In Fantasy Basketball, there exists the rising and falling of dynasties and the cadences of eras. But the eras of fantasy super-stardom and statistical relevance are often short-lived. As players age and new talent enters the league, we often see gradual, but noticeable, shifts of fantasy dominance from one set of teams and players to the next. Make no mistake, the 2010-2011 season will be one of those years where these shifts will take place, if it hasn’t begun already.
I can recall the days where heavy debates raged on between fantasy minds about whether Kevin Garnett or Shawn Marion deserved the title of the “undisputed” number one overall pick. Today, people are potentially chastised for even thinking about taking either of those players before the 6th round. Those who were worshiped as fantasy Gods a few years ago are now quickly labeled as “dinosaurs” and tossed by the wayside just as fast. Call me crazy, but it wasn’t too long ago that the self-proclaimed “King” was the clear favorite for the number one ranking. Fast forward to today, and you have a 21 year old small forward with a seven-foot wingspan anchoring down that coveted spot. It’s further proof the times can change in a blink of an eye. One look at the top 10 rankings of this season and we can safely say that it looks a lot different than what it was five seasons ago.
It’s not just the top tier players who are rapidly changing in terms of fantasy relevance. Mid-tier players are shifting just as fast. With one of the most memorable (and busiest) off-seasons behind us, most fans who were hibernating throughout the NBA summer have returned to the league, rubbing their eyes in disbelief. With so much change happening in one summer, the 2010-2011 season is proving to be one where old legacies will be retired and new milestones will be reached. Out from the burning ashes of yester-year and rising like a phoenix will be a breed of new young, stalwarts leading the next decade’s crop of fantasy stars. Ironically, someone forgot to send the actual “Phoenix Suns” the memo regarding this change but that’s a separate story for another rainy day.
This upcoming season may very well be the most exhilarating one we’ve had in recent years. No longer can teams simply rely on the “safe” pick and lean on the crutches of an aging veteran. Simply put, fantasy veterans of the previous era can no longer keep up with the younger studs that are budding in rapid succession. We’ve officially exited the era of Reebok Pumps and entered the era of “I’ll-jump-over-you-and-your-entire-crew-barefooted-and-get-called-for-a-T-for-un-sportsmanlike-celebration-but-I-don’t-care-since-I-just-made-you-famous-on-Sportscenter.”
It is time for us to tear down the expectations and walls of what we’ve come to know in recent years and start building entirely new constructs around our fantasy teams. It is an exciting time, but also a time of uncertainty for fantasy teams who have come to rely on 20/10’s from centers who were drafted more than a decade ago. These are the times where those fantasy owners may find a tumultuous season ahead. Conversely, owners that have the foresight to gamble on select youngsters may be handsomely rewarded if they do strike gold. It’s lightning in a bottle – but it also makes for a fantastic fantasy ride.
The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to grab the “Kevin Durant” of this year whereas you may have been afraid to do so three years ago.
I'm an avid basketball fan that started watching the game when I was 8 years old. I graduated with an Engineering degree and working at HP in the Bay.
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