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Headlines from 2018
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld had this dialogue during the ninth season of Seinfeld:

GEORGE: When are they gonna have the flying cars already?

JERRY: Yeah, they have been promising that for a while.

GEORGE: Years. When we were kids they made it seem like it was right around the corner.

JERRY: And what about the floating cities?

GEORGE: And the underwater bubble cities?

JERRY: It's like we're living in the fifties here.

So maybe things haven't progressed the way we thought they would.

We may not have flying cars but if you're an NBA fan, there's still a lot to look forward to.

Let's fast-forward to the year 2018 and see what's happening.

1. The league's leading scorer? It's none other than James Harden, who is now in his sixth season with Houston. His 32.0 ppg is the highest the league has seen since Kobe Bryant registered 35.4 ppg back in 2006. Maybe it's because nobody wants to go anywhere near Harden's horrific beard, which is now so long that it covers the Rockets' logo on the front of his uniform.

2. Mark Cuban couldn't convince Dwight Howard or LeBron James to sign with Dallas in free agency. Both of them gave the bogus excuse, "winning is more important than money."

Nice integrity, guys.

Luckily for Cuban, Kevin Love left his integrity in Minnesota. After Dirk Nowitzki retired, Cuban gave Love the biggest contract in league history and made him the Mavs' franchise power forward.

Instead of doing knuckle pushups to get jacked, Love now spends two hours a day swimming in a pool of his own money. Also, he made a cameo in the Entourage feature film, which received just slightly better reviews than Billy Walsh's "Medellin."

3. Speaking of LeBron and Dwight, guess what? They're teammates now.

Howard re-signed with the Lakers after the 2013 season and LeBron opted out of his deal with the Heat in 2014.

In The Decision Part II, LeBron narrowed his choices down to Miami, Cleveland and Los Angeles before eventually broadcasting to the world that he would be "taking his talents to Hollywood." Real original.

Needless to say, LeBron isn't the most popular guy in South Beach nowadays.

4. Magic Johnson upped the ante by offering LeBron $15 million to compete in the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest in Seattle (we'll get to that in a minute). And again, James refused. I guess some things never change.

5. And you thought Hakeem Olajuwon was the best shot blocker in NBA history. Nerlens Noel, the starting center for the Seattle SuperSonics (Sorry, Kings. You don't exist anymore.), leads the association with just over four rejections per game this season.

On a related note, most of Noel's teammates have adopted his hairstyle choice, which has led to Seattle being called "the hi-top fade capital of the world."

That's better than being known as the birthplace of grunge, isn't it?

6. Yes, LeBron turned Cleveland down again in 2014. But this time Dan Gilbert got his revenge. Kyrie Irving led the Cavs to their first championship last June in a thrilling seven-game series with who else but the L.A. Lakers.

Fun fact, Dwight Howard still hasn't won an NBA championship.

7. A lot can change in five years. Unless your name is DeMarcus Cousins.

Yes, Cousins plays for a different team than he did five years ago (he was recently traded to the Charlotte Hornets, his fourth team in as many seasons), but he's still as scatter-brained as ever.

Cousins recently became the first player to surrender his naming rights to a corporation. From now until May 2018 when the McDonald's promotion ends, Cousins will be known as DeMarcus "McRib."

I'm just upset Wendy's didn't offer enough money to make him "The Baconator."

Shaquille O'Neal, still a commentator for TNT, has taken to calling Cousins "The Big Jabroni."

8. The Cavaliers did win the title last season but defending their crown won't be easy. Led by Duke standout Jabari Parker at small forward and Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe in the low post, the Detroit Pistons just surpassed the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers for the longest winning streak in NBA history.

Drummond and Monroe are set to become the first teammates to average 20 points and 10 boards in the same season since Tim Duncan and David Robinson did it in 1997-98.

9. Though the Lakers and Thunder are still a force to be reckoned with, the Warriors are clearly the best team in the Western Conference. Stephen Curry, who now plays alongside his brother Seth, is coming off back-to-back MVP awards and is well on his way to becoming the greatest three-point shooter of all-time. Watch out, Ray.

10. The Celtics are again known as The Big Three. Now their Big Three consists of Rajon Rondo (leads the league in assists), Jeff Green (25 ppg) and former Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger.

Doc Rivers retired and handed the head coaching duties over to Kevin Garnett at the end of last season. Just like he did in his playing days, Garnett still bangs his head against the side of the hoop before each game.

11. Jason Kidd should have retired a long time ago. But he didn't.

The 45-year-old, now in his 24th NBA season, is averaging five ppg as a backup point guard for San Antonio.

As for me? I'll be watching it all from my house in the underwater bubble city.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.

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