They’re Off, It’s Back On … The NBA Summer Is (Almost) Officially Ovah!

Annnnnnd, they’re off!

Well, no, actually, they’ve been off. Since late June for the very best of ‘em and since the end of April for nearly half of them. The NBA offseason is longest for those who don’t do postseason basketball, shorter for those who make it to the playoffs and stick around for anywhere from one to four rounds and shorter still for those players who followed up the NBA’s tournament with the world’s big bracket at the London Olympics.

For fellows such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love and the rest of the gold-medal winners – and let’s not neglect the NBA performers from other nations who participated – the offseason of 2012 may feel about a week-and-a-half long, especially after the vast, lockout-extended chasm of 2011. Those guys can expect to feel it starting around January – or at least, to be asked about the fatigue factor.

But today isn’t about down time. Tuckered or not, four teams officially begin (or have begun, depending on when you’re reading this) their 2012 training camps. Media Day is the typical tipoff, with the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers and NBA champion Miami Heat holding their first practices tomorrow.

Why those four? They’re headed overseas for NBA exhibition games, so to accommodate the heavier travel time, they’ve been permitted to start early. Boston will play Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 5 in the first preseason game of 2012-13 and, two days later, face EA& Emporio Armani Milano in Milan, Italy.

Dallas travels to Berlin for its preseason opener Oct. 6 against Alba Berlin, then takes on FC Barcelona Regal on Oct. 9 in Barcelona, Spain. Those four games are being billed as NBA Europe Live 2012, by the way.

The Heat and the Clippers are taking care of the NBA China Games with a clash in Beijing on Oct. 11, followed three days later by a matinee in Shanghai.

The NBA also has a preseason game booked in Mexico (Orlando vs. New Orleans in Mexico City on Oct. 7) and two in Canada beyond the Raptors’ usual schedule (New York-Toronto in Montreal Oct. 19 and Minnesota-Detroit in Winnipeg Oct. 24).

We know what you’re thinking: B-b-b-b-but those six teams will be playing internationally, too. So why aren’t they opening training camps early?! Guess the difference is, passports yes, inflatable vests no – they’re not crossing any big ponds or enough time zones.

So the Magic, Hornets, Knicks, Raptors, Timberwolves and Pistons will start with the 20 other teams: interviews, photos and videos on Monday, the dawn of two-a-days on Tuesday.

In other words, it’s (nearly) on. The wait is almost over. If NFL fans thought it was tough counting the days till the real referees got back to work, they should talk to their NBA counterparts still cooling their heels for another 72 to 96 hours while four clubs tip it off now!

We’ll have early reports on those four today, including a boots-on-the-ground post from Miami from the Proprietor of the HTB Hideout himself, Mr. Sekou Smith. 

48 Comments

  1. FOCUSED says:

    There are far more contenders; it all about chemistry this season, if that comes through then you need to consider the Nets, knicks, Nuggets and Clippers, definitely don’t sleep on the Clippers if they’re healthy….

    • dattebayo says:

      Just having a lot of good players doesn’t necessarily make you a contender, it rather makes you a playoff team. I really like Denver, they could have beaten L.A. last postseason, but they were terrible from 3 point land and they didn’t run in the first 2 games and let L.A. get 2 easy wins. The Clippers got swept by the Spurs, they still need to improve. They added a lot of players who they expect to be roleplayers (Odom, Crawford, Hill,, ..) and we will have to wait and see, if they step up or not. Brooklyn has not even played a game and they have a complete new team. Lopez finally seems to healthy, Johnson came from Atlanta and their entire bench came together via Free Agency. You think they are already contenders and have more chemistry than Miami, OKC or the Spurs? No they don’t, these things need time and effort.

      Again, I am not saying teams like the Nets, Knicks, Denver, Memphis, Dallas or the Clippers will not win the title this year, but clearly it would be a surprise if they did, because the top teams are really good.

  2. heatfan says:

    Were finally getting kove vs. lebron for the championship.

