard. First, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Then, the 33-year-old had to negotiate a buyout with the team to pursue a chance at free agency.
When DeMarcus Cousins went down with his torn ACL, Howard looked like a shoo-in to sign with the Lakers. But before he could sign on the dotted line, he met with the team leaders, who expressed concerns about his off-court behavior. Without an agreement in place, Howard would likely still be pursuing a free-agency deal.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson went from high-school sensation to No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Throughout the college basketball season and NBA offseason, everyone focused on Williamson. Then, after Anthony Davis was traded to the Lakers, the rookie became the face of the Pelicans. The hype surrounding Williamson only grew when he signed one of the biggest sneaker deals of any NBA rookie ever.
When NBA 2K20 released player ratings, fans of the game freaked out over his 97 rating in dunks. They expressed concerns that he hasn’t played an NBA game but had ratings higher than some of the game’s best high-flyers. We don’t expect the Zion hype to cool down, as he is our pick to win NBA Rookie of the Year.
James Harden, Houston Rockets
The scathing report that outlined the disharmony between James Harden and Chris Paul started off a rough offseason for Harden. When Paul was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, both players were viewed as poor leaders in their locker room.
The Rockets landed Harden’s former teammate, Russell Westbrook, in the trade for Paul. This could give Harden a second chance to win an MVP award. He recently stated that the media narrative was the driving force behind Giannis Antetokounmpo winning the 2019 MVP award. Perhaps he was looking to earn some early votes in the 2020 race.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
With the Lakers’ lack of success last season, LeBron haters were out in full force during the playoffs. Once Los Angeles landed superstar Anthony Davis, the “Lakers are championship contenders” commentary came out in full force. Oddsmakers in Vegas quickly labeled the team as the favorite to win the NBA title.
James and his business associate Maverick Carter were also in the news for leading the NBA 2K20 MyCareer mode, which is hyped as being the best version the game has ever seen.