PostHeaderIcon A Piston Fan Speaks Out About the Impending Doom of the NBA

When Lebron James went to the Miami Heat to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosch it changed the NBA forever. While I don’t necessarily believe that Lebron is responsible for this ruination of the NBA, I do believe that the situation of stars coming together to create super teams is an enormous problem in the NBA that could ultimately lead to it’s demise.

In hockey, I go into every season feeling like the Red Wings have a chance.  In baseball, I go into every season feeling like the Tigers have a chance.  Even in football, I go into every season feeling like the Lions have a chance, even though they haven’t won a title since 1957.  But in basketball, I KNOW the Pistons have no chance.  And realistically, fans of 26 of the 30 NBA teams should feel the same way.  Any basketball analyst worth his salt knew that Cleveland and Golden State would meet in the NBA Finals right from day one!

Sure there have been dynasties in other sports.  For example in the NFL, in the 1960’s there were the Packers.  In the 70’s there were the Steelers.  In the 80’s there were the 49ers.  Etc.   But these dynasties were different than the super teams of the NBA.  One big difference was that those teams evolved naturally.  They weren’t manufactured by players who had a desire to create super teams.  But more than that, fans could look at those NFL dynasties and reasonably believe that one day their team could be a team just like that too.  As a Piston fan do I believe that one day Lebron and KD and a bunch of super stars are all going to decide to join forces here in Detroit?  It’s not going to happen.  With players being permitted to join forces to create super teams, I believe three-quarters of the teams in the NBA have no chance to win a title in my lifetime.  And eventually that feeling of hopelessness among the majority of NBA fans will destroy the league.

Right now, the NBA offers the least parity of any of the four major sports.  Two years ago Golden State set a record for the most wins in a regular season.  To that team they added former MVP Kevin Durant and went through four rounds of the Playoffs with only one loss.  In the Eastern Conference, Cleveland made it all the way to the Finals with only one loss.  How could anyone who doesn’t live in either Golden State or Cleveland think this is good for basketball?

The difference between basketball and the other major sports is that in basketball, just two or three great players joining forces can create a dominate team.  For example, if in baseball you put Kershaw and Trout on the same team, you wouldn’t suddenly have a team that no one could beat.  But in basketball, if you pair Lebron James with Dwayne Wade, suddenly you have a team that makes it all the way to the NBA Finals.  Since Lebron went to Miami and began choosing who he wanted to play with, he has been in the NBA Finals six straight years.  On the other side, Golden State has been there three straight years and is likely to get there at least three more years.

How is creating these super teams good?  How is creating a league where 90% of fan bases know their teams has no chance to win a championship good?  And for a team like the Pistons, the hopelessness is not only for this season, but it is indefinite.  How many years of high draft picks have the Minnesota Timberwolves had without ever even making the playoffs?  In the NFL a team can go from worst to first in one year.  Same with hockey.  Same with baseball.  But in the NBA does anyone honestly believe that teams like the Suns, the Kings, the Hornets, and the Nuggets are going to win a championship in the next decade?  And I could list another dozen NBA teams with the same bleak outlook.

For anyone who still thinks this current system is good, consider the following.  When Lebron James’ contract is up, he should join the Warriors too.  Why not?   Last year when Durant lost in the Playoffs to Golden State in seven games, he decided to jump ship. When Lebron gets tired of losing in the Finals for the next couple years, why shouldn’t he just go ahead and join the Warriors too so the he can win more titles?   Maybe they could go 82-0 and win every game in the NBA Finals by 25 points. Wouldn’t that be great? 

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