  3. IDK says:

    It’s gonna be either OKC or Miami. Lakers have a healthy chance, but they have to get past OKC first. The Celtics have a slim chance. But at the end, those are gonna be the 4 main contenders

  4. dattebayo says:

    Heat don’t have a Center, they always play small ball and want the opposing team to match up, by putting several 3 point threats on the perimeter. When the 3s are falling, Miami will be hard to beat. If they are not, they can’t handle scoring PFs and Cs and they almost always front them to deny them the ball. It’s not perfect, but it worked last season. Still I don’t wanna see James guarding a PF just because he can, he is one of the best perimeter defenders and should defend position 1-3.

    Lakers still don’t have a good bench and they are probably the oldest starting 5 (32, 27, 34, 34/36 and 38). But if they share the ball (please Kobe, don’t take more than 18 shots a game, please) and use everyones talent to the fullest, they will be hard to handle. Kobe and Howard demand double teams and you can’t leave Pau or help off of Nash. Nash will help the bench, because he gets everyone open looks and bunnies, they just need to be ready and take advantage.

    The Thunder will only improve, but KD has to take more shots and the Thunder need better ways to get him the ball in better spots. Westbrook doesn’t need to take less shots, but I don’t wanna see him go 5-20 anymore, when Harden and Durant are both playing too. He also should stop throwing up 3s off the dribble and should only take open threes (he took 65 threes at 28% in the postseason and 6 guys shoot the 3ball better than he does). Unless the Thunder get some consistent post scoring from any player, they will always live or die by their jumpers and last season, they looked really good.

    Pacers, Celtics and Spurs have some issues too, but they too are contenders for the title. I’d be surprised if any other team other than those 6 wins a title, but hey, stranger things have happened. I don’t see a clear favorite, last year the Bulls looked to go all the way too and they got injured and were knocked out by an 8th seed. My money would be on Miami though.

  5. frans says:

    In theory the Lakers are the best with an all-star at every position (x-cept SF), but in practice I don’t think Bryant and Howard will have good chemistry. They have different levels of determination and that will lead to friction before the end of the season. The warrior Kobe will be annoyed by the clown.
    The team that will win it all is the team with their three leaders on the same page. That’s either Thunder, Heat or even Celtics. They’re not done yet.

  6. usbuck says:

    Going into this 2012-13 NBA season, you have to give the edge to the Heat for the following seasons: One, they are the defending champs; two, they have their core players returning healthy; three, the Heat have added some GREAT perimeter shooters ( Allen and Lewis); four, Miami has the KING! I must admit, however, that the Lakers have a great chance to make it to the Finals with their Big Four ( Kobe, Pau, Nash and Howard). If the Lakers look as good on the floor as they do on paper, we’ll see what we’ve all been waiting for–LeBron vs. Kobe Finals! And, furthermore, I would love to see those doll commercials again. GO HEAT!!!

  7. Edge says:

    Lol I think miami will still win it all, Lakers will win if Phil jackson is still their coach and their bench is not that good you Got an aged Jamison then steve blake? they can’t even run with the Clippers I think. I see OKC and SPURS are still the best teams in the West and Miami and Boston in the East. and Dallas Denver Clippers New york Brooklyn Chicago are one of the elite teams

  8. Madkickers says:

    Celtic no matter what!

  9. toytoygogie says:

    IMO, Celtics is the team i.e. much stronger due to team work experience and there’s no such player there that is a wanna-be super star. Having Garnett, Pierce, Melo, Green, Terry, Rondo, Lee, Sullinger.. etc, these guys are tailored to cooperate each other and not a so-so player and acting as a super star. Imagine that Miami bring them to game 7 despite of their age just because of their vast experience of doing team work. It’s like Spurs but they we’re just torned during their game with the OKC.

