NBA Free Agency is Killing the Competitive Balance of the Game
Let me ask you a question.....
Do you enjoy seeing the same teams win in Professional Sports over and over and over again? Is it fun to follow a sport where 4 or 5 teams have rosters loaded with "Superstars" and then 25 other teams who are in rebuild or "Happy to Make Playoffs" status? If so, then you likely are an NBA fan.
I enjoy basketball, it's the sport I settled on playing as I got older during my misspent youth. I love the artistry and skill and athleticism of the players and even today can watch a play develop and break it down.
But the NBA has a problem. A big...and growing problem.
Yeah, sure its great the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers have played in the last gazillion NBA Finals Series. It sells merchandise and gets casual fans interested.
The Warriors have no less than 4 players who would be individual stars for other teams playing together and are really, really tough to stop while changing the way the game is played.
Cleveland on the other hand has had LeBron James and a rotating cast of role players, none of which (except Kyrie Irving) can match up with Golden State.
There are other teams knocking on the the "Super Team" door. Houston has Chris Paul and James Harden. And the 76ers have like 10 former 1st round draft picks who are finally playing to their potential. The Celtics have Irving, Al Horford and Jayson Tatum along with a rehabbing All-Star in Gordon Hayward.
But outside those 5-teams, nobody else really has a chance. Which begs the question: Why would I dish out $50-$100 for a game ticket, $20 to park and another $50 on concessions to go see a 25-50 Atlanta Hawks team or Sacramento Kings squad or any number of other teams that have ZERO chance of winning a game??
But "Headlines" matter. And at the end of the day---at least over the past month or so, all you see are "Free Agency" headlines.
"Where will LeBron take his talents"? "Where does Kawhi Leonard end up"? "What's Paul George going to do"?
And the speculation: The Los Angeles Lakers, a team that has sucked for most of the decade wants to spend money to get all of them on one team to compete with Golden State and Houston.
I again bring this up: Why would someone in Charlotte or New Orleans or Detroit or New Jersey, Denver, Portland, New York or Miami even bother? None of the "Headliners" want to play there, nobody wants to build a super team in one of these cities.
It all makes for a largely uncompetitive game/sport with no incentive to pay good, hard earned money to see any of these "Mediocre" teams play.
Which whether the NBA wants to admit or not, is a problem.
Maybe for their TV/Media rights it is fine, again, the casual fan will tune in to the big name teams with big name players all year long. But do they want to see Chicago vs. Atlanta? I think not.
And yet, millions upon millions of dollars are still poured into these franchises. And fans--albeit a smaller number of them--still fork over money to go to the games.
Maybe it is time for those fans to think about or find better things to do with their money.....