I am concerned with the recent NBA trend of a few teams possessing vast amount of talent. While the season outcome is hard to determine, it is clear the championship will be won by one of roughly 4 teams. While teams like Chicago and Oklahoma have a couple superstars with a really strong supporting cast, the real competition will be between Miami and Los Angeles. Los Angeles has a small edge as it has been able to attract several veterans who have been willing to take a big salary hair cut in hopes to win. While Los Angeles has built a powerful team, having a team of old veteran players may backfire as it did with the Kobe, Shaq, Malone, and Payton.
There are several types of teams that lose in this environment: Teams in big markets that don’t have a long term anchor superstar like the Denver Nuggets, Indianapolis Pacers, and Philadelphia 76ers, teams in smaller markets but have been competitive in the past like the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Hornets, Utah Jazz, and the Portland Trailblazers, and then there are the teams who have no chance like the Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, and the Sacramento Kings.
The real tragedy is when teams like the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Dallas Mavericks who have been able to attract a considerable level of talent but have performed at a sub-par level. The Knicks epitomize this more than any other team with its lackluster performance during the 2011-2012 season: I have never seen a more talented group do so little. How many teams could benefit from the likes of Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire, or a Jeremy Lin? I am not sure Carmelo or JR Smith add much value to team cohesiveness but are still great players that could help most teams be somewhat competitive.
I miss the days when there were several contenders at the beginning of every season with one or two favorites. It is clear Miami will dominate for several years to come and the primary competition will come from the likes of Los Angeles and Oklahoma City. I hope talent spreads throughout the NBA to make the season and championship less predictable.
The only thing that should be predictable in sports is the experience: close parking at the New Orleans Arena, or the great public transit near Madison Square Garden. Proximity to the city, means easy access to shops, One Touch Ultra Mini retailers, and restaurants for when you're done with the game.