    If Lakers can be handled very well, no doubt they can reach the Finals Champion, but I see here as a very competent team are Celtics, Heat, and Lakers. I doubt OKC can still rule since many have seen their weakness during Heat vs OKC and that’s they key to bring them down unless they can have a new strategy or a new point guard. Westbrook sometimes destroys the game.

    • toytoygogie says:

      I forgot to mention Avery Bradley which makes them hard to beat in defending a guard/shooting guard. He’s defense is terrific. I doubt that Miami would make it hard, or loose during Game 7 if Avery Bradley was their keeping off Wade to score or hard to score. I really doubt Celtics is a very difficult team and surprising team this 2012-2013 season, IMHO.

  10. dvv4reid says:

    You’re a bit short on history if you cannot recall the Lakers have done this multiple times – which is why we love’em so much! The first was successful after Baylor decided to retire. Remember 33 straight is still the record! They won with Wilt and West. Then Kareem and Magic won 85′ but had Worthy, Mike, Scott. Next Malone, Kobe, and Glove no title here, Shaq and Kobe well that worked pretty well. N ow D, Gasol, Kobe… I don’t think Gasol lasts the season before being traded so we are erally talking Kobe and D. Well D don’t have enough O so NO! Nor will he find that he is in as favorable position as he’d like. So probably bye bye too…. Have fun Laker fans anyone remember Len Elmore ;)

  11. shiftee says:

    stop tallking and thinking what if and who is the best I just want NBA too start the season go HEAT!!!!! and show me what you got lakers…

  12. Kobe-z says:

    As a laker fan, cant say it until we see them play at least 1 game….Offense will be running through Nash….totally different than past years when Kobe ran the offense….

    Heat looks TRES DANGEREAUX (very dangerous) still and cannot hate one them….knicks could turn a page if Amare/Melo actually Mesh and give J.Kidd a chance to run the offense…NETS/Celtics round out the top 4 in east….

    OKC didnt do much, but did they need to? well polished already and will give the west a team to beat…Spurs/Grizz /Clips are in the same boat….CLIPS are definitely underrated…Odom, Barnes and Jamal Crawford added to the mix will be deadly….maybe too deadly for my LAKERS….

    • tyrone says:

      Odom was terrible in Dallas, feel sorry for Cuban but LAL will regret trading him cause this guy can still hit threes which will help LAC while Miami has strong chemistry. LA is questionable. OKC will fight the Lakers in WCF and probably win which would have a repeat of last year’s finals of Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder round 2.

    • Heatfansince2011 says:

      Your the only realistic lakers fan I’ve seen

  13. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    all-star team la lakers will not win the championship just like the miami heat in 2011..they will be the target of the other 29 teams…

  14. BoJAxSON says:

    By the way, all you NBA fanatics, please stop relying on what you read! Ive been saying all along ‘King James will, at most, win one ring during his era, as well as other teams’ NBA title as it is written is a battle between the two dynasties, Lakeers and Celtics (Bulls, yeah ok. His Airness was special!)..oh yeah, start of Lakers 3Peat. Than an offset, and back to Lakers or Celtics. Not saying this is fixed ( sorry Yankees!), but this is how it was written and what ‘true’ NBA fans understand.

  15. BoJAxSON says:

    :0 Yawn! Think I woke too soon from hibernation…NBA not on yet?

  16. lebron bryant says:

    I love how everyone is thinking this heat team will be garbage, eveyone forgot that lebron james just won his first ring, I believe that the beast has finally been awoken. get ready for LeBron 2.0!!!!

    • WAD3 says:

      You are completly correct, it only took Jordan 1 to be awaken …. I suspect the simalar outcome for the King

      • MIAMIWHO says:

        Its great to see heat fans on here shivvering in their panties, afraid of whats coming from the purple and gold this season. You idiots talk about age when it comes to Kobe and Nash as if these two guys didnt put up big numbers last season and still played well. Honestly thats all you morons can say about this team becasue you know this team is built to win the championship now. You talk about Kobe ball hoggin and taking 30 40 50 shots. Kobe is the one who wanted Nash with the Lakers. So why would he recruit Nash to the Lakers with the thinking of still taking all these shots. Kobe will adjust his game and so will Nash. Are you dummys saying these guys dont have the IQ to make this work. Forget about the coach. Although i am still slightyly suspect about MB, i think he will due better this year with training camp, something nobody had last year, and a full season. You heat fans can think your team has a easy walk back to the championship, it will be a much different season this year.

