Before playing the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, LeBron James was talking with reporters about the idea of contracting the NBA. In an article that Brian Windhorst wrote for ESPN.com, James is quoted as saying,
Hopefully the league can figure out one way where it can go back to the ’80s where you had three or four All-Stars, three or four superstars, three or four Hall of Famers on the same team,” James said. “The league was great. It wasn’t as watered down as it is [now].
But, the talk didn’t stop there. He goes on to specifically name Kevin Love, Brook Lopez and Devin Harris. He mentions that if they were on better teams the league would be better. The Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Jersey Nets can now join the Cleveland Cavaliers as teams dissed by James.
The idea of a contraction is an interesting one. It would be a very exciting league with star studded teams, but then there would be no room for the growth and development of players. And the youth in the NBA is part of the existing excitement – ie: Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin to name a few. The only reason people watch bad teams like the Timberwolves and Clippers, is to see the star of the team (Love and Griffin).
Having said that, the NBA doesn’t need to cater to developing players, there is a Development League. If the D-League was expanded while the NBA was contracted, it would definitely be an interesting scenario. The NBA needs to regain some excitement with the casual fans, and James might be onto something.
There are 30 teams in the NBA and only eight different teams (26.667% of the league) have won the NBA Championship since the 1980-81 season. This is a remarkable number when compared to the other major sports in the United States. In the MLB, since 1980, there have been 18 different teams (out of 30 – 60.000% of the league) to win the World Series. In the NFL, since 1980, there have been 15 different teams (out of 32 – 46.875% of the league) to win the Superbowl. In the NHL, since 1980, there have been 14 different teams (out of 30 – 46.667% of the league) to win the Stanley Cup.
The NBA is the least balanced sport in the United States and a contraction might create a more even playing field.
Do you think the NBA should be contracted? Comment below
[Photo Credit: Doug Benc/Getty Images via NJ.com]