Friday, 24 September 2021 13:38 Written by Travis Whetzel
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A Season of Firsts


2030-Culbertson-01
The Chaos reigned in the 2029 OBWL Finals as Los Angeles won its first Heikkinen Cup behind Playoff MVP Andrew Culbertson and a smothering, championship caliber defense,

It truly was a season of firsts for the Los Angeles Chaos and everyone involved with the team. With this June 2, 2030 OBWL Finals win, the franchise records their first World Championship. The team also won their first Conference Title.

On June 21, 2029, former OBWL point guard Gordon Wideman was hired as the Chaos head coach. This was not only his first coaching assignment, but also his first head coach job and his first season as a coach. What a way to start a career!

General Manager Travis Whetzel gets his first championship as well. He has been a GM in this league since the beginning and had been a part of the prior league before the merger. For Whetzel, it has been a tough road. While he has had success in building competitive teams that frequently get to the playoffs, his teams have not been the same caliber as other teams in the American Conference like Kansas City, Anaheim and Tampa Bay. Thus, the Chaos have rarely moved on past the first and second rounds. This year though was definitely different. Whetzel's team once again faced the Pioneers in round two, but this time the Chaos came away victorious, which is another first for the Chaos when facing the Pioneers in the playoffs.

At 35 years old Renato Ardoin has been a member of the LA Chaos for the majority of his career. He was drafted by the Chaos as the #3 pick back in 2015. In 2024 he was traded to the Americans in a move that GM Whetzel regretted, but in 2028, Whetzel signed the free agent to a 2 year deal. At that time Ardoin was 34 years old and was in the twilight years of his career. It was Whetzel's hope that Ardoin would be a great role model and leader to the rest of the young Chaos team and help them get a championship. It happened in Ardoin's final year of his contract and it is Ardoin's first and only ring. If there was ever a great time to retire, it would be now after achieving what many players only dream of.

First Round: Philadelphia Americans

In the first round of the 2029 OBWL playoffs, the Chaos would once again find themselves facing off against the Philadelphia Americans. In 2028 The Chaos had home court advantage. This series went 7 games and the Chaos were able to use that advantage to advance to the second round. In 2029, the tables were turned slightly. Even though LA finished the season with an excellent win/loss record of 54 – 26, the Americans had a better record at 56 – 24. This meant that GM Steve Gibson's team had the advantage. In game one, the Americans won as expected, but in game two, the duo of Geoffrey Askew and Nelson Jones had a few surprises for them and came away with the win in Philadelphia. The team continued to swap wins until game 7. It was in Philadelphia. The Chaos defense came up huge with 18 blocks and 12 steals. They managed a win in front of a stunned Philly crowd.

Conference Semi-FInals: Kansas City Pioneers

Once again as has happened in years past, the Chaos won the second round prize of facing the Pioneers. It just so happens they had won the championship in 2028 and looked as though they could easily repeat. With home court advantage, there wasn't a chance that the Chaos would be able to overcome the odds. The first 2 games went as expected. Kansas City won with no real issues. The series went back to LA and they needed to try to at least even things up. Last year the Pioneers swept the Chaos. Whetzel and his crew did not want that again. The Chaos staff made a slight lineup change that would see Norris Brown be put in the starting lineup at SF. This gave LA an even bigger lineup. Bryant Walsh had great outings off the bench. LA stepped up and evened the series at 2-2. The series went back to KC and as expected, LA lost. Back to LA they went and what an exciting game 6 that went into overtime. LA won by 10, holding KC to only 5 points in the extra long 4th quarter. Now it was back to KC for game 7. Andrew Culbertson came up huge. LA stunned the KC crowd and ended the former champs' season.

American Conference Finals:  St. Louis Sun Kings

The Chaos were riding so high after the KC series. They felt unstoppable. They couldn't have been operating at any better level. This would prove devastating for St. Louis. The Sun Kings had just finished of the Tritons, which is not an easy task. They were motivated as well, but there probably wasn't a team in the world that could have slowed the Chaos down after their series with KC. The duo of Andrew Culbertson and Geoffrey Askew was phenomenal. The LA supporting cast did their jobs well. St. Louis did not win a single game in the series.

This made the LA Chaos the 2029 American Conference Champs. They had never done this before. Now they were headed to the big show.

OBWL FInals: London Knights

Jian Lan's Knights had just beaten the Boston Buzzards to become the 2029 National Conference Champs. They have been here before. They know what it's like. They have many rings to prove it. LA was still riding high and they had home court advantage. Their regular season record was just slightly better. So the matchup was set. Two great defenses would face off to see who would be crowned league champs. The first two games went LA's way. This set up a 3 game home stand for the Knights. A chance for them to turn the tables. In a very decisive game 4, the Chaos kept the momentum in their favor. The Chaos were continually out blocking the team known for blocking shots. Andrew Culbertson had a really big game. This game 4 was the pivotal game of the series. Going into game 5, the Knights had to win out. They took care of business at home and the series was 3-2 in favor of LA. Game 6 was a must win in LA for the Knights. The Chaos played possibly their best defense of the playoffs in front of their home crowd and held the Knights to 77 points. The Knights shot 31% from the field and 23% from downtown.

This was LA's year. A franchise first championship, a GM's first championship and a coaches first dream season. A Season of Firsts.

 

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