      • NBA says:

        but… but…. lebron is NOT Jordan….

      • uoykcuf says:

        Ok, for the last time, that colour is yellow. The alternate wizard jersey from a few years back is gold. People really can’t tell the differences, can’t they? Seriously, when you see a school bus you think it’s hue is gold?
        So please laker fan boys, correct your mistakes and take pride in “yellow and purple” .
        Lebronze and the boys are still the champ until someone dethroned them. Till then, keep dreaming laker boys.

  17. Jerry says:

    the clippers is an underrated team….. watch out for surprises!!! they could do a very good playoff run

    • Mytownla says:

      Please… stop smoking on that ish… its obviously killing your brain cells

      • One of the king's subjects says:

        Mytownia I have a legit question. What is your problem? He isn’t even talking about he Lakers losing he’s talking about how the clippers are going to be a factor, which I agree with, just because someone states their opinion doesn’t mean it is the end of the world. If you will just get off the Laker bandwagon for a few minutes, you will learn that your life isn’t about the Lakers . I’m serious, Shut up, really shut up. You are acting like a child who is throwing a fit.

    • Perry says:

      I agree, they have a very deep team.

  18. Lakers 2013 CHAMPS!!! says:

    name says it all

    • heavenshigh777 says:

      This is not the year of the Lakers THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE MIAMI HEAT. Kobe is old, and we’ll start to see it this season!!!!

      • You are ridiculous…33 old? yeah right…go tell that to me if the Lakers are parading their trophy around LA…kobe is 34…wade is 30 almost 31…big difference right? Kobe is too old right? what if I tell you that the heat dont have any decent center (or a center at all for that matter) who can stop howard, hell, bosh cant even stop pau gasol…you are ridiculous…totally ridiculous, you think ray allen and rashard lewis are gonna help you win it all? lol! they’re two bench guys while all of the starting 4 in the lakers are still franchise caliber players, not to mention artest became a franchise player before with the kings…so yea

      • Mytownla says:

        @heavenshigh777… apparently your name isnt the only thing thats high… Let me educate you for a second, and this goes for the rest of you laker hater/heat cheerleaders… Yes kobe is ageing… but so what… Homie is coming off of a 27ppg season, in which i might remind you ruh-tards that the only reason as to why he didnt win the scoring title is because he decided to opt out of scoring the necessary points needed in the lst game of the season, thus, letting KD win it. So obviously,age is nothing but a number when it comes to the best 2 guard in the league. Your saying, “kobe is old, and we’ll see that his season”… like wtf does that mean??? I guess all of the sudden he’s going to average 10ppg??? I thought so… so for all you haters… STFU and continue to be afraid for the upcoming season

      • KB8 says:

        Laker’s gonna win it all just like when they brought over Gary Payton and The Milkman to team up with Kobe and Shaq. Pretty similarly built team minus the best coach all-time…

      • dmontani says:

        @KB8…they never had red auerbach so to correct you they had the 2nd best coach all time

    • That Celtic Guy says:

      I’m sorry i think you meant chumps. Its okay though. We understand what you mean.

    • QuestionMark says:

      Can’t really say that without seeing them play, sure they look good on paper, but nothing shown on court yet. Plus Dwight’s injury might keep him out for a bit, meaning when he comes back, they have to form that chemistry with him, which OKC and Miami already have since they played together for a while now.

