It has been 11 months since Michael Porter Jr. heard his name called with the 14th pick by the Denver Nuggets in the 2018 NBA Draft. After redshirting his rookie year as he recovers from a pretty severe back injury, Porter spoke to the media during his exit interviews. He had good news for all Nuggets fans answering if he had been fully cleared by his doctors to play in Summer League by saying, “yeah, I’m expected to play in Summer League, and I can’t wait for that.”
Since the offseason, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose has been saying that this Denver Nuggets team can be a strong contender – a dark horse, able to hold its own even with the front runner Rockets and Warriors.
The Nets franchise has been riddled by bad moves and signings. Will they ever get better? I don’t know. What I do know as that history tends to repeat itself. This team has very limited potential. Let me explain why this is the case.
In recent NBA drafts, a select number of players dominated the media before and after draft night. Whether it was the risky pick of Ben Simmons, or the birthday conspiracy of Thon Maker in 2016, the Lonzo/Lavar Ball tirade of 2017, or the hype surrounding which big man was better, Deandre Ayton or Marvin Bagley, and even the draft stock of Trae Young in 2018’s draft. In any of these situations, these specific players dominated the NBA media outlets before and after draft night.
Basketball is so much more than just entertainment. There’s a massive business behind the scenes. For most spectators going to a game, they think they’re going to marvel over a player’s athleticism, they don’t realize that in reality, they’re watching a live commercial. For shoe companies, these athletes are a prime spotlight for their product. The NBA is a direct marketing opportunity for shoe companies that generate billions of dollars annually and fight tooth and nail for the NBA’s big-time player endorsements. So, how big is the sneaker industry in the NBA, and how has it changed throughout time?
The one-and-done rule has been brought back into the center of discussion and debate after the commissioner, Adam Silver, spoke on removing it on July 13th. Implemented in 2006 by then-commissioner, David Stern, the one-and-done rule is a mandate that controls NBA eligibility. The rule states that the player must be 19 years of age or one year removed from high school. Originally, the rule was made to increase fan interest in NCAA collegiate basketball, and it worked as fans were able to see stars and future NBA players like Derrick Rose and Greg Oden before they got to the league. Though the rule did explode college basketball into a money-making machine, it was clear that it was gradually hurting the NBA and its future players. This begs the question. How will removing the one-and-done rule change basketball?
The Denver Nuggets have been one game away from the playoffs for the past two years and have been refreshing to watch because of their young talents like Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Gary Harris making them an offensive beast, but at times their youth hindered them.