By: Isaac B.
The 2015-2016 NBA season was an eventful one. Even though the Warriors couldn’t get the Championship trophy, they still had a successful season. The Warriors superstar Stephen Curry won the Most Valuable Player award, leading his team to break the record set by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan. The Warriors set an almost unbelievable record at 73-9. Losing only to the Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics and the Minnesota Timberwolves. With the Cleveland Cavaliers trumping the Warriors superteam in the Finals to take home their first NBA Championship ever. Lebron James led his Cavaliers to the finals and won Finals MVP.
Lebron James is brought to tears after winning NBA Finals for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.
Photo Credit: CNN
Aside from the Warriors’ historic campaign, other teams were making their mark on NBA annals as well. The San Antonio Spurs, behind new addition LaMarcus Aldridge and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard amassed a team-record 67 wins and the second-best record in the NBA. A healthy Kevin Durant returned to the lineup in Oklahoma City, allowing the Thunder to reclaim Northwest Division supremacy after missing the playoffs the past year and finish at No. 3 in the West.
This year lots of almost certain Hall of Famers retired, as Kobe Bryant had a final season filled with lots of attention from fans worldwide. With a record setting performance in his final game scoring 60 points to push his Lakers pass the Jazz in the final game of the season. Tim Duncan took a different route than Kobe, Duncan wrote a letter to the Spurs organization saying that he would be retiring and thanking all his family, friends, and teammates for helping him be the best player he could. Lastly Kevin ‘Big Ticket” Garnett retired after getting moved to the Timberwolves for his final season.
In the Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers finished No. 1 overall and racked up 57 wins, their most since 2009-10. Other teams in the conference had rebirths of success as well. The Detroit Pistons had a winning record for the first time in eight seasons and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Charlotte Hornets bounced back as well, after a subpar 2014-15 seasons, collecting their most wins since the 1999-2000 season.
With a young Minnesota Timberwolves team led by Head Coach Tom Thibodeau, and a young core featuring Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine and Ricky Rubio, are looking to make a big improvement from last year as they finished 25th in the league. Another young squad that is looking to make it to the playoffs this year is the Philadelphia 76ers, with the first overall pick in the draft they drafted Ben Simmons, Forward for the LSU Tigers. After Finishing dead last in the season and Ben Simmons looking ready to lead his team to the playoffs.
In the offseason the biggest move was Kevin Durant leaving the well stocked OKC Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors. This move sparked lots of bitterness from Thunder fans. Kevin Durant was ridiculed and insulted for making the move, Kevin said “I was afraid to go outside, I was like man, someone might try to hit me with a car. I just stayed in. I was trying to process it all. I wanted to be around family, and positive support. It felt different.” As Durant hid away there was lots of interesting moves made during the offseason. Dwayne left Miami to go to his hometown of Chicago to play for the Bulls. Superstar Lebron James informed the Cavaliers that he would be returning to the team this year. Dion Waiters took Wade’s spot on the Heat as he left the Thunder to play for Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat.
Be sure to watch lots of games this upcoming NBA season as it is shaping up to be an outstanding year, with lots of breakout teams and a fair share of powerhouses. Almost every team is boasting a star and each team is trying to make a push for the playoffs. With lots of offseason moves this year is looking like it is gonna be a great year.