    • WAD3 says:

      Lakers over rated

      Kobe will still take 20-25 shots a game

      Egos will collide

      Useless coach who will be fired next year

      weak bench(your all going to say its not weak BUT it is)

      6’11″ cry baby

      Lakers will burn out by second round or WCF at the farthest…..you forget OKC owns the west

      Reality is that LA fans will have dissapointment for their ridiculous high hopes and disregard for the other Power teams

      Get ready for reality because its going to be very funny to watch your faces and comments next summer

      Peace out

      • DREW says:

        dude overrated lets look at the history of recent super teams that were formed…..

        Lakers 2004 Karl, Payton, Kobe, Shaq. Lost in NBA FINALS!! made it to the finals in their first season.

        Celtics 2008 Garnett, Allen, Pierce Won the NBA championship and went to the finals two years later

        Miami 2011 Lebron, Wade, Bosh Lost in finals and won the following year.

        Lakers 2013 Nash, Kobe, Dwight, Pau….. This one on paper looks equal if not better then Miami’s trio. Not to worried if you really think they are going to be a bust think again. We considered the 2004 lakers a bust AND THEY MADE IT TO THE FINALS THIS IS SOMTHING MOST TEAMS WOULD DROOL OVER!! (people said the whole season they had no chemistry and yet if Karl and Fisher didn’t get injured they may have won it all.)

      • Mytownla says:

        Man.. you sure do kow alot about the future and whats going to happen… why dont yo try the lotto… you’ll have a MUCH better chance smh

      • 16going417 says:

        LOL, you speak from experience as your team had high hopes when they got James and Bosh and they did not do anything during their first year.

        I do not expect LAL to take it all this year, but they have a chance depending on how well they play together. And although you might not like it, the Lakers are the talk of the league this year just like Miami was the talk of the league a couple years ago. So, don’t get mad when EVERY blog has people talking about LAL.

        I mean look at this blog. They are discussing the Celtics, Mavs, Clips and Heat starting practice early and the buzz is all about LAL. Too funny……..

        Don’t worry, I can relate to your point of view. Just as you are hoping for LAL to fail this year. I was hoping Miami would fail when they got James and Bosh. I got my wish. We will see if you get yours……….

      • S27M says:

        It don’t matter you gotta beat okc .. Miami is just gonna chill n watch u lose

    • Brandon says:

      Get past the Thunder or Clippers first. Thunder wants revenge.

    • One of the king's subjects says:

      Listen I’ll admit, The Lakers are going to be a team to be reckoned with, but thats just on paper.
      Nash is old, and I mean old. In this point of his career his defense is unheard of, and for all of you lakers fan say that dwight will protect the paint, have you evere heard of something called the pull up jump shot or a floater, because they use that in the professional leauge.
      Next Kobe is going to be Kobe, great player great scorer, and the heart of the champion, so I can’t really say anything about him, but I know Wade can slow kobe down, again all of you laker fans who say wade can’t slow kobe down you should open your eyes because wade has shown it in the past.
      MWP will bow to the king. It simple as that, tell me what is MWP going to do? Is he gonna turn the clock and be Defensive Player of the year Ron Artest, yeah i thought so.
      Gasol, I can name a few power fowards who are tougher than him, and yes bosh is one of them, again for you laker fans don’t give me that BS. Gasol will be contained by Bosh no doubt.
      And Howard our biggest nightmare. Yes Howard is more of a problem than Kobe Bryant, he is going to force us to be a shooting team, but isn’t that why we got Allen and Lewis. TO SHOOT THE BALL!!!! The play of Howard and the Play of Lebron will be the factor for the heat and the lakers. If Lebron goes off, The Heat will win. If Dwight goes of the Lakers will win. If they both go off then its going to be on hell of a game. Those are the facts and Last season, i don’t care about the dwight drama, I cannot see the best center in the game having a 10 point and 8 rebound game, against the bucks. So if Dwight is distracted by FA then Dwight will be distracted by LA’s fame and the Heat will beat them in 6 if the Lakers can beat the Durant which I highly doubt that they can.