Originally posted by LA9erFan:
I'd also argue that the NBA doesn't have any teams that CAN'T be good due to location. Two of their best franchises, San Antonio & OKC, are in two of the smallest markets. In MLB, on the other hand, small markets almost can't be good. They have to be PERFECT and have everything go right to be competitive, and then they automatically lose their best players to free agency because they can't afford them. For every surprise like the A's were this year, you have teams like the Royals and Pirates who are awful almost every single year. You've gotten have a total stud of a GM to even be somewhat competitive in a small market in baseball.
That comes back to being a superstar driven league though. Yes, San Antonio and OKC are small markets, but they also struck gold in the draft with Duncan and Durant. No Duncan, no dynasty. No Durant, OKC is among the 4-8 seeded teams with little to no shot.
Baseball actually has the most parity of all the major sports, despite being the only sport with no salary restrictions. Sure, teams like Pittsburgh and Kansas City are never good, but that has alot more to do with how they are run, not their market.
The Marlins proved twice in a 7 year span that a very small market team has a shot to win a ring. Its about fielding a team that can hang in with the big boys long enough to grab a playoff spot, and if you catch fire, anything goes at that point. In the NBA, even if you make the playoffs, its an all-time shocker if a low seeded team ends up in the Finals. Remember that season the Warriors beat Dallas? Wasnt that the only time an 8 seed has EVER beaten a 1? Just the fact that theres a round where the 1 seed basically never loses, ever, is weak.
For example, the last time a National League team had the most wins in the regular season, and went on to win the WS, was the 1986 Mets. Baseball has the most parity, yet they still added another WC to get even more cities involved late in the season. 1 seeded NFL teams lose in the divisional round all the time. The NBA playoffs is basically 85% predictable, which is why nobody cares.
I understand that the best teams always winning is the nature of the sport due to how the game is played, but there has to be things the NBA can do to give other teams a chance each season. The power teams fanbases keep the NBA afloat, but they could be making so much more money if cities like Portland, Denver, Toronto, Cleveland, Charlotte, New Orleans, etc. could get excited about their shot at a ring every year. There has to be something they can do.
Ive been a Jazz fan since I was 7 years old and starting liking basketball. We lived there for 3 years when i was young, and im too loyal to change. Ive seen both ends of the argument. In the mid-late 90's the Jazz were one of those power teams. Now were just a 4-8 seed with no chance at a title. Im already much too occupied following the 49ers and Giants closely, so the fact that I already know the Jazz wont be winning anything this year just makes following the NBA not worth the time and emotion. Ill check scores every night, keep up with the players a bit, but I can already lock it in: Jazz will be a low playoff seed, and be booted in the 1st round. maybe a 2nd round boot if we match up with someone well.