The events of Thursday’s fourth quarter and overtime only serve to further the narrative that there’s a larger hand steering the goings-on in the NBA.
Bad calls are part of every sport but what we see in the NBA transcends bad calls. The League is in the business of promoting their chosen markets over others. MLB shares some of this methodology. In any given baseball season, there are about five teams that have a legitimate shot at the title. Twenty-five teams that don’t really even need to suit up because the deck has been stacked against them such that there’s no path to glory.
Sure, the NBA will allow the Barkleys and Malones of the world to go to Philly or Utah but never enough to overcome their model. Houston is trying but they are one star short. The league knows that. The league also knows what percentage of Harden’s points come from free throws and they adjust accordingly in the playoffs. You can get close, Beard but until you move your show to one of the coasts, you just get to be this generation’s Karl Malone.
I may seem cynical but it has been 50 years in Denver now. 50 years of never getting a number one pick. Half-a-century of never being mentioned on big-time free agent short lists.
Some locals are having fun fantasizing about LeBron signing with Denver when free-agency hits.
More importantly, you know he won’t and that’s the problem. We shouldn’t know any such thing. Players aren’t going to come to one of the teams the league has abandoned. They rely too much on that superstar reputation and the statistical improvement it gives for their livelihood.
I don’t blame them. NBA careers are finite and they are short. If you’re among the best, better get to a big market and take a shot at a title in that small window you have.
We in Denver understand and we’ll keep trying to find that secret, European talent to buck the trend.
Let’s end with an NBA Finals prediction:
Warriors in 4.
Just the way the league wants it. Nuggets fans understand.