We’re on the verge of flipping the calendar to 2019, but before we close the book on 2018, we want to take a look back at The Year That Was in the NBA.
While the outcome of the 2018 NBA Finals in June wasn’t particularly surprising, the implications for the Warriors‘ ongoing dynasty were compelling — the Dubs have now won two consecutive championships and three of the last four, and they may not be done yet. Plus, the Finals provided at least one memorable moment in Game 1, when J.R. Smith apparently forgot that the Cavaliers didn’t have the lead, and dribbled out the clock of a tie game.
That night was a low point for Smith, who was also at the center of an unusual story back in March when he was suspended for throwing soup at an assistant coach. But he’s not the only one who has had a frustrating 2018.
Carmelo Anthony played his way out of Oklahoma City and Houston, and currently remains in limbo. He’s technically a member of the Rockets, but played his last game for the team back on November 8. Meanwhile, 2017’s first overall pick Markelle Fultz continues to struggle to make an impact on the court, and is currently sidelined with a physical ailment, despite speculation that some of his issues may be mental.
The Fultz saga hasn’t been the only major storyline in Philadelphia. The Sixers also lost a general manager in the summer when a bombshell report linked Bryan Colangelo to a series of burner Twitter accounts that criticized current and former 76ers players and revealed sensitive information about the team. Colangelo vehemently denied any knowledge of those tweets – an investigation revealed that his wife was operating the accounts – but it cost him his job.
The Colangelo situation was the sort of NBA story that keeps us glued to Twitter, fascinated by every new detail that emerges. Another situation that fits that bill played out earlier this month, when an apparent three-team trade involving the Wizards, Suns, and Grizzlies fell apart due to confusion over whether Memphis was including Dillon Brooks or MarShon Brooks in the deal. Washington and Phoenix eventually made a trade on their own, but not before plenty of finger-pointing about which team was to blame for the Brooks-related confusion.
Of course, player movement is our focus at Hoops Rumors, so that would-be three-team trade was right up our alley, but it was far from the biggest transaction-related news of 2018. LeBron James signing with the Lakers might earn the crown, though that move wasn’t nearly as shocking as the Clippers trading Blake Griffin to the Pistons, or DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Warriors, a deal that incited outrage among fans of 29 other teams on social media.
Prolonged trade sagas involving stars like Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler dominated NBA headlines during the offseason too, with Butler’s performance in his return to Timberwolves practice standing out as a highlight. Paul George, who was traded a year earlier, surprised many NBA fans by re-signing with the Thunder shortly after free agency opened on July 1 without even giving the Lakers a meeting.
While those were some of the top NBA stories of 2018, there are countless others worth mentioning. How about the Raptors firing Coach of the Year Dwane Casey, or the near–mutiny in Chicago shortly after Jim Boylen took over as the Bulls‘ head coach? Drama has followed the Wizards all season too, from Marcin Gortat and John Wall taking shots at each other in February to Bradley Beal criticizing GM Ernie Grunfeld at a contentious practice in November. And commissioner Adam Silver has had to send separate memos to teams around the league this season to warn them about tanking and tampering.
With the year about to come to a close, we want to hear about your favorite NBA stories of the last 12 months. What will you remember most about the NBA in 2018 when you look back on it years from now?
Head to the comment section below to weigh in!