The former “BIG” marketing campaign proved to be an instant NBA media success. Its simple, but brilliant, message quickly resonated with fans. Seen across television, web and social media outlets, the “BIG” campaign captured what fans already knew about the NBA.
Already known for its big shots, bigger dunks and perhaps the biggest athletic stars on the planet like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Kevin Love, the NBA came up “BIG” again during yesterday’s trade deadline.
In the busiest swap day in league history, 39 NBA players changed uniforms. Fans will need at least a week to sort through the line up changes in order to voice their opinions of which teams benefited the most and which teams jettisoned players strictly for future draft picks or salary cap considerations.
However, of more than three dozen players dealt, only one true impact player’s trade caused a stir among fans and the media.
The Phoenix Suns traded disgruntled 2014 third team All-NBA star Goran Dragic to the Miami Heat. With this cautionary business move, the Suns knew they would not be able to keep Dragic once he became a free agent this coming summer. So, the franchise opted to send the point guard packing in order to obtain something of value in return this season.
The Suns may have received four players and two 2016 first round draft picks, but the deal instantly made the Heat better. Miami now emerged as a force to be taken more seriously in the Eastern Conference as the road to this year’s NBA Playoffs becomes narrower. With the addition of an elite scoring and defending point guard, the Heat boasts a very solid starting five with Dragic, blossoming center Hassan Whitehead, versatile Luol Deng and all-stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, making Eastern Conference foes nervous.
“We are incredibly pleased to take another step in getting the Miami Heat back to real championship prominence with the acquisition of Goran Dragic,” Heat president Pat Riley said. “Goran is an All-NBA player, including the Most Improved Player last season, and we felt that once he became available, we would do all that we could to acquire him.”
Another noteworthy trade involved the Portland Trailblazers who bolstered their bench with the addition of capable scorer and excellent defender Aaron Afflalo as well as an athletic defender in Alonzo Gee.
And, the surging Oklahoma City Thunder strengthened their core of already strong players by parting with plodding Kendrick Perkins and mercurial guard Reggie Jackson. The Thunder added young talent in Enes Kanter in the paint and Kyle Singler on the perimeter as well as savvy vets, capable of scoring quickly, DJ Augustin and Steve Novak.
In perhaps the least desirable news for a newly traded player, the contending Houston Rockets shipped point guard Alexey Shved to the NBA’s worst team the New York Knicks. Talk about a bad day!
The NBA is a league where the action truly is fantastic and where amazing happens on a routine basis.
So, it should be no surprise to interested basketball fans that with all the activity on a very BIG and busy trade deadline day yesterday, an already big NBA has gotten much more interesting and exciting, too!
I can’t wait for the NBA Playoffs to begin.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!