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Who will be most drama-filled, soap opera team next season?

Aug 28, 2012, 2:17 PM EDT

Utah Jazz v New York Knicks

Where will the soap opera be next NBA season?

Certainly the Lakers will be in the spotlight and every twitch will be magnified after the additions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. But it’s not the soap opera some expect — this is not going to be a Kobe vs. Shaq part deux. Dwight Howard will make news but wants to mend is battered PR and will be on his best behavior. Steve Nash is too mellow, and there is no doubt that is still Kobe’s team.

The Heat will have drama, too, but they mostly adjusted to each other and life in the fishbowl.

So, where will the soap opera be next NBA season?

ESPN asked its writers and the runaway winner was the New York Knicks, with 46 percent of the vote. And it makes some sense — they live in the brightest of media spotlights, they have an unsettled team balance between Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, and they have the pressure of expectations from fans (ones that may be hard to live up to).

The second team on their list is the Magic (15 percent), but I don’t agree. They sent their soap opera to Los Angeles, they are just a rebuilding team now.

Third was the Kings (10 percent) and there will be drama, but it will be because of the owners and their stumbling toward trying to get the team out of Sacramento. The owners are the reality show — literally — and the team is just trying to fly under their radar.

I’m curious what happens with the Nets, especially if they don’t win early. They have a new building and big expectations now, and they are in the New York fishbowl. Philly will be interesting when the fans and media get critical with Andrew Bynum (right now it’s a honeymoon, but the L.A. media was nicer to him than he will get after a game where he tunes out for the Sixers.)

But really, still hard to pick against the Knicks in this one. We’ll see if they can win through the turmoil like the Yankees did for years.

  1. shockexchange - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    The same team as last season – Knicks

  2. sun602 - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:56 PM


  3. sun602 - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:56 PM


  4. skids003 - Aug 28, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Nash won’t be a problem. Gasol won’t be a problem. Howard and Kobe, two massive egos, 2 petulant children. Kobe defers to no one. It will be up to DHoward, to see what mood he’s in each day.

  5. eventhorizon04 - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Drama that interests people tends to focus on the few teams that are expected to contend for a championship AND operate in big media markets.
    Lakers – their new pieces seem to fit perfectly, and Dwight Howard has a huge incentive to shut up and play good basketball, but losses when Dwight starts playing could lead to friction. With Bynum, the Lakers were a second-round playoff team. Anything less than the Western Conference Finals would be absolute failure.

    Heat – “Meet the new guys, same as the old guys.” I think the Heat will have less drama this year because they finally won a championship, and a LOT of people are tired of the 24/7 focus on the Heat, but you never know.

    Boston – I find this least likely, since the Celtics are a tight-knit group, but there are plenty of new pieces with big personalities like Jason Terry that could possibly not mesh well…but I doubt it. I’m including Boston for completion.

    Knicks and Nets – However you feel about their rosters, the fact that both teams have legitimate All-Stars and play in New York City makes them a target for criticism if they don’t make a championship run. Knicks fans have higher hopes, given their now very solid 2 defensive center rotation (Chandler and Camby), Carmelo’s play at the end of last year and the Olympics, and Amar’e vowing to perform better, but Nets fans also will want to see if their newly relocated team is worth the hype. This is probably where the drama will be.

    Spurs and OKC have high expectations, but they’re shielded somewhat by being in smaller markets, and both are too close-knit (having been together for so long) for any drama.

  6. zacksdad - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    I was confused, I thought next season was the 2013-2014 season and would talk about next summer of signing players. Had to click the link to know that next season to you is 2012-2013 and I guess this season would be the 2011-2012.

    But that would fun to predict on who will be the next summer spectacle like LBJ and Howard.

  7. nykfan4life - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    I’m going out on a limb and thinking outside the box but besides the obvious I think the new Orleans Hornets will be a fun team to watch implode! Look at the set up already; u have a 2 guard that doesn’t really want to be there, an injured rookie who probably won’t live to his expectations, the first pick in this years draft that won’t live up to his own expectations, a center that is supposed to solve all their problems but is a back up anywhere else, and a coach that’s gonna throw the team and the organization under the bus before they fire him.

  8. hartdaddy - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Only at ESPN, do they come up with a poll that has nothing to do with sport, drama teams? Really? No shocker New York won unanimously, ESPN wants to turn everything New York into a soap opera. How does Orlando not run away with this stupid poll?

  9. nokoolaidcowboy - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    The Knicks will be the bigger drama team. NY market. Diva on the team. Fickle owner. Roster move (Lin) contradicting the (new) coach’s statement that popular player would be a starter. Team underachieved their previous season.

    Yep…should be interesting to say the least.

  10. davidly - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    eventhorizon04 is right, though drama can exist within a market itself. Where the drama is nationally will depend on what the major outlets feed on.

    Which teams will have the most personality tension because they aren’t winning like they are supposed to? Or just because they outright suck?

  11. 13fitzj - Aug 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Man I really hope my Knicks come out ballin’ to quiet the critics.
    Although, somehow, I doubt that it’s actually going to happen.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Keep the faith: it worked in Boston.

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