The guys of TheSportsDegens.com and their friends will be recapping some of their top moments of 2017, by sports and in their format. Before we move on, we would like to specially thank all the contributors to the many year end recap pieces and more importantly to the viewers and listeners of all the content throughout the year. Feel free to let us know your top moments as well. With all that said, let’s see the Top NBA Moments of 2017.
@The_Real_Grande from Fantasy Alarm-
One of life’s greatest satisfactions, especially for sports fans, are those wow moments that occur and resonate with you forever. In every sport, every year, across the globe, we get them constantly. 2017 was no different in the NBA as we saw records being shattered along with fan bases hearts as well. It’s hard to narrow down a long list of candidates to just three, but I’m here to try and do just that.
About halfway through the year we all knew it wasn’t a matter of if but when Russell Westbrook would break Oscar Robertson’s record of 41 triple-doubles in a single season. On April 9th it came to fruition as Westbrook notched his 42nd of the year. The 42nd triple-double was quite special, too, as it was a 50-point game including a game-winning three-pointer as the buzzer sounded. Coming into the year we knew Westbrook would have much more responsibility with Kevin Durant departing, but to achieve what he did wasn’t on many people’s minds. We haven’t seen anyone play the game of basketball quite like Westbrook and until we do, his record is safe and sound.
Do you know what eight out of the top 10 scorers in NBA history didn’t do or haven’t done in their respective career’s? Score 70 points in a game. As a matter of fact, only Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson and Elgin Baylor had done so before then 20-year old Devin Booker exploded for 70 on March 24th. Booker went absolutely bananas shooting 21-for-40 from the floor while knocking in four three-pointers and making 24-of-26 free-throw attempts.
Maybe the craziest part of this feat Booker accomplished is factoring in his age and how many more years of professional basketball he has left. Booker, at just 21 now, is one of the premier scorers in the NBA. When he gets it going he can score with anybody on the planet. If the Suns continue to head in the direction they’re heading in and not surround him with other talented players, Booker will have plenty of chances to match the accomplishment because he simply may be forced too. Oh yeah, the Suns’ did some very Sunsy things that game and LOST to the Celtics.
If we’re talking about points, we have to talk about one-half of the “Splash Brothers” himself, Klay Thompson. Booker may have scored the most points in a single game this year, but it’s kind of what could have been had Thompson’s 60-point outbreak been a close contest. Oh, I said 60? What I meant to say is 60 points in just three quarters. The stats behind the points are truly insane. He dribbled just ELEVEN times and had the ball for a total of 90 seconds. Yes…those are REAL numbers. We could have been talking about potentially an 80-point game if he had played the fourth quarter. Now all we can do is play out the scenario on NBA 2K18 and dream about the potential.
@jimpemba777 from Fantasy Alarm-
The Summer of KD
The end of the 2015-2016 NBA season saw the Cleveland Cavaliers atop of the NBA after defeating the defending champion Golden State Warriors in their second consecutive finals meeting. The glory of Cavs winning their first NBA championship in franchise history was somewhat short lived thanks to the pending free agency of Kevin Durant. Durant was the biggest name to hit the free agent market since LeBron James and many had wondered if in fact Durant would leave Oklahoma City for greener pastures. This story should really start in the Western Conference Finals where Durant’s Thunder faced off against the Warriors who held the No.1 seed in the West. Thunder jumped out to a 3-1 series lead before watching the Warriors win three straight contests and head to the finals. Throughout the season there was talk of a rift between Durant and teammate Russell Westbrook and that rift had seemingly intensified as the Thunder’s season fell apart during the Warriors comeback victory. The offseason saw Durant visit a number of suitors but there was always an assumption he would return to Thunder, that was until he didn’t. Durant went and signed a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors, the very team that eliminated the Thunder from the playoffs. Upon this signing the entire NBA world, aside from Warriors fans, turned on Durant and his signing all but ensured we the collective NBA fans were in for Round 3 of Warriors vs Cavaliers for the 2017 NBA Finals.
NBA Finals: Cavaliers vs Warriors III
The two best teams in the NBA were once again the Warriors and Cavs for the third straight season. In the 2015 NBA finals the Warriors took home the hardware after beating a Cavaliers team that was without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for the most of the series. In the 2016 season the Cavs got their revenge and took home Cleveland’s first NBA championship so, 2017 brought the rubber match with both teams heading into the finals with all hands on deck. Unfortunately as exciting as this matchup was the addition of Kevin Durant was too much for Cleveland to overcome as the Warriors took the series four games to one for their second titles in two seasons. Kevin Durant was named the finals MVP after averaging 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.6 blocks and 3.6 three-pointers per game while shooting 56-percent from the field and 47-percent from three-point range. His victory certainly justified his move to Golden State in the offseason but it also brought about further criticism about “Super Teams” in the NBA hurting the league.
