NBA's lack of parity.

What do you think has contributed to the NBA’s lack of parity? The Warriors and the Cavs have played each other in the finals for 4 years in a row.

I think a couple reasons are:

  • The very best players have an extremely large impact on the strength of their teams.
  • The existence of the max contract means these players are underpaid, so their teams can afford other talent.

The best of 7 format in all rounds also limits the likelihood for underdogs to advance in the playoffs.

Definitely. Over a period of time a team will regress to the mean. When the mean is not very good then you won’t do well.

Well, it sure won’t be Warriors vs. Cavs for the fifth year in a row. There are several Eastern Conference teams that could break through, including possibly my Pacers, but the road to the NBA Finals in the Western Conference still goes through Golden State.

Of all the 4 major sports, basketball has the smallest roster meaning “superstar” players have the most disproportionate influence on a team than any other sport.

The NBA has NEVER had parity, except arguably in the late 70s when teams like Milwaukee, Seattle, Washington and Portland won titles. It’s always been a dynasty/superteam dominated league. In the 60s it was Boston, with LA challenging in the early 70s; in the 80s it was all about LA v Boston.

Then the Detroit Bad Boys had their day of glory before the Bulls dominated the 90s. LA under Kobe and the Spurs dominated most of the 2000s, finally its LeBron leading what is it 7 or 8 Eastern Conference teams to the Finals at the end getting waxed by another dynasty, the Warriors.

This is why Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkey introduced the “Process” where he deliberately stripped down his team to get his team in a position to draft generational players in order to win an NBA title. The results are the Sixers currently have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons but it’s become clear they need to sign a third star to truly contend versus the Warriors. It was very controversial and eventually Hinkey was ran out of the NBA by NBA brass over it, but you have to admire the cheek of an NBA executive to throw the leagues biggest weakness right back into its face!

Why do you think it has the smallest roster? Because most people aren’t tall enough for the NBA?

Because you are able to put your 5 best players on the court for the majority of the 48 minutes. There’s not a huge advantage to expanding the roster. As it is now, you often only have 7-8 players in the game for each team. A single player or small group of 3 players can dominate a game because there are only 5 out there at a time, and they can play the majority of the game time.

Muggsy Bogues

He was pretty successful for 14 years as a pro player and he’s 5’3”. You don’t have to be tall.

He’s referring to the fact the number of players that compose a team is the smallest in sports. You have 25 players available on a baseball team, 9 or 10 playing. There are 53 players on an NFL roster, with 22 playing on offense and defense. In the NHL, there are 23 available players, and you put 6 of them on the ice. In the NBA, you have 14 players on your roster, 5 of which play on the court at the same time.

There’s also the fact that all of the on-court roles are basically interchangeable. In football, for instance, a great passing quarterback is a very different player than a great receiver, and neither one is going to be worth as much without the other. In baseball, even if you have the best slugger humanly or superhumanly possible on your lineup, at most all it can mean is an extra home run every nine at-bats. But a single basketball player can, in principle, take on an entire team (in fact, given, say, Lebron, vs. a typical high school team, I’d bet on Lebron).

First of all, I love this hypothetical. LeBron vs. a high school starting 5. I honestly don’t know who would win, assuming you don’t let the high school team do any cherry picking. Cuz otherwise they win easy.

But yeah, the NBA has never had parity for the reasons stated. Small rosters, potential for one superstar to control a game. And those superstars are so much better than the average player.

There is a perception that it’s worse now, and maybe it is, because of superstar players essentially colluding to form superteams.

One reason for the NBA’s lack of parity is that the league isn’t really…interested in parity. When David Stern was commissioner, he once said that his dream NBA Finals matchup was “Lakers vs. Lakers.”

The NBA never had and never will have parity. One great player impacts so much, teams that don’t have that kind of player simply can’t compete on a consistent basis.

One more reason is that the current combination of max contracts with huge salaries means that a star free agent won’t make dramatically more or less money by signing with any particular team, and they’re already making set-for-life money either way. So, there’s not much real incentive to sign with a crappy team, and star players are more and more trying to find a place to win a championship rather than just looking for the highest salary. Thirty years ago, Kevin Durant doesn’t join Golden State; he takes huge money (for the time) from the Knicks or somewhere rather than decent money (for the time) from GS.

i agree for the most part,but why are we using the term collude as if these guys are doing something wrong. I see nothing wrong with guys being willing to give up money to have a better chance of winning.

Well, I’m the one who used the word “colluding” and I would acknowledge they aren’t doing anything illegal. But it seems players are having exclusive discussions and reaching agreements amongst themselves without the participation from the teams who are actually signing them. DeMarcus Cousins taking a deal well below his market value to join Golden State, while perfectly within is legal rights, is anti-competitive. Separately, the fact that there is such a thing as a “max contract” in the NBA makes it easier for this kind of thing to happen.

you think the nba is bad about parity? read this ………

Uhh, what? To the detriment of baseball? MLB’s revenue has been steadily growing year over year forever. Or at least since 2001.
But yeah, what if the 2011 Heat said “We don’t need parity in the NBA!” And just a few years later they’re like, “umm, well actually…”

The NFL has spent decades trying many ways to force parity, which is why it’s so hard to have a dynasty now. It’s probably the best example of a sport trying to make each team “the great unwashed”.

Guess what’s the biggest sport in the US?