These NBA Stories Had Us Addicted to Our Social Media Feeds In 2023

We’re days away from the calendar turning to 2024 and while this current NBA season won’t end until June, 2023 was another big year for the world’s best hoops league. We saw a franchise wining its first ever NBA title and the debut of the In Season Tournament. But what were the biggest stories of calendar year 2023?

5. Damian Lillard Traded To The Milwaukee Bucks

Sept. 27, 2023, was a huge day in the NBA. The Bucks acquired seven-time All-NBA and seven-time All-Star guard Damian Lillard. He spent 11 seasons with the franchise that drafted him, the Portland Trail Blazers, and finally forced his way out. Though he did not end up in Miami with the Heat, his preferred destination.

This was a potential franchise changing move by the Bucks, who heard team’s homegrown superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo publicly say he wouldn’t sign an extension unless he was positive the team was serious about competing for a championship now and in the future. We don’t know if this move will result in a title yet, but the Bucks heard Antetokounmpo loud and clear.

4. The Regular Season Debut Of Victor Wembanyama

We had already seen Wemby play in the G League showcase game against Scoot Henderson’s G League Ignite. We also saw him play in Las Vegas Summer League. But the hype around this generational talent was something we’ve only seen once before, when a teenager from Akron, Ohio, named LeBron James burst onto the scene.

Wemby’s stat line from his first regular season game won’t be in the books as one of his great games. 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, and a block in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. But he flashed signs of what a unique and generational player he can become.

3. Tyrese Haliburton And The Indiana Pacers’ IST Run

The Pacers finished the inaugural IST with a 6-1 record and were runner-ups to the champion Los Angeles Lakers. But their style of play led by their young maestro Haliburton, introduced them to a national audience of people not immersed in NBA basketball and showed the depth of talent in the league.

Haliburton was incredible during the Pacers’ run, averaging 26 points and 13 assists per game on 52/42/86 shooting splits. He was a +43 during the tournament and was named to the first ever All-Tournament Team for the IST.

2. Los Angeles Lakers Win Inaugural IST

The NBA couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. An upstart team in the Pacers and the league’s most storied franchise in the championship game.

From the beginning the players all took the IST seriously and competed hard, no matter what they said about not understanding the rules and what it was. These are the most competitive athletes in the world, you give them a chance at a trophy and money and they are going to do their thing.

The Lakers’ win and the subsequent banner being raised, despite what old heads and people not in the league say, legitimizes this tournament going forward. This will be a part of the league in some version for the foreseeable future.

1. Denver Nuggets Win Their First NBA Championship

The Nuggets have been in existence for 56 years and 2023 saw their first NBA title as a franchise. They say you always remember your first. Longtime Nuggets fans and new fans alike rejoiced in June as the team defeated the Miami Heat in five games.

The 2023 title run was one of the more dominant in recent memory. They went 16-4 and never trailed in any series. The closest they were to trailing was in the conference semifinals when they were tied with the Phoenix Suns 2-2 after Game 4.

Nikola Jokic was brilliant and became the first player in NBA history to lead the playoffs in total points, rebounds, and assists on the way to earning his Finals MVP.

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