Originally posted by sacniner:
I see your point. But these are a few guys who have left: Garnett, Allen, Gasol (even though it was a "trade" they were able to retain him), Sheed in Portland, T Mac from Orlando (even though it didn't work out), Malone and GP went to LA when most thought they had everything sowed up. Honestly, I can't think of many so you do have a good point. But this is getting away from the original post.
My original point was that the NBA is diluted. A lot of games are hard to watch. So contraction is interesting to discuss. And if the league did contract, of course small market teams would be the ones left off. Also, big market teams have a significant advantage over small market teams even though you don't think so.
I disagree with the Garnett, Allen, Gasol, & Sheed examples. KG spent over a decade in Minnesota, and that team was going nowhere and looking to rebuild, and they needed cap space in order to do so. They traded for cheap, talented players, with the main piece being Al Jefferson. That's true of any team, big market or small. The same is true of each player that you cited. Memphis traded Gasol for cap space, and then tried to get Josh Smith (Atlanta matched the offer sheet they signed him to), and then spent a crap load of money on Zach Randolph. OKC rid themselves of Allen & Rashard Lewis for the purpose of building the team that they have now. That's a basketball move, and a smart one.
Anyway, regarding the dilution of talent...how is it diluted? It's expanded by one team in the last 13 years, and in that time the rest of the world has started to play basketball at a very high level. There are 75 international players in the NBA right now, IIRC. So if it's diluted...compared to when? The talent pool was much, much smaller in the 50's through 90's. This doesn't even account for the growth in the American population and the unprecedented interest in the sport that Magic/Bird/Jordan were able to achieve. Those who were kids watching them are playing basketball now.
I apologize if I'm being contrarian, I just disagree with your POV.
[ Edited by LA9erFan on Jan 20, 2010 at 16:46:54 ]