When I was a kid, the best part of school yard sports was picking teams and I after I was picked last, the slight anticipation of knowing you were on a winning team was an exciting feeling.
A couple of hours later at home, drafting a team in an EA Sports game on the Sega Genesis was often one of the better parts of the entire sports gaming experience.
Even today, during NFL Fantasy Draft parties, everyone gets together, eats some wings, has a couple of drinks, and selects their teams in what can be the most fun you’ll have all season. If you pick teams like me, it certainly is.
Last night, the NBA successfully provided that off the court excitement to fans. A thrilling night that didn’t include one dunk or buzzer beater, and this morning every basketball fan in the country is ready to go for next season, less than a month after the last one concluded.
Great work, NBA.
By moving the start of free agency up a few hours, the news outlets had all they could handle trying to report every transaction in one of the most stacked free agency classes of all time. Networks held prime time specials where there was breaking news almost every 15 minutes. Social media was a complete joy to be on with reactions coming in from all over the world.
My background in media is politics. Last night felt like an election night, with player signings coming down like the results of competitive races. In a way they were. Players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could have gone anywhere.
The NBA successfully made graphics and contracts exciting. Fans will be hyped to see all of the new faces in new places.
Another great aspect of last night is that other sports will likely try to liven up their free agency periods as well, especially now that we know it possible to build excitement from these administrative periods. The off season drama continues to reduce the time fans switch off when players aren’t on the court.
A great experience for fans, and a great night for the NBA.
And we still don’t know where Kahwi Leonard is going.