With many recent changes, NBA season should be exciting

Mike Miller

Mike Miller

With my 21st birthday on Sunday, I am sitting here on a Saturday trying to think of what to write about this week. The NBA begins Nov. 2 with a bit of a twist. There are a lot of things to look forward to this year in the NBA. A new dress code, new set of roster rules, new coaches, different cities, key player additions and new uniforms are just a few of the new things.

The new dress code this year requires players to wear business casual attire “whenever they are engaged in team or league business.” Players such as Allen Iverson have worn t-shirts and baggy jeans in his 10 years with the league. This new dress code also addresses lavish jewelry. No longer will you see these athletes with “bling” showing.

Ten teams have changed their head coach position this year. Phil Jackson returns to the Lakers, hoping to turn things around after a disappointing season last year. The Lakers failed to make the playoffs, after making them for the previous 11 years.

Larry Brown has decided to coach the Knicks. After a lot of success with the Pistons for the two years he was there, he decides to go to the Knicks? Brown has set an NBA record by coaching seven different teams to the playoffs. Plain and simple, the guy gets around, but has a lot of success. During his 22 years of coaching, he has had only three seasons with losing records. Not bad!

Among other moves was former Timberwolves Head Coach Flip Saunders replacing Brown in Detroit. Dwane Casey takes over in Minnesota.

The New Orleans Hornets have been renamed the Oklahoma City Hornets this season, due to Hurricane Katrina, and will play 35 regular season games at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Okla.

A lot of players have moved this year; too many to list and I would probably bore you with all of them. As for the home team, the Timberwolves, we finally got rid of Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell and picked up Rashad McCants and Marko Jaric. The T-Wolves starting five isn’t looking too solid. The team will probably become just another professional sports team from Minnesota that will not do well.

As for the rest of the league, the Miami Heat, with the additions of Jason Williams, Antoine Walker and Gary Payton, will probably be the most feared team in the NBA. The Heat will have one of the strongest benches, as well as starting five. I don’t think anyone will be able to beat the Heat this year, unless injuries become a factor during the season.

The Indiana Pacers are starting fresh this year by getting a key player back and getting new jerseys. Ron Artest comes back after his suspension last year, wearing number 15. Why? I do not know, but the guy is crazy. I expect him to make some sort of statement this year and for the Pacers to do well in the East. The Pistons and Heat are the biggest roadblocks for the Pacers. Losing Reggie Miller, the most feared three-point shooter ever, will not affect the Pacers that much. I think they are capable of winning without him – they have to be.

I could sit here and blab on forever about each team, but when it comes down to it, this is how it goes. The Heat will dominate. The Pistons will go deep into the playoffs. The Lakers need more help for Kobe both on and off the court. The Pacers, with new faces and a new look, will turn things around without the great Reggie Miller. The Oklahoma City Hornets will raise controversy about calling Oklahoma home. Last, but not least, the Minnesota Timberwolves will fail to make the playoffs for the second consecutive year. I wish Kevin Garnett would go somewhere else, because the chances of him winning in Minnesota are like the chances of me winning the lottery. I respect KG for wanting to stay with the team he’s been with since day one. If he says he needs to do what’s best for him, he needs to try the market and do what Karl Malone couldn’t do – win a championship. My Cinderella team this year will be the Nets. I expect Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter to make an impact this year, as long as injuries do not become a problem. The Heat will take it in the end, even though I really dislike Shaq, but D-Wade is definitely worthy of an MVP and a championship.