It’s the year 2023.
Your team has lost a lot of games.
It’s a team that was built on the backs of the young, inexperienced and, in the case of Miami Heat rookie Kyle Busch, very, very good basketball players.
But now, for the first time, a brand new player is joining the team.
Busch, the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, is the team’s first NBA official sponsor.
His endorsement deal with Nike will run through 2024, making him the third NBA official to get a new contract, joining Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
“It’s the right time,” Busch told Medical News Review.
“You’re looking at the new era.
It could be a lot different.
You’re in the 21st century.
We have a lot more technology and everything.
I think the brand has to be as fresh as it can be to compete with these new things.”
Busch has been one of the NBA’s hottest young stars since the start of the season, averaging 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
He had an All-Star game appearance and is coming off a second straight 20-point game against the San Antonio Spurs.
But his offensive game has also been on the decline, especially his defense, which is what the Heat have relied on the most with Bosh and Bosh Jr. Now, Busch will get a chance to prove himself against LeBron James and the Cavaliers, a team he’s known for his defense and rebounding ability.
“For the first three games, I thought I was good, but I could do it all the time,” he said.
“It’s a different ball game, you know?
The Cavs are a very good team.
The Warriors are a great team.
They’re just a lot tougher than we are.
But they’ve got the best center in the league, Kyrie Irving.
So I’m just trying to make the most of it.
I’m not going to put up big numbers, but we’ll see.”
Buscha’s first start with Miami came against the Washington Wizards on Jan. 7, when he scored 16 points in 24 minutes, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots.
He made just one of those three shots and finished the game, averaging 14.5 points and 3 rebounds.
He’s played well in his first five games, averaging 18.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.
His first two outings against the Cavaliers were a mixed bag for Busch.
He scored 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, but struggled in the third quarter against the team that traded him to the Heat.
But in Miami’s win against the Chicago Bulls, Buscha scored a career-high 18 points on 8-of 15 shooting in 31 minutes.
He missed two shots in the fourth quarter and scored eight points and a season-high nine rebounds.
“I just got to continue to work on my game, try to improve every day,” Buscha said.
“Just be consistent, just go out there every day and do what’s asked of you.”