NBA 2012-13 Season Forecast
July 13, 2012 by Jeffrey Boswell • Print Story •
* Season tickets are the hot item in New Orleans, as many fans take advantage of the "Me So Hornet" package, which comes with two tickets to 41 home games, an Anthony Davis "Fear the Brow" poster, an Austin River's "Who's Your Daddy?" t-shirt, and a three-back of Bounty paper towels.
The Hornets quintuple their number of wins from last year, finishing the season 35-47, third in the Southeast Division.
* Rap mogul and minority owner of the Nets Jay-Z kicks off Brooklyn's season when he throws out the first bitch at the home opener against the Knicks on November 1st. Jay-Z then grabs the mic and boasts that Brooklyn "izza" championship contender.
The Nets' two megastars, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, are cast in a massive Bud Light ad campaign, in which Bud Light's familiar "Here We Go" slogan is slightly altered. "Here ego" soon becomes the Nets' catchphrase.
* LeBron James and the Heat receive their NBA championship rings at halftime of Miami's season opener against the Thunder. It's James' first ring, giving him one more than his mother.
The Heat beat the Nets in the Eastern Conference finals, then fall to the Lakers in seven in the Finals.
* Metta World Peace's new cologne, Flagrance 2, with a hint of leather and reckless aggression, hits the market on Black Friday. Sales are moderate, until a review in GQ magazine rates the cologne as "technically foul." Soon after, the product is yanked from the shelves.
World Peace's burgeoning acting career starts rolling when he is selected to play the title role in the remake of Candyman.
* The United States team falls in the gold medal game of the Olympics, losing 101-99 to Spain. The so-called "Dream Team" returns stateside, where they face a firestorm of media criticism, prompting a chuckling Michael Jordan to refer to them as "Da Ream Team." Charles Barkley echoes Jordan's sentiments, telling the 2012 unit that "if there is a silver lining to this, they should easily be able to find it."
* San Antonio's Tony Parker draws the event's biggest laughs when, at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards Show in October, he sports an eye patch as he announces the nominees for "Best Performance," which include Chris Brown and Drake.
Parker leaves as the night's biggest winner, departing with Rihanna on his arm as Brown and Drake settle their differences through a game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors, 9mm."
* Lamar Odom's return to Los Angeles is a successful one, as he averages 13 points and 6 rebounds per game off the bench for the Clippers, enjoying his biggest role since his stint on Khloe and Lamar. Odom falls short in the voting for the league's Sixth Man of the Year award, but disappointment for the Kardashian family is tempered when Kim reaches her "sixth man of the year" in early June.
* David Stern's 70th birthday on September 22nd is a magical one, as the Brooklyn Nets sponsor a church choir to sing "Happy Birthday" at the NBA offices in Manhattan. The group, ironically named "A Chorus of Boos," follows up "Happy Birthday" with a request from Stern, and sings "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."
* The Charlotte Bobcats lose their first seven games of the season, running their consecutive loses streak to 30 games. Bobcats chairman Michael Jordan vows to come out of retirement and suit up for the team, and does.
However, Jordan's return is short-lived, lasting only one game, after it becomes clear that Jordan now only has the ability to do damage off the court, and not on it.
Charlotte finishes the season with a 17-65 record, and a disappointed Jordan vows to go back too the drawing board, which he conveniently finds on a golf course.
* In March at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Dwight Howard presents the award for Favorite Male Athlete to Peyton Manning. As he leaves the stage, Howard is slimed by a Superman cape-wearing Stan Van Gundy, who tells Howard, "I may not be able to make you play, but I can make you pay."
* Phoenix rookie Kendall Marshall, thrust into the starting point guard role after Steve Nash's departure, leads the NBA in assists, averaging 10.9 per game, edging Ricky Rubio. Rubio finds consolation in winning the ESPY Award for "Pro Athlete With Name Most Mistaken For a Pro Wrestler's."
* Kobe Bryant leads the league in scoring, averaging 28.9 points per game to edge Kevin Love by .4. Bryant is later presented with a $6 million diamond ring from his wife Vanessa, a gift given, depending on whom you ask, either as a token of a loving wife's congratulations, or for a wife's torrid mid-season fling with Steve Nash.
* The Heat blow out the Pistons 132-79 on October 13th, a win not only notable because of the margin of victory, but also because Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra completes the game without making a single coaching decision.
* Frank Deford's new book debuts at Number 1 on the New York Times best-seller list in November. The book, titled "The Old C's and the Man," chronicles the Boston Celtic's 2011-12 season, in which the team, led by Rajon Rondo and veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, nearly made it to the NBA Finals.
The 2012-13 team, minus Allen, falls to the Heat in six games in the conference semifinals, despite a Herculean effort in Game 6 from Rondo, who scores 49 points and notches 21 assists.