Finally, the NBA season is just around the corner and with the best competition in competitive sports just about to start, expectations keep rising as we just can’t wait to see what the best players in the world are ready to put on the table this year.
There are something we can already expect, like the San Antonio Spurs bouncing back and getting revenge, the Golden State Warriors kicking everybody’s butt and the Chicago Bulls being a complete mess, but even though some things seem bound to happen, this league never ceases to amaze and surprise.
As years go by, records get completely shattered and the young bloods just take the league for assault with amazing milestones, and that’s another thing we can definitely expect from some of the best players in the league.
Nonetheless, we’re bound to take things up a notch today, encouraging and daring players to break every kind of record this upcoming season like Kobe Bryant did with Giannis Antetokounmpo several weeks ago, challenging him to win the MVP this season.
So, sit down and enjoy while we tell you about the challenges we’ve prepared for the best players in the Association, and let’s see who can actually deliver.
Anthony Davis - Leave New Orleans this Season
We’re getting started with Anthony Davis, a big man that could be the missing piece to any single team keen to contend with the Golden State Warriors but seems to be wasting his talent on a dead end team like New Orleans.
So, our first challenge for the upcoming season is for him to force his way out of the team this very same season if the Pelicans got off to yet another bad start, but would he have the guts? We already know he’s tired of losing, so let’s wait and see.
DeMar DeRozan - Shoot over 40% from three
DeMar DeRozan has emerged as one of the league’s most versatile, prolific and skilled scorers over the last couple of seasons, copying a bunch load of Kobe Bryant’s moves and thriving with his strength and athleticism.
Nevertheless, he’s always been a pathetic shooter from beyond the arc and considering how basketball is played nowadays, he better work on his shot from the perimeter. So, we dare this 28% career shooter from three to stop embarrassing himself and become a complete scorer.
Kawhi Leonard - Win MVP and DPOY
We already know Kawhi Leonard is one of the frontrunners to win both the Most Valuable Player and the Defensive Player of the Year distinction, and there’s absolutely no doubt that he could easily do so as the best two-way player in the league and the ultimate leader of one of the best teams in the Association.
Nevertheless, we don’t want one of another, we want Kawhi to take home both this season, becoming the most dominant player in the league to make history.
Lonzo Ball - Win Unanimous ROY
Lonzo Ball is one of the most overhyped prospects the league has ever seen, and even though he seems to have what it takes to become a very successful player in the league and perhaps even the Los Angeles Lakers franchise player for the long run, he’s going to have a lot of competition this year to win the Rookie of the Year in a class that also features Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, Ben Simmons, Dennis Smith Jr. and Markelle Fultz.
Still, he’s one of the frontrunners to take home the award and barring injury, he might as well do so. But, what we’re asking for here is for him to completely dominate the scene and leave no doubt that he’s the best rookie in his class, unanimously winning the distinction.
Klay Thompson - Score more points per game than Steph Curry
Klay Thompson is perhaps the most underrated player in the Golden State Warriors team despite being an elite two-way player and one of the best shooters in the world right now. Of course, playing alongside Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry has to be “hard” if you want the spotlight, and that’s why today we’re challenging Klay to take things into his own hands and hog as many shots as he can.
Being consistent and deadly as he is, this wouldn’t even be a bad idea, so we dare him to score more points per game than his fellow splash brother, Steph.
Joel Embiid - Play 82 games
Crazy as this may seem, this one’s actually one of the most difficult challenges to fulfill of all the ones we’re about to do. Joel Embiid took the league for assault this prior campaign proving that he was pretty much everything we expected out of him and even more, but his minutes limit and constant nagging pains and DNPs took a major toll on his Rookie of the Year campaign.
So, entering his second healthy season in the NBA, we’re actually daring him to stay healthy throughout the entire season, and if he can even lead the Sixers back to the playoffs, well even better. Shall we trust the process to deliver?
Kristaps Porzingis - Average 11+ rebounds
Since entering the league, Kristaps Porzingis has completely shut his doubters up with his amazing skills and all the hard work he’s put in both ends of the floor for the New York Knicks, blossoming as one of the league’s elite prospects to lead the scene for a very, very long time.
Still, despite being an elite scorer and a very good ball handler and defender, for a guy that’s over 7 feet, he's a very lousy rebounder. So, averaging just over 7 boards per game in his first couple of NBA seasons, we demand him to commit and get as much as 11 boards per game for this upcoming campaign.
