In the modern NBA, revenge games are a fact of life. Players are constantly changing teams and whenever there is a major change, fans and media circle that player’s “revenge game” on the calendar. A “revenge game” occurs when a player plays a team he previously played on.
Revenge games can work both ways. Players can look for revenge on former teams while former teams can seek revenge on a player that spurned them in the offseason.
Revenge games today:
LeBron vs. Cavs
KD vs. Thunder
Jrue vs. 76ers
Kyle Anderson vs. Spurs
Clarkson vs. Lakers
Nance Jr. vs. Lakers
Nwaba vs. Lakers
Canaan vs. Bulls
Connaughton vs. Blazers
— Justin Phan (@jphanned) November 21, 2018
On Wednesday night, there are nine different instances of a “revenge game” for a specific player. Some are more notable than others. Obviously, LeBron James’ return to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers is much bigger than David Nwaba’s showdown with the Lakers — a team which Nwaba only played 20 games for during the 2016-17 season.
Furthermore, Kevin Durant facing the Oklahoma City Thunder and Jrue Holiday squaring off against the Philadelphia 76ers don’t really feel like “revenge games” at this point. It has been years since Durant left OKC for Golden State and Holiday was traded from Philly to New Orleans back in 2013.
Even James’ return won’t have the same vitriol it did when he came back to Cleveland as a member of the Miami Heat. James is probably going to receive a warm ovation from the crowd and there doesn’t seem to be any grudge between James or the Cavaliers.
There are certain times when they live up to the billing, but Wednesday night’s slate of “revenge games” are more hype than anything else.