After an off season that was arguably more entertaining than the season itself, the NBA is back. Summer league is over, pre-season is underway and we are a few days away from our first look at the new landscape that is the 2017-18 NBA. With surprising free agency signings, a top heavy draft, and can-you-believe-the-best-two-teams-in-the-Eastern-Conference-swapped-superstars style trades, there are many questions about where teams will place, though it is unanimously agreed who is the favorite to win it all (spoiler: it’s the team with two NBA MVPs under the age of 30). Haven’t followed the NBA in months? Don’t worry, TCC is here to catch you up with our 2017-18 NBA Preview. Using the over/under for total wins set by the Westgate Las Vegas Sports Book we will split the league into 3 parts: the top, middle and bottom. Below is the top 10 or as we call ’em, the Top Dogs.
After much rumours and speculation the NBA announced today that NBA London will this year host a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics.
The 2018 game is set to be one of the biggest to ever come to London with both the Celtics and 76ers having a wealth of talent on their rosters. The Celtics, the NBA’s most successful franchise with 17 Championships, come into this season having finished first in the Eastern Conference and have a host of stars who will be coming to London including two-time NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas, 2017 NBA All-Star Gordon Hayward and four-time NBA All-Star Al Horford. The 76ers boast one of the best young teams in the league and will bring the number one picks from 2016 and 2017, Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons, alongside established star Joel Embiid.
The Philadelphia 76ers will host the Boston Celtics at The O2 on January 11; to sign up for early access to tickets, exclusive offers and the latest team news, please visit www.NBA.com/London
James Weldon was recently in the states taking a tour of top college programmes and speaking to some legendary coaches and he kindly agreed to write this guest article for us. Also make sure and check out his interview on our latest Podcast here.
The Courtside Collective presents
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – NBA Week 13.
Things heating up in the NBA with feuds and tensions running high in our week 13 round up!
We finally welcome Belfast man and the UK’s top basketball journalist Mark Woods onto the The Courtside Collective Podcast for a wide ranging discussion that spans from the Irish Superleague glory days right through to the present day.
Then Ball in Europe’s Emmet Ryan comes on to breakdown the Irish Cup Semi Finals with Niall and Mark.
Please note we recorded this Podcast on the road so some slight audio issues – apologies!
In this episode we discuss the fantastic news about the u18b Women FIBA European Championships coming to Ireland in the summer of 2017 with head coach of the u16 programme Andy Gill. How well can Ireland do and how much of an advantage is having the Championships at home?
We also have Mayo GAA star player Aidan O’Shea on to talk about why he came back to basketball and how the season is going with the Sligo All-Stars in the National League.
Photo Credit Jordan Cummins – Check him out on Facebook!
The signs were there after the Sino-European games, after the Hibernia team played in the FIBA EuroCup and, particularly, after the senior men’s team competed in the European Small Nations this past summer in Moldova: The Irish Senior Men’s Basketball team is back and now it has a new head coach, former George Washington University Assistant Pete Strickland. Strickland will hold the position for two seasons (2016/17 and 2017/18), culminating in participation in the FIBA Small Nations European Championships in 2018.
In this episode we speak to Conan Doherty, features editor at SportsJoe.ie , about the perception of Basketball in Ireland, how the sport can break into the mainstream and the recent GAA crossover stars.
We also talk to Eric Benedick about his extraordinary journey to becoming a professional basketball player.