Given the recent trend towards "SuperTeams", and how excited the players are about being on one, should Stern consider league contraction? Does he really make that much money from the Timberwolves or the Nets? I lived in NYC for 14 years, and I don't think I ever met a Nets fan, even when they were good.
I've been reading some articles about what the effects of having all the best players on a few teams would be. My personal favorite, for amusement purposes, was the idea of relegation, like from English soccer. The worst teams would drop down into the D-League, or some analog thereof, while the best D-League teams would join the NBA.
Anyway, since that will never, ever happen, what does all this mean for us, the fans of a team that will never be among the elite (at least not for the foreseeable future, given the atrocious ownership and management of the team)? Since the SuperTeam era is apparently on, with the full blessing of David Stern, and the Sixers are not going to be one of the blessed any time soon, what's in this for us? Are we expected to become "fans of the league" and go buy Heat or Laker shirts? Would it be healthier if they contracted the league to 16 teams, so every team could be, if not a SuperTeam, at least a ReallyReallyGoodTeam?
I've been a Sixer fan since the 70s (yeah, I'm old, so what?). At no point have I ever felt less good about being a fan of this team, even during the early 90s. They sucked, but there was a certain hope that they might get better. Of course, it took Allen Iverson and Larry Brown, but they got there eventually. I hate to be pessimistic, but I don't see any way out of this anytime soon without a miraculous gold strike in the draft. The combination of mediocre (at best) talent, a disastrous cap situation for years to come, and ownership/management that seems committed only to saving a few dollars against the luxury tax makes it certain that David Stern will never be smiling beatifically at us while talking about anything having to do with the Sixers other than their impending move to Seattle/Las Vegas/Tupelo.
And the sad part is, I'm not sure I would care anymore. I would be sad for a while, but it's not like Seattle. I'd feel like "Yeah, it's a drag that the Sixers moved to Little Rock, but at least it's tiddly-winks season." There wouldn't be riots in the streets if the Sixers left. People in Philly would just watch the Flyers (I'm not much of a hockey fan myself, so I would have to go read a book or spend more time working on my clients' business, which I'm sure would make them happy).
If an NBA team falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it matter?