Top 10 most underrated story lines for the 2012-2013 NBA season

As usual, the mainstream media is missing many, if not all, of the key questions going into the upcoming NBA season. I’m here to help fill that void.

  1. How long will Andrew Bynum let his afro grow? It’s an injustice to narrowly define that thing on the enigmatic center’s head as just an afro. In the evolution of bad haircuts, the dead animal nestling on his skull is a game-changer. It’s like the mutant love-child of Robert Griffin’s freshmen haircut and the worst (best?) Michael Beasley shave ever. Now that he’s out of the L.A. limelight, the newfound freedom of living in a city nobody cares about must be a rejuvenating experience for big Andy. Plus, he knows there isn’t a center in the Eastern Conference capable of stopping him in the post, so who cares what he does with his hair? Let the man do his thing and embrace his new city and new life. Man, I can’t wait for when he busts out the midseason hi-top fade. Don’t pretend like that’s not happening.
  2. Does Andre Kirilenko still have that deal with his wife, and if so, how will Minnesota men cope? There were roughly 20 million reason$ Kirilenko signed with the Wolves, but you can’t discount the allure of the Adelman’s coaching style, the international flavor of the roster, the crippling cold winters, and of course, the Scandinavian ladies. Living half a world away from his native land, Kirilenko will look for reminders of home wherever he can find them. If that means pretending the blonde, pale, and round-faced ladies of the “great white north” are of Russian descent, so be it. They will no doubt be much obliged to provide that comfort. Whether their men will share this enthusiasm for the playboy’s promiscuous tendencies is another story.
  3. Just how racist is David Kahn? Speaking of Minnesota, let’s hope they don’t get in any brawls this season. It would probably give off the (accurate) impression of 1960’s-style race riot. With the acquisitions of white guy all-stars Greg Stiemsma, Robby Hummel, Chase Budinger and Co., the Timberwolves general manager has blown the lid off of his confederate-level prejudices. Will he bring back Mad-Dog? Will he channel his inner-Adolph Rupp and accuse every other team of stirring the pot too much with all these multi-racial rosters? Will he trade Derrick Williams and Brandon Roy away for 3 copies of Birth of a Nation and some  Civil War relics? With a wild card like D-Kahn, the sky is the limit.
  4. Will Vinny Del Negro finally earn his long overdue Coach of the Year award? Thankfully Vinny doesn’t worry about such trivial matters, probably because he’s well aware of his unique coaching style, i.e., his tendency to undermine the efforts of his players with half-baked game plans and a complete disdain for “real plays.” The Clippers have a stacked roster that could go 11-deep this season, which means Vinny is going to have a blast mismanaging playing time and throwing out arbitrary lineups.
  5. Is Amare Stoudemire secretly 43 years-old? I love that the Knicks and Nets are “relavent” again. And by relevant, I mean doomed to never make it past the 2nd round of the playoffs in the next 5 years. Who knows, maybe Amare’s knees will suddenly improve and Carmelo will learn to broaden his game outside of jacking up 30 shots a game and taking naps on defense. Or not.
  6. When will we hear our first ‘Royce White anxiety’ story of the season? Oh, what’s that? Already? Wow, that was quick.
  7. Is this the season Hasheem Thabeet finally “gets it?” You say Hasheem, I say Hakeem. There’s a storm about to hit the U.S., and it isn’t Sandy: Hasheem Thabeet is about to blow away the critics. Just listen to his new perspective in OKC: “I was bobbling the ball a lot the past few years,” Thabeet said. “But getting better every day, that’s my goal. Every time I step out there I want to get better at something that I wasn’t able to do…” In other words, Hasheem is excited to finally learn more about this game “basketball” everyone is always talking about.
  8. Do people in Orlando enjoy being pooped on, or did the Magic misjudge the situation? I suppose we’ll find out the answer to this question if crowds at Magic games ever surpass 5,000 fans. You can’t really blame Orlandoites (Orlanoans? Orlandoers? Orlando Blooms?) for only being luke warm on a starting five of Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu, Aaron Afflalo, Glen Davis, and Gustavo Ayon. Meanwhile, Dwight Howard is playing for an all-star team in L.A. Yes, this roster is the equivalent of a simmering Fourth of July-esque crap. And no, I will never watch this team play.
  9. Will someone pull a “Delonte West” on LeBron again, and is it the only way anyone is beating the Heat? First of all, there is nobody I trust more than Calvin Murphy. If he says Delonte had sex with Mrs. James, it happened. I mean, how could you not trust a guy “who was once accused of sexually abusing five of his 14 daughters (who were fathered with nine different women, only one of whom he married)?” Outside of causing LeBron to have an emotional and psychological breakdown due to his mother’s sexual exploits, there is basically nothing stopping him from remaining on the throne of NBA dominance. Even with Dwight on the Lakers and a reloaded Thunder squad, LeBron is basically the most ridiculous athlete the game has ever seen. The only thing capable of stopping the Heat is injuries. Besides Delonte West, of course.
  10. Are we ready to call Meyers Leonard the next Jeremy Lin? We’ve been hearing it all preseason: “Leonard-sanity,” “Meyers-fever,” “Meyers-tastic” — people just can’t seem to get enough of the Portland rookie. The parallels are certainly there. Jeremy Lin: an inspiration to Asian-Americans, NBA fans everywhere and the people of his ancestral Taiwan; revitalized a New York team on the brink of collapse; had the greatest first stretch of play for any NBA player in history; generated millions in revenue for his team. Meyers Leonard: an inspiration to tall white guys everywhere; Honorable Mention All Big-10 last season; legend of central Illinois; presumed starting center on a mediocre Portland team. Could it be any more obvious? If Meyers doesn’t win Rookie of the Year, single-handedly lead Portland to the playoffs, inspire a country, and redefine our expectations for the game of basketball by the end of the season, I would be incredibly surprised. Brace yourselves for “the season of Meyers,” it’s going to be quite a ride.
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