It was a feast for the media in the United States. The preparatory phase for an NBA season is usually unexciting and meaningful because teams experience different things in about three weeks and usually don’t allow the best players to play at all, or if they do, then only at a fraction of the usual intensity. Suddenly this video appeared. Show a brief sequence from the Golden State Warriors training session. The shaky footage shows Draymond Green hitting teammate Jordan Bull, and when he pushes him back he punches him in the face with his arm outstretched.
The row among the defending champions made waves. The tabloid portal TMZ is said to have offered analysts, the alleged author of the images, several million dollars so that the recordings can be made public. The Warriors, who regained their former strength last season and won their seventh NBA title, found themselves answering questions about team harmony and whether the players could have a future as teammates after such an incident.
Green was fined internally and kept away from the team for several days. Now the 32-year-old is back and the San Francisco team is trying to get back to normal. On Wednesday evening, the Warriors will begin season 77 of the NBA against the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s a duel of prestige between two California teams with high ambitions, with the Warriors being one of the favorites again this year – notwithstanding recent off-court squabbles.
James in a record hunt
The Lakers, with superstar LeBron James entering his 20th season in the world’s top basketball league, have failed to surround James with an effective squad since winning the 2020 title. Whether that should be any different this year is at least questionable. Regardless of whether the team’s success returns to Los Angeles, the 37-year-old is chasing a very personal achievement: In the league’s all-time top scorer, he is still 1,325 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who collected 38,387 points between 1969 and 1989. It’s a record that’s always considered one forever.
But James is close. If he played in all 82 regular season games, he would have to score 16.2 points per game to beat the “captain”. For someone who averaged 30.3 points last season, that should be easy, although James is unlikely to make all of the qualifying matches.
In addition to the Warriors, the usual suspects are title favorites: in the West, the Denver Nuggets with Serbian Nikola Jokic, MVP of the past two seasons, the Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks. In the East, last year’s finalists Boston Celtics traded heavily, and the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks, the 2021 champions and Miami Heat, also have ambitions for the Larry O’Brien Cup, which is being presented to the champ.
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