The 2012-13 NBA season is underway!
If you’re a fan of the NBA, it’s a given that you already have a favourite team. But for NHL fans patiently waiting for the return of professional hockey you might find yourself forced to talk about—or even watch—basketball on a regular basis. Heaven forbid!
Here at the Manitoban, we want to help you find the right team to follow – at least until hockey returns. We would also like to cut down the number of fans who jump on the bandwagon of the league’s most successful teams. So, without further ado, we offer our selections for trendy NBA teams to bandwagon until the NHL returns.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are a competitive, exciting team that has yet to win a championship, or even a division title, in the franchise’s 40-year history. But all signs point to the Clippers bucking that trend in the near future. Defending slam-dunk champion Blake Griffin, renowned for his high-flying antics, is the face of the team. Despite Griffin getting off to a slower start this season, the Clippers’ supporting cast—that already featured highly coveted talent Chris Paul—appears vastly improved. Lamar Odom returns to the team that drafted him after spending the majority of his career playing in the same city, but for the rival L.A. Lakers. Meanwhile, Jamal Crawford is off to the best start of his 12-year career, coming off the bench and leading the team with an average of 18.6 points per game.
2. Brooklyn Nets
Formerly known as the New Jersey Nets, the team has revamped their image and jersey with the move to the borough of Brooklyn. This is the ideal time to jump on the Nets bandwagon. The Nets are sitting near the top of the Atlantic Division, but there’s more to this season than just wins and losses. The team and the community will continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that wrecked havoc on their home court and surrounding communities. Much like the 2006 New Orleans Saints, Nets fans should be in for good karma over the next couple years. Best of all, if you join the bandwagon now, no one could possibly accuse you of jumping on a “dream team” that’s sure to win multiple championships (looking at you, non-Floridian Miami Heat fans).
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
Historically, the Timberwolves have been awful. They haven’t made the post-season since 2004, when they went all the way to the Conference Finals before losing to the team that used to call Minnesota home: the Los Angeles Lakers. The T-Wolves nosedived from there, hitting rock-bottom in 2009-10 when they finished the season with a record of 15-67 – a win percentage of only .183! Despite all that, they’re still the closest to Winnipeg, which means that you could realistically drive down to watch some games live in downtown Minneapolis. The Wolves currently find themselves reeling from a five-game losing streak. Maybe, with just a bit more support from out of town fans, they can turn this season around!
4. Seattle Supersonics
Yeah, I know what you’re probably saying; the Supersonics no longer exist, leaving Seattle in 2008 and relocating to Oklahoma to become the OKC Thunder. But the dream of NBA basketball is still alive in Seattle; city officials have recently approved a new arena while a group of investors actively searches for a team to purchase. Winnipeg sports fans certainly know the pain of losing a beloved sports franchise – and the overwhelming joy when a new team triumphantly returns to fill the void. So while there is not yet a team to follow on the court, this is an evolving sports story worth following that will hopefully have a happy ending for sports fans in the Washington state region. Jump on the bandwagon now, so you can say “I told you so” later.