Kyrie Wants Out and the rest of the 2017 NBA Offseason
The Cavaliers had some of their own team turmoil during the 2017 season with rumors that Kyrie Irving and LeBron James were not speaking to one another towards the end of the season and into the playoffs. These rumors were proven true in July when Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cavaliers citing that he no longer wanted to play with James. These trade rumors were constant over the next few months but on August 22nd the NBA world was shocked when the Cavalier and their conference rival Boston Celtics struck a deal that sent Irving to Boston for All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets unprotected 2018 first round pick. Thomas was coming off of an MVP caliber season and lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals where he struggled through a hip injury that forced him to the sidelines while Boston lost in five games to Cleveland. This trade certainly added new fuel to the rivalry between the Eastern Conferences two top teams and with the Celtics adding Gordon Hayward to their roster via free agency many were excited to see a team really challenge the Cavaliers in an effort to break up the status quo in the NBA. In the West the Thunder restocked and created their own “Big Three” by trading for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in hopes that those two combined with the 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook can challenge the Warriors. The Rockets attempted to keep up with the arms race in the Western Conference by trading with the Clippers for point guard Chris Paul as he partners up with James Harden to create what is likely the best backcourt duo in the NBA. If free agency wasn’t enough the NBA draft was just as exciting. The Celtics owned the No.1 overall pick thanks to the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade years earlier. Boston went and traded that pick to the 76ers who moved from No.3 to No.1 where they drafted Washington point guard Markell Fultz. With the No.2 overall pick the Lakers drafted UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball whose father Lavar Ball took the NBA offseason by storm as well thanks to his loud mouth antics and Big Baller Brand attitude. With the No.3 pick the Celtics drafted Duke forward Jayson Tatum to round out the Top 3.
Hello Ladies and Degenerates,
Well 2017 has been a very interesting year full of sports and political storylines. There have also been countless tragedies that have taken lives, divided people in our country, and made watching sports forever connected with the pulse and heartbeat of American society.
I wanted to share my top 3 moments from the NBA in 2017 and how they will have an effect in 2018 as well….. Happy Holidays everyone and Happy New Year!
1) Golden State Warriors win 2nd Chip and 1st with KD
If you thought I would leave out the Golden State Warriors beating the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA Championship off this list, think again! The Warriors got their first Chip with KD who joined the already mega-talented squad in the offseason. They beat a Cavaliers team that was defending their own NBA chip in a thrilling series that saw LeBron James absolutely GO OFF in almost every game. Kevin Durant won the MVP for his incredible scoring consistency and defense on LeBron James and company. This Cavaliers loss would eventually cause a rift between superstars LeBron and Kyrie Irving forcing Irving to seek a trade to the Boston Celtics and breaking up the Big 3 in THE LAND….
2) Gordon Hayward injures leg/foot Opening Day:
This was really memorable for me as I was in Maryland that week training and was flying back to LA From Dulles airport when I was watching the Celtics/Cavs game. Thank goodness I did not see the gruesome injury live, but the reactions from people around me were unforgettable. I did get to watch vines and videos of the injury on twitter and it is just horrifying. I find this injury really significant as Boston was being touted as a sure fire threat to Cleveland to win the East, and possibly beat the CAVS now with the added talent of Irving, Hayward, and rookie stud Tatum. This injury was so serious, Hayward will probably be lost for the season and I personally think his career will never be the same. Hayward’s could be seen shooting free throws and Js from his wheelchair, and Hayward has consulted sports psychologists to get over the mental trauma suffered by this horrific injury. The Celtics have started the season very strong and look great as a team without Hayward, we can only imagine how good they would be playing with his talents on the court as well…. Wishing Gordon a full recovery!
3) Lakers draft Lonzo/Lavar Ball (BBB experiment)
Last but certainly not least is the Lonzo Ball experiment. Lakers drafted guard Lonzo Ball out of UCLA with the 2nd pick hoping he could resurrect a franchise that has been down right incompetent for the last 3 years. This pick came with much jubilation and concern for most Laker fans because of Lonzo’s father Lavar Ball. Lavar is an outspoken troll of a personality who has been trying to leverage his son’s status to help build their family brand, Big Baller Brand. BBB at it’s CORE stands for something incredible. They are trying to change the entire landscape of basketball starting with the shoe business and branding. They want to give more power to the players and change the way players look at playing at every level: high school, collegiate, and professional. While this all sounds awesome and much needed, the problem is that Lavar Ball is a jackass. He is the absolute worst possible face of this brand and movement. Lavar Ball is very similar to Donald Trump personality wise. He is egotistically psychotic, delusional, extremely cunning, brash, and a con artist. (I say that because he is selling BBB shoes for like $300-500 and ripping kids/people off) Shaq said it best, real ballers and heroes don’t need to rip kids off with $500 shoes when it costs less than $150 to make them…….. So the Ball experiment will continue in LA for the Lakers and I am rooting for Lonzo! I love our team’s youth and I think we are headed in the right direction finally, but only time will tell how Lavar’s antics will continue to shape his son’s and their brand’s destiny…..
Wanted to take a few minutes to jot down a few memories that I thought were the most memorable for the 2017 NBA season so far, so we will stop with the 3rd best and work down to number 1…
3. Some of the most memorable scoring totals of the season so far (sorry, had to put something serious for memories): Most Points in single game- LeBron James 57 @ WAS, Most Rebounds in single game- DeAndre Jordan 24 @LAL, Most Assists in single game- Rajon Rondo 25 vs BRN.
2. Lavar Ball makes outlandish claims that Lonzo Ball is better than Steph Curry, as well as the rest of the NBA current players including LeBron, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. Also, Lavarr Ball claims he can beat the GOAT Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one basketball. lolz
1.Kevin Durant goes to Twitter with his reasoning on why he left OKC, but on a burner account. Using a ghost Twitter handle, RParks33633689, Durant argues his side stating the Thunder, while he was on the team, had nobody else but Russ, and could not win a championship, thus fans needed to pipe down on him moving to the Warriors in the offseason. This all was great until Durant forgot to switch back to his burner account from his official account and tweeted in third person from it. Lolz.