Rudy Gobert - Average over 4 blocks per game
Rudy Gobert is surging as one of the league’s most dominant defensive centers in the league, and he’s coming off a career year with as much as 2.64 nightly swats as the league leader in this regard. Still, we believe the sky’s the ceiling for the Frenchman that’s set to become Utah’s go-to-guy since Gordon Hayward’s departure, so we challenge him to be the first player to average at least 4 blocks per game since Dikembe Mutombo blocked 4.49 shots back then in 1996.
Doing so, Gobert would join an elite group alongside the aforementioned Mutombo, David Robinson, Caldwell Jones, Elmore Smith, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tree Rollins, Mark Eaton, Manute Bol and of course, Hakeem Olajuwon.
Giannis Antetokounmpo - Average a triple double
Giannis Antetokounmpo has already become the Milwaukee Bucks’ leader in pretty much every stat after yet another breakout year the prior season, and this youngster seems to have unlimited upside and just keeps getting better and better.
Being a very committed defender and rebounder, a versatile scorer and a very good ball handler and playmaker, Antetokounmpo’s one of the most complete players and a guy that could both play and guard any one of the 5 positions any given time. So, with the kind of skillset he has, we actually dare him to emulate Westbrook’s season and average a triple-double for the campaign this year, and if anybody can do this, that’s the Greek Freak.
Russell Westbrook - Score 35 points per game
Russell Westbrook already wrote his name in history books after winning the Most Valuable Player award due to that incredible run he had this year, averaging a triple-double for the entire campaign and leading the Oklahoma City Thunder back to the postseason despite losing Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors in free agency.
So, now that the Brodie has Paul George alongside him to try and contend, we’re asking him to take things up a notch, and taking Brandon Jenning’s word for it, as he said that Westbrook has only gotten better this offseason. That’s why we dare him to average 35 points per game this season, because.. Why not?
Chris Paul - Play in the Western Conference Finals
Chris Paul doesn’t have to prove himself at this stage of his career, as even though he may never make an NBA Finals appearance, he’s still an undisputable first-ballot Hall of Famer as the best point guard of our era. Still, having James Harden alongside and Mike D’Antoni’s system, not reaching at least the Western Conference Finals this year would be a major disappointment from Chris Paul.
That’s why we dare him not only to lead the team to the Conference finals but also to actually be healthy and capable of playing at this stage of the season where he’s often hurt.
James Harden - Average 2+ steals and less than 3 turnovers
And now that we’ve already talked about Chris Paul, it’s his All-Star teammates turn. James Harden was the runner-up in the MVP race this season and had what’s definitely has to be considered the best campaign of his young career.
Still, there are some serious concerns regarding his lack of defensive commitment and how often he turns the ball over, so he gets one of the hardest challenges for the upcoming season. In order to deliver, Harden would have to not only steal over 2 balls per game this season, but also limit his turnovers to no more than 3. Of course, having Paul handle playmaking duties should help him a bit on this, so c’mon, Chef!
Damian Lillard - Lead the Blazers to a 4th seed or better
Damian Lillard is one of the most underrated players in the Association, but nobody can talk about him lacking character, clutchness and the desire to compete and lead the Portland Trail Blazers to the ultimate stage in the league.
And now that other teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks may not even compete for a playoff spot, they’re in prime position to make it back to the postseason. Nonetheless, we’re daring Lillard to carry the team on his back to the 4th or better record in the fierce Western Conference. Could he lift RIP City past everybody else?
Kyrie Irving - Average more points than Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas left his blueprint in Boston Celtic’s history after leaving the team on a blockbuster deal despite being the team’s historic leader in ppg average for a full season with 28.9 nightly points. Gladly for them, they’re still getting an elite scorer in Kyrie Irving, a guy that has a lot to prove this season and that seems eager to lead the Boston Celtics back to glory.
So, our challenge for Kyrie is pretty simple: score more points than Thomas to make the city forget about him, and if he’s also able to score more points in the 4th quarter than Isaiah did, we’ll add an extra prize for Uncle Drew.
LeBron James - Sweep the Golden State Warriors
And last but not least, we dare the best player in the world to prove that he’s actually the best player in the world despite all his doubters and haters stating that he’s done and he doesn’t stand a chance to win another Championship as long as the Golden State Warriors are still open for business.
LeBron has perhaps the most difficult challenge this season, as he’ll have to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference without Isaiah Thomas for most of the season, and our challenge for him is to actually sweep the Golden State Warriors both in the regular season and in a hypothetical NBA Finals to get back at the team that beat him for the ring 2 times in 3 seasons.