This story appears in ESPN The Magazine’s NBA Preview issue.
By Bomani Jones and Pablo S. Torre
Here’s a riddle: If the Warriors winning a title is a foregone conclusion, why has the NBA never been more popular? Answer: Because the NBA isn’t just a basketball league — it’s a network of 30 prestige television dramas. The spats! The rumors! The infighting! The subtweets! Whiteboard-smashing! Crotch-kicking! Players-only meetings!
So this year we’re treating the coming NBA season as what it truly is, by finding the TV drama at the heart of each team and ranking all 30 by how must-watch they will be. Will the Lakers be great? Certainly not! But they will be the highest-rated 7-seed ever. Will Houston’s offense be better with Melo? No way! But, hey, tragedy is the new comedy. Can the Sixers stick to the script? Will OKC’s buddy comedy click? Will the Warriors jump the shark?