So now that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have advanced to their respective conference finals, each without losing a game, can we please stop bitching about “Super Teams” and how you are losing interest because Warriors v Cavs III is a forgone conclusion. My dude, THIS is what we LOVE. Superstars rising to the occasion and giving us the clash of the titans we love in all of our sports.
Look, what separates basketball from all the other major sports are a few simple things. First, sheer numbers of people needed to form a team. At any given time there can ONLY be FIVE people on a single team. Each person playing both offense AND defense. Therefore the elite world class talent that exists in each sport has an exponentially greater impact on the game than they would in say football, where instead of comprising 20% of players inside the line on a team, they comprise 9%. If you look at those eligible to touch, run, and catch the pigskin on a normal play, that percentage drops to 5%. Then you also have to take into account that in football, players only play on one side of the ball. So just the sheer mathematics alone, the impact of the elite talent in a particular sport is felt much greater in basketball than any other team sport.
So look at History. I was born in 1974, and my earliest memories of the NBA are right around 1980. I vaguely remember seeing Magic Johnson playing in the San Diego Sports Arena vs. the San Diego Clippers in those powder blue unis. Beginning with the Magic / Bird era, the league has been overwhelmingly dominated by the presence of the superstars. The Los Angeles Lakers went to the NBA Finals 10 times in 13 years under the Leadership of Magic Johnson, Kareem, Worthy, and Co. With Michael Jordan playing a full season, the Bulls went to the Eastern Conference Finals and/or Won the NBA Championship 8 straight seasons. Move on to Kobe, Shaq, Duncan, and Lebron….. the NBA has been so dominated by it’s stars it’s damn near predictable.
Here’s a stunner for even you above average sports fans….. Since 1980, there have been exactly TWO (1990 and 1994) seasons in which the NBA Finals did NOT have a player named Magic, Bird, Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan, or Lebron. That’s THIRTY SEVEN (37) NBA Seasons completely dominated by SEVEN players. So miss me with your gripes about the NBA being dominated by some new phenomenon of “Super Teams” or Super Stars being weak. It’s the nature of the sport, embrace it, pop your popcorn, and let’s get ready to rumble with Warriors Cavs III.