Five Wild NBA “What If” Moments

NBA What If Moments include Len Bias
(Original Caption) New York: The NBA champion Boston Celtics, selecting second in the NBA draft with a pick acquired from Seattle, took high-scoring Maryland forward Len Bias, who happily twirled a basketball keychain.

There are some seriously wild NBA “what if” moments in the history of the league. Every once in a while, there’s an occurrence that makes NBA fans scratch their heads and hope it didn’t really happen. Unfortunate events and even unforeseen events can change the way the sport shakes out for years to come. It’s crazy to think how different the game would have turned out if something else were to happen. 

Top Five NBA “What If” Moments

5. The Help Around LeBron 

We all know the first point that any Michael Jordan fan brings up in an argument. LeBron James and his three-six NBA Finals record. Truth be told, James could have easily had a better record, if he had more star power around him. Looking at injuries, in 2015, Kyrie Irving had a knee injury, and Kevin Love had a shoulder injury. The year that the Cleveland Cavaliers had their pieces intact, they came back against the Golden State Warriors and beat them in a game seven, in their infamous 73-9 record season. If Irving and Love stay healthy and if the Cavaliers kept Irving, James just might have had more than three rings. 

4. Len Bias’s Death

The tragedy of Len Bias is a memorable event for a lot of people. Bias averaged 23.2 points per game, 1 assist per game, and 7 rebounds per game in his last year college. He then was later selected with the number two pick in the 1986 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. Then, sadly, Bias died just days later from a cocaine overdose. From a player with such promise and such hope, turned into a tragedy. Bias was going to be an amazing player in the league, but sadly enough, it just never played out that way.

3. The Blazers and Michael Jordan

What if the Portland Trailblazers selected Jordan with the second pick in the 1984 NBA draft? Blazers fans know the story all too well. They passed on Jordan for Sam Bowie. Then, Jordan went on to win six championships. If the Blazers organization had brought in Jordan, would he have then carried their franchise to six championships? With a talent like Jordan, he surely would have had them in contention. The history around the Blazers would be a whole lot different.

2. Chris Paul to Los Angeles Lakers

Chris Paul was on his way to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011. It was an absolute blockbuster that included three teams. All three teams agreed to the trade, in principle. What could go wrong? It was vetoed by David Stern. Many people are furious with him at this point, saying that he was abusing his powers too much and that he was power-hungry. But truth be told, the New Orleans Hornets, (now the New Orleans Pelicans) were under league control as they were without an owner. What this means is that David Stern was essentially the owner of the team. It has been said that he didn’t like the trade enough for it to go through, so he turned it down. Whatever the reasoning was, the trade never went down. Who knows what would have gone differently if the trade had gone through. 

1. Derrick Rose’s Injury

The Chicago Bulls are clearly winning the game. So why is Derrick Rose still playing? They were up by 12, with a minute and twenty seconds remaining. Rose drove for a lay-up and then the most awkward looking thing happened as his kneed gave out and he tore his ACL. The youngest NBA MVP ever goes down with a career-altering injury. What if Rose never had that injury? That year, Rose averaged 21.8 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, and 7.9 assists per game. He is an explosive point guard, to say the least. Rose continued his career with many different teams but always seemed to be plagued by injuries. Last year, he found his tempo, coming off the bench. With a new opportunity for him on the Detroit Pistons, Rose will be starting a brand new chapter, but it is still in everyone’s head, “What if?”

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