Who will rule the West? Has the game of thrones begun in the NBA? Will the King be able to rule over the NBA after this season? I ask these questions because I have a funny feeling the results that all the analysts have demised since the most recent trade of Carmelo Anthony is wrong. People have criticized Kyrie Irving for wanting to be traded from the Cavaliers and LeBron James. Many think the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony will not have a huge impact on Golden State. I beg to differ, I believe there will be new leaders of the NBA after this season.

I am going to say this right now OKC Thunder will dethrone the Golden State Warriors.  People are not giving the acquisition of Melo the respect it deserves, regardless of what ESPN has ranked Melo he is still one of the top 30 players in the league. His peers know he is a matchup problem and virtually unstoppable once he gets it going. Does Melo have something to prove and the answer is yes. He has been disrespected all year first by Phil Jackson and the Knicks; by fans and by ESPN. He can say it does not bother him but he will come out with a vengeance. People will argue he cannot stop Kevin Durant but Kevin Durant cannot stop him either. If KD tries to guard him in the post this will wear on KD and affect his offense. Now people will say Draymond Green can guard Melo, Draymond has a temper and has been labeled as a dirty player. Melo will get him in foul trouble easily.

Paul George is one of the best two players in the league and another year past the horrible injury. PG has something prove this is a contract year, PG will be able to concentrate on defensive more because he does not have to carry a huge offensive load. PG shooting percentage will increase, he will not have to face double teams and other defensive schemes. PG will probably have one of the most enjoyable seasons of career up until this point, there will be no pressure on him.

Russell Westbrook, we all know Westbrook is a beast. The man plays full throttle the entire game and he did this an entire season. You saw how bad he wanted to be the Warriors last season, now he has the help he needs to accomplish this task. Westbrook can save some of his energy just for the Warriors. After Kevin Durant’s most recent comments about the Thunder and Billy Donovan, he reignited that fire that led Westbrook to average a triple-double, not mention Billy Donovan also has something to prove.

Whoever reading this may think I have lost my mind but let’s wait and see. Beating the Warriors may come down to bench performance but there is one factor that does not show up in the stat sheets or analytics. They are heart, will, and the desire to shut your nay-sayers up.

Again, we have the Ball family in the news, by the way, it is a good thing, but this time the controversy is surrounding the baby Ball, Lamelo. Lamelo has come out with his own shoe because he has his own shoe he may be prohibited from playing NCAA basketball. According to NCAA rules, the use of a player’s name or image to advertise or promote a product is strictly forbidden.

First, Lamelo has two more years of high school before he will be in college, therefore if he stops promoting his shoe before then is he still ineligible? If his father owned a hardware store that’s named the Balls and an image of the entire family was on the front of the store would he still be ineligible? How can you penalize a person for profiting off the work he has done? If he was a painter would they stop him from selling his art?

Secondly, the NCAA are hypocrites, everyone is profiting off the athlete’s likeness and name except the athlete. Many of the schools have a deal with shoe companies, the NCAA television deal is based off the players, every NCAA commercial highlights the players, and they sell merchandise related to the player. So, the NCAA is saying we are only allowed to profit from your ability and we do not want to share any of that revenue with you.

Once again, Lava Ball is disrupting the natural order of doing business, he has empowered himself and his children. They are not employees they are owners and this way of thinking has infuriated the so-called businessmen because if the Ball family is successful this will forever change the way business is done surrounding the game of basketball. People and corporations make money off basketball players at all levels, Lava Ball recognized this early and decide if anyone is going to benefit from his sons’ talent it will be his family. Somehow people are convinced this mindset is wrong, professional athletes are so happy being an employee they cannot support the Ball efforts.

My prediction is that Lamelo Ball will not be eligible to play college basketball because the NCAA needs the Ball family to fail. Based on this happening I am going to make another prediction, there will be another basketball league created in America that will allow players to play straight out of High School. The new league will be back by Chinese businessmen and a player with strong ties to the Chinese business community, such as Dwayne Wade or Stephon Marbury will be the catalyst for the new league.