If you are reading this, then Happy New Year. 2021 was a wild year, especially in the NBA. Things look to be on the rise in their 75th season. Even while the world is going through the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty fills the air like a cool spring breeze, there are things we should be excited about in 2022. Whether it is events coming up, storylines between teams, or even the return of a former All-Star/NBA Champion, 2022 is looking like a great year for the association. Here are the five things to be excited about in the NBA in 2022.
5) NBA G-League Returning
The NBA G-League has been a melting pot for guys gaining that first experience into the big leagues, veterans looking for that final run in the league, and former NBA standouts on rehab assignments. In this past year, there have been 80 players and counting being called up to the big leagues due to COVID protocols hindering teams in having full rotation during games. The regular season will begin on January 5th and the players who have received those 10-day contracts will either go back to their respective teams or gain more time in the NBA.
4) NBA All-Star Weekend
Last season, the All-Star festivities were clustered into one day in Atlanta due to the COVID protocols. The Three-Point Shootout, Slam Dunk Contest, and the All-Star Game all occurred on one night. Fortunately, in 2022, the NBA universe gets to witness a full All-Star weekend from Cleveland, Ohio. From the Celebrity Game to the Rising Stars Game, from the Skills Challenge to the Slam Dunk Contest. Everything will lead up to the 71st annual NBA All-Star Game where some of the biggest stars in the NBA will play in a glorified exhibition.
3) The Playoffs
If last season was any indication of the future, then the future is bright in the NBA. Last year, we saw the culmination of Giannis Antetokounmpo to one of the top players in the league. In the playoffs, we saw Chris Paul in the NBA Finals for the first time in his illustrious career, LeBron James being knocked out in the first round, and Trae Young making a name for Atlanta. With all of the top players making an impact this season, with new blood sprinkled in, it’s anyone’s guess who will raise the Larry O’Brien trophy.
2) Kyrie Irving’s Return
Kyrie Irving was arguably the biggest pariah in sports. When he is on the court, he is considered one of the best floor generals in basketball. During the offseason and into the beginning of the season, experts and media analysts demonized Irving for choosing not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Due to the high amount of Brooklyn Nets players that were in the COVID Health & Safety Protocols, the team decided to bring back Kyrie as a part-time player. Even though we will not see Kyrie at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden, having him alongside KD and James Harden on road games would still be great news for Nets fans.
1) The Return of the Splash Brothers
June 13, 2019, was the last time we saw Klay Thompson in a regular-season or playoff game in the NBA. After two years, multiple surgeries, and getting that knee healthy, Thompson is coming back to the Golden State Warriors. With Thompson back, it also brings back the Splash Brothers with him and Stephen Curry wreaking havoc across the NBA. With the Warriors being one of the best teams in the league without Klay, bringing him back to the thick of the lineup will only make the rich even richer.
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