The 2016-17 NBA season is set to tip-off Tuesday night, which is terrific news for all the hoops heads out there tired of watching NFL games where penalties for late hits and excessive celebrations outnumber impact plays. With the Philadelphia 76ers getting their season going a night later against the living embodiment of vengeance formerly known as Russell Westbrook, this is our last chance to throw out some last-minute predictions.
Instead of the run-of-the-mill picks for NBA champion, MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc., let’s see if we can’t get a little more creative.
The Sixers will win (a) championship.
No, I’m not saying Joel Embiid is going to go King Kong on the league from day one and transform the franchise immediately into a contender. I’m talking about the team’s recent acquisition of Team Dignitas and Apex, becoming first major professional sports team to enter into the eSports space.
The team will be competing in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Smite, all games which are not Mario Kart or Goldeneye so I can’t offer much insight. Still, for an organization that hasn’t won a title in over three decades, why not go out into a space where your odds are increased five-fold?
The Winter X Games in January will feature a familiar face.
High school valedictorian, summa cum laude at the University of Oklahoma, MBA from Stanford, assembling a roster with arguably the top three best choices for 2016-17 Rookie of the Year. It’s safe to say that whatever Sam Hinkie has set his mind out to do, he does. Now, freed of the treacherous overloads in Sixers ownership, Hinkie is free to focus all of his energy on his true passion.
9 | …watch tons of basketball, and soak up all that I can. Oh, and snowboard. For sure snowboard.
— Sam Hinkie (@samhinkie) September 14, 2016
The slopes in Aspen won’t know what hit them.
Joel Embiid will finally land the big one.
The rookie from Kansas has never been afraid to shoot his shot, and I’m not talking about on the basketball court. Before he knew she was married, Embiid tried to have Kim Kardashian slide into his DMs. Since then, his crush on pop megastar Rihanna has been well-publicized.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 21, 2016
With Drake now facebook-official with the Good Girl Gone Bad, Joel Embiid will have to move on to the next lucky young lady in the celebrity mediasphere. Once he’s dropping 20 and 10 a night, though, they’ll be lining up around the electronic corner. Embiid’s hundreds of thousands of followers will patiently await the return of #EMB11DSADVICE, the millennial version of Loveline.
The Sixers won’t be that bad this season.
Embiid looked completely healthy in putting up per-36 numbers of 27.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks in the preseason. Ben Simmons is set to return in January and you can count the number of 6’10” forwards with supernatural court vision throughout NBA history on one hand. Dario Saric looks to be making the transition across the Atlantic smoothly with 16.7 points per-36 minutes in the preseason, and because I haven’t mentioned it this month, here’s your reminder that he once kept playing a game with his teeth knocked out.
All in all, things are looking up for the Sixers, which is not something people are used to after the past few years. Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.