On Monday, Sep. 24, the long-anticipated NBA Media Day took place. This is public eye’s first real opportunity to hear from the face of the 2018-2019 NBA season. After one of the biggest offseason in years that consisted of several blockbuster moves, this year’s Media Day has attracted even more attention than usual from reporters, players and fans.
Two of the biggest signings this year were Lebron James to the Los Angeles Lakers and Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors. Both participated in media on Monday and created a lot of noise with what they had to say.
With Lakers training camp starting on Tuesday, James said that it is feeling like the “first day of school.” James is going to have to lead a very young core group including, sophomores Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma and third-year player Brandon Ingram. But even having appeared in the past eight NBA finals, James said that he does not have that championship-or-bust mentality.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 24, 2018
Leonard is very much unlike James when it comes to dealing with the media. He is one of the most reserved superstars this generation has seen, but today, we may have seen the first public glimmer of his personality.
During his interview at the Toronto Raptors Media Day, a reporter asked Leonard to describe himself and explain what he wanted the public to know about him. Seems like a perfectly logical question for a player who is constantly shrouded in questions.
“I’m a fun guy,” Leonard said in response to the question. “Obviously, I love the game of basketball. But there’s just more questions you’re going to have to ask me for me to tell you about myself.”
He was trying to locate where the reporter was who asked him the question and then out of nowhere, burst into the most awkward laugh maybe to ever be caught on television.
Some smiling and laughing from Kawhi Leonard during his introductory press conference with the Raptors. pic.twitter.com/uYNYldpwDC
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 24, 2018
Although that was definitely the highlight of Media Day, it was also a big day for the rookies. It gave many a first look at future franchise stars and their personalities. Apart from that, the other big news came from the 2018 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. As he gets ready to pursue his third ring with the Golden State Warriors, he is not quite ready to lock in his commitment to the team in the long term.
‘I think to keep my options open was the best thing for me,” said in Oakland at Warriors Media Day. “I could have easily signed a long-term deal, but I just wanted to take it season by season and see where it takes me.”
With NBA Media Day complete and training camp starting tomorrow, we inch closer and closer to tip off and the much-anticipated debuts of several marquee names.