Seems like everyone's got an opinion about whether there should be contraction in the NBA or not. LeBron thinks there should. Of course, I couldn't give a rat's doo-doo-maker about LeBron's opinion on...well, anything. But maybe he makes sense here. Maybe Kevin Love would be happier and more productive on a team with other superstars.
More after Tha JUMP!!!
We all know that D-Stern is all about the Bennies. And whether it's selling jerseys or creating global alliances, what generates the Bennies is superstars. Particularly superstars competing for the championship. Do we seriously think that anyone outside our hardcore fanbase cares that the Sixers are playing tough, scrappy basketball and winning games and are generally fun to watch? How many non-hardcore fans not from Minneapolis can even name more than three players on the Timberwolves? Does anyone even show up at Bobcats games except for the possibility of seeing the owner?
And with the new SuperFriends mentality of the top players, more and more there will be a few super-stacked teams at the top of each conference, and a pool of food animals to be plundered for any remaining useful assets. As it's been said, this has happened before, in the 80s, where there were a few good teams and everyone else was pretty much irrelevant.
Every team has its hardcore fans. Obviously, if there were no more Nets, the really rabid Nets fans would be crushed. But would the casual basketball fan care at all? Deron Williams and maybe Brook Lopez would sign with other teams, and that would be the end of it.
I suspect that the teams that would remain would appeal more to the casual fan, the fan who wears a Lakers shirt to a Sixers/Raptors game, or a Yankees cap to a Diamondbacks/Rangers game. This is most of America outside the rabid fan base of each team, and the entirety of the world outside of America (and Stern cares a LOT about marketing the NBA to the rest of the world). The average American fan loves to root for a winner. They want to brag to their beer buddies that they were on board the whole time when Kobe scored 57 in the Finals to beat Boston, while watching in a Philly sports bar.
If you were Stern Almighty, how would you answer these questions?
1) Would you contract?
2) How many teams would you want in your New World Order?
3) Which teams would you contract to get to that number?
Discuss. I'm getting Fehrklempt...