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Having just wrapped up the 2011-2012 NBA season (with my home-state Miami Heat winning it all, I should mention), one of the hottest and most active times of the NBA year is upon us – the offseason. Rumors begin to fly, free agents start going nuts, and the smaller and more niche basketball sites are able to weasel their way up amongst the elite by offering quality information, speculation, and entertainment.
The casual NBA basketball fan should know that there are many more bright and insightful minds out there other than Chris Broussard, Rick Kamla, Marc Stein, and dare I go as far to say Skip Bayless! If you can find the time to pull yourself away from ESPN and NBA TV, you’ll start to notice a whole different basketball culture exists online.
In this article, I’d like to introduce you to three of my favorite hoops sites that are completely unaffiliated with the NBA.
RealGM is the premiere name in this class of sites. RealGM started off solely as a basketball website, crunching contract numbers and milling through trade rumors, but has since extended to cover every other major professional sports, with hockey, baseball, and football.
In my opinion, RealGM really excels in bringing you the most buzzing and up-to-date news on trades and acquisitions. RealGM is always one of the first to introduce and explain new trades, free agent signings, and contract extensions. These are arguably the three most important bits of information that the typical fan is interest in during the offseason, anyway.
Although bringing up-to-the-minute information is what RealGM does best, you’ll see plenty of good write-ups and blog work from websites, too.
InsideHoops.com specialized in NBA content and information, but it also goes into college basketball, high school basketball, streetball, minors, and the WNBA. They’re a true and all-round insider website for the hoops fan.
InsideHoops offers many key features, like fantasy advice, NBA draft coverage, player salaries, interviews, power rankings, free agency information, depth charts, and a spotlight on rookies.
InsideHoops takes on more of a blog format when compared to a site like RealGM. They’re known to have a very loyal base of readers and have one of the web’s most active basketball message boards directly attached to their website.
Hoopsworld has been covering the NBA since around 1998, and is home to some of the better-known names of this field, like Alex Kennedy, Tommy Beer, and Steve Kyler.
Hoopsworld aggregates news from the wire and from the web, bringing you the most up-to-date NBA basketball information and the most juicy rumors you’ll find online. Hoopsworld has great player-by-player information and always covers the NBA draft and free agency signing period very well during the offseason.
One of my favorite things about Hoopsworld and their writers are how engaged they are on Twitter. If you send any of these guys a mature and thought-provoking question or opinion, they’re likely to address it and reply back to you personally. I think interaction like that establishes trust and loyalty to the service.
What’s your favorite site to pull NBA basketball knowledge and news from? Share it with me in the comments and let’s talk about it. I hope everyone else is as excited for this upcoming season as I am. Here’s to another season of great professional basketball!