May. 30, 2017
How Can the NBA Lack Something It Never Had?
Lets not beat around the bush, the 2017 NBA Playoffs were boring at best and completely predictable. We knew what would happen if the previous two NBA Champions remained healthy during their playoff campaigns. What we did not expect a combined one loss between between the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. We did not expect injuries and paper tigers to line the road to their eventual meeting. But after further review, maybe we should’ve expected this outcome minus the injuries. The Cavs and Dubs are so superior to their competition, there was no other outcome to expect. This brings out the cries of boring basketball and critics of a perceived lack a parity. Warriors Forward Kevin Durant was asked if he was to blame and he said no. He's 100% correct. If you look at the history of the NBA, there has never been any parity in the league.
Since 1986, no league has had less parity than the NBA. In the past three decades, the NFL has crowned 14 different champions, the NHL saw 16 different champions and the MLB had 17 different champions. What about the NBA? Well, there’s only been 10 different NBA Champions. Over the last 30 seasons, six NBA Franchises (Lakers, Bulls, Spurs, Pistons, Heat and Rockets) account for 26 of the 30 titles. That clearly shows that the NBA is top heavy and has been for a while. Its just that the dominant and boring postseason runs of the Cavs and Warriors have exposed that fact even more. In years past, fans would at least be treated to compelling playoff series along the way. So far, you can probably count on one hand and use very few fingers to count how many playoff series you actually enjoyed watching.
The NBA is not a league of parity. It is a league of superstars, matchups and storylines. Sometimes, the combination of the three can fool us and make us believe that parity exist. The Bulls always beat the Knicks in the playoffs when Jordan was in uniform during the 90s. But we all kept watching because of the star power and the storyline between the two. You can go back to ever great playoff series and find the three qualities I mentioned in those series. So no, the NBA doesn’t lack parity. It’s just lacking the qualities that make watching so great. In an era where we see superstars teaming together more often, the league lacks a bit of star power spread throughout the league. Very few teams can match up well against these loaded teams. And you know the league is lacking storylines when the two major stories are Westbrook vs. Durant and Cavs vs. Warriors. So instead of hoping for something that was never really there, let’s hope for compelling star driven basketball between two great teams. After these playoffs, I think we deserve at least that. The NFL playoffs were boring, but the Super Bowl delivered. Lets hope the same happens for the NBA during the Finals.