The 2016-17 NBA season is on-going but the calendar year is coming to a close. The NBA was filled with a lot of great moments including impossible happening, records getting broken and legends retiring.
Here is SportsRageous’ list of the ten best moments of 2016.
‘The Process’ finally arrives in Philly
The city of Philadelphia has been waiting for “The Process” for a couple of years. Joel Embiid finally arrived this season and he is showing why he is the future of the Sixers. He is still on minutes restriction but he has put up crazy numbers in limited action. “Trust The Process” indeed.
Stephen Curry becomes first unanimous MVP
Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James were never voted MVP unanimously. Stephen Curry became the first-ever unanimous MVP after having one of the best seasons ever. He also led the Golden State Warriors to a 73-win season but they blew a 3-1 NBA Finals lead but more on that later.
Dwyane Wade leaves Miami after 13 seasons
In 13 seasons in Miami, Dwyane Wade became the greatest player in the Heat’s history. He helped them win three NBA championships. However, he shocked the world when decided to sign with his hometown team Chicago Bulls this summer.
NBA pays tribute to Craig Sager
Craig Sager passed away on December 15 at the age of 65 after a two-year battle with leukemia. The NBA mourned but celebrated the life of the colorful broadcaster. Teams, players, fans and people around the league paid tribute in games and on social media.
Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon dazzle in the Slam Dunk Contest
Magic Johnson has been saying that the Slam Dunk Contest is back every year. It finally became true this year when Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon put on a show in Toronto. The dunks in the final round were so amazing that two tiebreakers were needed to determine the winner.
Kobe, Timmy, KG and Jesus retires
Four of the best NBA superstars of their generation said goodbye to the sport. Kobe Bryant went out with a bang while Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett silently announced their retirement. Ray Allen, who has not played in the NBA for two seasons, was rumored to be returning decided to officially hang it up.
Warriors win 73 games in the regular season
The Golden State Warriors did the impossible when they won 73 games in the regular season. They broke the record set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. However, the Warriors had nothing left in the tank in the NBA Finals when they blew a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kobe Bryant scores 60 in Final Game
As mentioned earlier, Kobe Bryant left the game of basketball with a bank. In his final game against the Utah Jazz, Bryant scored 60 points to cap off his NBA career. It was a vintage “Mamba” as he outscored the Jazz by two points in the fourth quarter and led the Lakers to a win.
Kevin Durant joins Golden State to form superteam
The Warriors were already a superteam with three All-Stars on their roster. The arrival of Kevin Durant turned them to favorites and instant villains. KD joined the team that beat him in the playoffs. It was the classic “if you can’t beat them, join them.”
Warriors blew 3-1 lead, Cleveland wins first championship in 52 years
LeBron James was on the brink of losing another NBA Finals but he decided to take over. The Warriors ultimately run out of gas despite having a 3-1 lead. They ended up blowing it as the city Cleveland win their first championship in 52 years.
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