On July 2, 2008 the Sonics ceased to exist as an NBA franchise and with that many of you have killed the NBA in your mind. Since we have two weeks until possibly not knowing any more that day as we do today. What hasn't changed since you've last checked out a game; David Stern is still commissioner, Adam Silver is still slated to take over, Kobe is still not as good as Michael Jordan (no matter what any Laker fan tells you), big men drafted at number one still fail more often than not, George Karl is still winning lots of games, but not championships and the officiating continues to get worse.
Oh, Dick Bevetta is still an official. Blows my mind too.
Let's start at the top. The 2008 produced a pretty solid draft. Derrick Rose was drafted number one overall, he's already won an MVP and he's probably the best score first point guard the NBA has ever seen. Seven of the first ten guys drafted are not on the same team they were picked by and only poor Joe Alexander is out of the league.
The Sonics in their last ever draft (we really don't count this though) drafted Russell Westbrook (really happy he never wore the green and gold), Serge Ibaka, DJ White and Sasha Kaun.
The regular season was fairly lackluster for the most part. The Rockets some how won 22 straight games, all with out Yao Ming and even some without Tracy McGrady (neither are still in the NBA). That was the lone anomaly during the 2008-09 season.
Thing is the best laid plans never really pan out. The Celtics and the Cavs never played in the Eastern Conference Finals as they were supposed to. Cleveland instead played Orlando.
Orlando defeated the defending champions in seven in the conference semis. A lot of people thought it was due to Kevin Garnett having a serious knee injury that took him almost two years to fully recover from.
Despite going six games it could have and should have been a sweep by the Magic. The Cavs were simply not ready to deal with Dwight Howard on the inside and the four three point shooters that surrounded him at all times. Stan Van Gundy simply outcoached 2009 NBA Coach of the Year, Mike Brown.
In the Finals, Kobe and the Lakers were way too much for the Magic. The Lakers ended up winning in five, but the Magic left a couple games on the table and this series could have been much more competitive, but it wasn't. Phil Jackson was just too much for SVG to handle in the mental department.
LeBron James was the MVP, Derrick Rose was the Rookie of the Year and Dwight Howard was your defensive player of the year.
There were eight coaching changes before the season. Only two of those coaches (Rick Carlisle and Eric Spoelstra) is still with their team. There were also eight coaching changes during the regular season. Only one of those coaches (Scott Brooks) is still with his team.
The following players retired: Pat Garrity, Shareef Abdur-Rahim (never played in a single playoff game), Jason "White Chocolate" Williams, Cuttino Mobley, Alonzo Mourning, Eric Snow, Dikembe Mutombo and Sam Cassell.
How did those teams draft? Guess you'll have to wait until next time to find out.