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What was supposed to be the NFL's biggest week has felt like it's been pushed to the B-block of many sports news, TV shows, and to the shorter column in the newspapers. In fact, it is probably accurate. The NBA has taken over this week in sports news, with many big moves and news sending ripples through the NBA. From LeBron's return to Kyrie's comments to feel-good All-Star stories, the NBA has had a flurry of news come out this past week. All of this being huge and imperative to the future of the NBA, it has made the NFL and the Super Bowl take a backseat when it was supposed to be their week in the limelight. Credit the NBA, but the NFL could be to blame as well for their lackluster lead-up to the Super Bowl.
NBA: News! News! NEWS!
The NBA has not let up in terms of news. It all started on Monday, January 28, when news broke that Pelicans Forward Anthony Davis requested a trade. It was through his agent Rich Paul, also a longtime friend and business partner of Lakers forward LeBron James. That's when all the speculations (and sometimes facts) about LeBron wanting to play with AD, and vice versa, started. The magnitude this move would have on the NBA would be big and that's only one aspect of the story. The Celtics are also trying to get AD. This news developed even more during the week and has taken a life of its own. It has so many angles and perspectives, it literally outshines any Tom Brady or Patriot headline this week.
Let's not forget the trade that shook up the NBA, in the present and in the future. The Knicks traded forward Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks, moving on from him and creating a new plan for the future.
The Knicks also traded Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway. The Knicks received two first round picks, Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, and DeAndre Jordan from the Mavs. This sets up the Knicks to have two max slots for free agency this summer. That led to other perspectives and stories like Kevin Durant going to New York, and maybe Kyrie Irving heading there with him? Kyrie certainly didn't help with his, "I don't owe anybody s—" comments about his impending free agency.
We haven't even touched the Mavs side of the trade where they have a combo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis that is like the old Mavs combo of Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki reincarnated. Think of a story during Super Bowl week that was as interesting as that. I'll wait.
Oh, and to gives us more news, the All-Star starters and reserves were announced throughout the week. Let the headlines of All-Star snubs and who will LeBron choose or who Giannis Antentonkoumpo would choose commence. To add a sense of "feel good," Adam Silver added Dwayne Wade and Dirk Nowitzki to the All-Star rosters, as both players will retire after this season. Along with other news like LeBron's triple-double performance after missing 17 games and a ton of good NBA games, the NFL has lost the news, but that is some of its own doing.
Shaq and Charles on NBA All-Star 2019
Watch Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal dissect the 2019 All-Star game on Inside the NBA.
The NFL's Forgotten Week
Thanks to the timely approach of the NBA news and the trade deadline, the NFL's biggest game was overshadowed by the NBA in mid-season form. The Rams and Patriots will play Sunday for the Lombardi trophy, but this Super Bowl hasn't felt the same as past ones. Rightfully so, as one team many feel shouldn't be here and another many are tired of seeing here.
The Rams are in the Super Bowl thanks to a high flying offense, dominant players making critical plays on defense, and one of the worst no calls in NFL history. Yes, we know about the missed pass interference and helmet to helmet that should've given the Saints first and goal and they should win the game. But it didn't get called. And that has hurt the NFL more than it shows. The integrity of the NFL is brought into question, and they haven't handled the situation the best either; just take a listen to Roger Goodell's press conference during Super Bowl week.
The Saints have added fuel to the fire, from Sean Payton's binge on Netflix and ice cream to Drew Brees looking and talking like the pain is still there. Saints fans have called the game to be replayed, but it would cost the NFL too much money. They'd have to move the Super Bowl in order to replay the game. Maybe they should've, as this might've given it better coverage.
Now you have the New England Patriots, who are religiously representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. The same story of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick making it to the big game gets old for some fans. They were rooting for a young Pat Mahomes to finally bring Brady down and it didn't happen. Tom Brady did what he always does and got into another Super Bowl, making it nine trips in 18 seasons.
Now I for am not mad at the Patriots getting to the Super Bowl—yet again. I respect the fact that a franchise can have this much consistent success for this long. Tom Brady is in a class of his own and seems even more motivated as he gets older. He is simply one of, if not the, greatest.
Not to mention that after the opening night for Super Bowl LIII, there is really no circulation of news from the teams. They are preparing for the game and both coaches have been close to the vest about being in the big game and any team-related things. This is expected from Belichick, but Rams coach Sean McVay following the same tactic makes this week even less interesting. The trailers for new ads and commercials in the Super Bowl have been the subtle reminder the big game is coming up. The NFL, due to a blown call and arguably the league's most hated team, now has a boring week leading up to their biggest game of the year.
A Change at the Top?
Despite the NBA's dominance in the news headlines, the Super Bowl will still have a massive audience tuned in for the game. It's more than just the game, it's the halftime show, the commercials, the game itself. The NFL makes the Super Bowl an event that appeals to a wide audience. The NBA, however, is coming after the NFL's crown for most popular sport in America. The way the NFL and NBA are trending, it won't be long before the NBA surpasses the NFL as America's favorite sport. You heard it here first. But enjoy the Super Bowl and enjoy the NBA news because this is a great time to be a sports fan.