Hard Knocks for Other Sports

With James’ comment about Hard Knocks following an NBA team, why stop there? Maybe it should expand to other leagues?


The HBO show has been broadcasting Hard Knocks since it first started in 2001 and from 2007 to present.

Maddox Greenberg, Staff Writer

The hit TV-show Hard Knocks follows an NFL team during their journey through either the Hall of Fame Game or their first preseason game all the way to their last preseason game before the season kicks off.  The television series lasted from 2001 to 2002, then again from 2007 to 2021.  Hard Knocks has followed teams like the Dallas Cowboys (3x), the Cleveland Browns, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The show recently announced that they will have their first ever in-season series airing on November 17th, with each episode airing every Wednesday.  It will follow the 0-3 Indianapolis Colts and their many players, such as former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, Colts second year wide receiver Michael Pittman, Jr. and second year running back Jonathan Taylor.  LeBron James (you know him) said that, after watching Hard Knocks this year, the NBA should get involved.  And I got to thinking: how about if Hard Knocks have a show for the NBA, NHL, MLB, WNBA, and other leagues? Now, who should earn it?


The Brooklyn Nets on Hard Knocks: NBA. The Nets have been favorites to win the NBA playoffs last season but fell short in a nail-biter second round matchup with eventual NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks. It would be interesting to see how second year player-turned-coach Steve Nash could get the loaded Nets roster back to the playoffs and make it to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2003.  It would also be interesting to see how the front office and fellow teammates feel about Kyrie Irving only playing road games and doing online conferences/interviews since he chose not to get vaccinated.


The Los Angeles Lakers on Hard Knocks: NBA. The Lakers have the oldest team in the NBA history with the average age being 32 years old.  Players on the Lakers this season will be: LeBron James (36), newly acquired Carmelo Anthony (37), Rajon Rondo (35), Marc Gasol (36), Trevor Ariza (36), Dwight Howard (35), Wayne Ellington (33), DeAndre Jordan (33) and former Washington Wizard Russel Westbrook (32).  Nine out of fourteen players are over 30.  The Lakers during the span of the offseason lost and gained a lot of players, including adding Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard and Russell Westbrook.  They went from winning the NBA Finals in the 2020 bubble for the first time since 2010 to being eliminated in the first round 4-2 to the Phoenix Suns, who went to the NBA Finals that year.  It would be great TV to see a documentary following the Lakers trying to get back to the NBA Finals and having the younger Lakers learn from the more experienced players.


The Seattle Kraken on Hard Knocks: NHL. Pretty simple: the Kraken are the latest NHL expansion team who are debuting in their first season on October 12th, opening day for the 2021 NHL season.  The city of Seattle has been waiting for this since the news broke out in 2018.  The fans are big in sports as they hold one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, Lumen Field.  It seems only right to host the Kraken on Hard Knocks.

The Tampa Bay Rays on Hard Knocks: MLB.  As a Red Sox fan, this kills me to mention this, but the city of Tampa Bay, or “Champa Bay,” has some diehard fans and have the been the center of sports news for a while.  Recently, the NFL’s Buccaneers won its first Super Bowl in 18 years and were the first and only team to play the Super Bowl in their own stadium.  The Lightning, Tampa’s NHL team, won back-to-back Stanley Cups.  And the Rays made it to the World Series, but just narrowly lost to the Dodgers.  It seems like a good idea to follow a team like the Rays as they try to win a World Series for Tampa Bay.


The Hard Knocks: WNBA could have multiple teams.  Honestly, I don’t know much of the WNBA.  I don’t particularly watch it, but thinking of teams, maybe the Chicago Sky or the Las Vegas Aces.  The Sky has one of the best WNBA players or maybe even one of the best basketball players ever in Candace ‘Ace’ Parker.  And the Aces have been in the WNBA playoffs a lot and have rising star A’ja Wilson on the roster.  So those two are good options.


With the spark of Hard Knocks and it now expanding to in-season, the HBO-documentary should include these leagues and teams as its firsts.  What do you think?