ESPN The Magazine’s annual NBA preview issue, which hits newsstands on Friday, takes an informative and entertaining look at the upcoming season. Though the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors are favored to win another title, the NBA has taught fans to expect drama everywhere! “30 Dramas to Watch” features 30 mock covers highlighting each team’s tension point with a TV drama. High Noon’s Pablo S. Torre and Bomani Jones offer a unique preview of NBA teams with their signature witty analysis by finding the TV drama at the heart of each team and ranking all 30 by how must-watch they will be.
Other stories in this month’s NBA preview issue include “Special Guest Star,” by Anthony Olivieri, about new leading man Kawhi Leonard’s ability to reboot the Toronto Raptors franchise, and “A Good Man Is Hard to Keep,” in which writer Royce Young discusses the shared top billing of Oklahoma City Thunder All-Stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook. “Melo-Dramatic” highlights Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s strange casting call: Carmelo Anthony embracing a supporting role.
Additional NBA Preview highlights:
Chapter 23: The Upside Down
After four seasons carrying a second-rate dramedy, superstar LeBron James wanted a new supporting cast. But did he trade one goofball sidekick for a team of them in L.A. with the Lakers? By Pablo Torre
The Warriors are must-see TV, but with the long-term fate of several stars in the air, are we watching the dynasty’s final episodes? To get to the bottom of that question, Sam Alipour meets Golden State leading man Draymond Green in Japan for a candid and wide-ranging conversation over sushi and sake.
Jayson Tatum was thrust into the spotlight at age 19, carrying a city’s hopes on his shoulders and a newborn in his arms. It wasn’t all to script—but now a star has been born. By Jackie MacMullan
Till Twitter Do Us Part
The scandalized 76ers hope their new showrunner, GM Elton Brand, will coax the best from young starts Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. By Kevin Arnovitz
Also in this issue:
The NHL’s Ultimate Game Changer – Willie O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier in 1958 and will enter the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 12. The groundbreaker believes his legacy rests in the very capable hands of Washington Capitals star Devante Smith-Pelly, one of 24 black players currently in the league.
Drago Is Back… – In Rocky IV, Ivan Drago had just nine lines, less than 50 total words of actual dialogue. Yet Drago became an iconic villain, and his (mostly) non-verbal villainy returns when Creed 2 hits theaters on Nov. 21. This time, though, he is training his son, Viktor, as a vehicle for vengeance. Luckily, writer Sam Alipour found out that Dolph Lundgren is a lot more talkative than his character.
You Cannot Be Serious – In this humor piece, Katy Yeiser shares the written agreement that incoming Wolverines football players are given, and expected to sign, from coach Jim Harbaugh on how to be a Michigan Man.
Race of a Lifetime – Allie Kieffer came out of nowhere to finish fifth in the 2017 New York City Marathon. Now the question that can only be answered on Nov. 4: Can she do it again? Writer Nick Marino chronicles the first steps Kieffer took to capitalize on her success.
Looking Up – The Houston Texans found their mojo after a slow start, but DeAndre Hopkins always looked good. Writer Stacey Pressman catches up with the star for his takes on fashion.
Jay Jay Nesheim: 646-547-5839, [email protected]