The Illusion of Parity

Chris PaulDamn, it’s been awhile people.

Had a lot on the (small, plastic) plate…wedding, honeymoon, the usual.

Well, we are back, and with a vengeance. (Usually pointed in a specific direction.) Tonight (as usual), the NBA is drawing the ire of the Cut.

As I finished watching Kobe wrap up a 2-point first half against the Spurs, one of my biggest complaints about the NBA solidified in a box score right before my eyes – the illusion of parity.

It’s insane to me that this year’s playoffs have garnered some of the NBA’s highest television ratings ever.

Take a look at the last four teams standing: Boston, Detroit, L.A., San Antonio.

Would you have put your money down on any other four teams when the playoffs began? Sure the Hornets, Hawks and Cavs had nice runs that were more than mildly entertaining. But let’s get real – the last 5 years in the NBA have been owned by a select few – San Antonio, Detroit and Los Angeles. All of which are still standing with just one round to go.

With these three exceptions, any one team can be the toast of the town (and media) one season, and completely out of the public eye the next. (See: Phoenix Suns)

The Chicago Bulls are the most recent victim of this roller coaster ride. Two seasons ago, Chicago was the team rising quickly to the top of the Eastern Conference. A collection of young talent that could finally threaten the Piston’s stranglehold.

Yesterday, the Bulls won the rights to the first pick in the 2009 draft after finishing with a 33-49 record and missing the playoffs.

So goes life in the League.

In October, every fan has hope her team can make it rain confetti come June.

Luckily for Stern and Co., a good chunk is still clinging to this false hope right through April. Just ask New Orleans.


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