Markeiff Morris and Paul George named players of the Week. The Pacers are 8-0 so far this season. Steve Nash is out for two weeks. Derrick Rose pulled a hamstring in the Bulls latest game. And the parody across the league is ridiculous.
I'm a Lakers fan so yeah, the "parody" IS ridiculous. We gave up 47 points in the first quarter to the T-Wolves Sunday -- at home. That is a sizable number to give up in a half, but in one quarter...? Mike D'Antoni's defense is an absolute joke. God, am I glad we managed to keep our 2014 first round pick. I have a feeling it is going to be very valuable.
As for parity, I think it is too early to conclude that NFL style parity has reached the NBA. I am also still not convinced it is a good thing even if it has. Are any casual fans going to tune into a Finals featuring say, Memphis and (no offense intended) Detroit or Milwaukee? I'm not convinced. NBA popularity, with a few exceptions, is driven by it's stars, not it's teams (as the NFL is).
No offense taken.
I don't like parody because it means that teams don't stay together. Look at how many players even teams like the Philadelphia Eagles (with McNabb) and the New England Patriots (with Tom Brady) have gone through. They have let starters go down because of money. And this parody I think it rooted in the new financial system of the NBA.
To the casual fan, yes, it is all about superstars. Unlike in Baseball or Football, one explosive athlete can cover a bevy of mistakes. But this is about watching teams develop themselves, going after the best players, and not worrying about the price tag. We spent a lot of years with the Michael Jordan model of basketball. Give the ball to Allen Iverson or Tracy McGrady or Vince Carter and everyone else clear out. The zone rules made it easier to guard those players that needed room to operate, and so we had superstars like Dwyane Wade and Lebron James that had to do things on the fly. More than that, the NBA got back to team basketball.
However, the payroll for team basketball, while players do take less money to stay together, is high. Teams--namely the Phoenix Suns, LA Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers--all had high payrolls (luxury tax) and the owners ponied up the money and they contended for a long time over those 10 years. There were defections, but the staples, the nucleus, was in place. And those guys who were on the team were not making chump change in endorsements, etc.
Now, the NBA has outlawed that system. People bemoan the Miami Heat. They think it's the end of basketball. All the players want to play together in big markets, and the best of the best, shouldn't have to join together, they should compete against one-another.
When I see the Heat, I see a team I don't personally like, but I don't want them broken up. I don't like teams that cannot rebound and play small-ball. But not every team has to be the exact same. As a matter of fact, that is boring.
A small example in the time I have been watching the Pistons. In 2004, the Lakers and their dominance versus the startups from the JV Conference, right? Good contrast in styles, high ratings. In 2005, the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons play. Mirror images of each other. Defense, team, same coaching tree, etc. Poor ratings.
Some could say that's just the Lakers, but the Lakers played the Nets in 2002 and didn't have those kind of ratings. They played the Pacers in 2000, didn't have those kind of ratings. It was David versus Goliath, and everyone watched and the NBA made lots of money.
So...I want my Pistons to get back on their feet, and beat the Heat. I don't want them broken up by money. I don't want a league where every team has a superstar, or has to scrape the bottom of the barrel to keep that superstar and have 5 starters.
We overreacted to the "trend" and outlawed great team basketball. Now, it's a race to be the Washington Generals because the Memphis Grizzlies let Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo walk out the door for nothing more than money. And they are in the bottom-half of the Conference now.
Contrast in styles gets ratings every time. If you hate the Heat, you will still watch them play a better team you root for.