How is Kyrie Irving going to top his rookie season in Cleveland?

After being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 Draft, all he did was turn in one of the greatest rookie seasons in league history – taking the MVP trophy at All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars Challenge and winning the Rookie of the Year Award. After taking top freshman honors, he starred in a Pepsi commercial and traveled to Vegas where he more than held his own against a Team USA squad that’s been compared to the Dream Team.

Now that Summer Leagues have wrapped up, the NBA starts to enter the dog days of the offseason. The free agency period is far from over, but a flurry of moves has once again changed the landscape of the league.

Some teams have spent some big cash and some big names have made bold moves. Other teams have chosen to keep their club intact – inking their own free agents. And young squads, like the Wine and Gold, continue to build their base primarily through the Draft.

Good afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea! Optimist, here – urging you Cavallieros to cannonball into the weekly healing waters we like to call News … Around … The … League.

We might have too much column today. You may need a doggy bag.

Just to get it out in the open, take a look at today’s bloated Table of Contents …

Last year, the truncated NBA schedule didn’t hit the presses until mid-December. But with labor issues in the rearview mirror, the Wine and Gold know who’s on the docket before the calendar turns to August.

With a full 82-gamer, there’s no concern about the grind of back-to-back-to-back contests or 17 games in 21 nights. The regular season is still more of a marathon than a sprint, but at least this season, teams will be able to catch their collective breath.

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