Class Notes

I know this is sports, but there is some history in here

Why This NBA Finals will Shape the NBA’s Future

I think this NBA finals might be one of the most important finals for the future of the game. This year pits the Miami Heat against the LA Lakers. The Heat is straight out the NBA past. They have a star player in Jimmy Butler, a few great players, and round out the rest of solid role players. They play team offense and strong defense. The Lakers, on the other hand, are a new post LeBron James NBA team. Though not as bad as when LeBron went to the Heat back in the day, it is a team made up of superstars who can’t win on their own so they team up with other superstar players. The entire team revolves around James and Anthony Davis, no one else really matters.

I know LeBron is the golden boy of the NBA, but for the life of me I have never understood why. Just look at his behavior in these playoffs. He complained that he did not get enough MVP votes and that he should have won. Even though he gets every call to go his way, he openly complained about not getting enough calls. When his team lost the last game we walked off the court before the game was even over. Its probably not all his fault, he has been told he is the chosen one since he was 12, it’s hard not to think winning is his birthright.

I know that the NBA is hoping the Lakers win, but I don’t get it. When the new super team Lakers beat the old school Heat, I think it is a loss for the fans. What does it show the rest of the league? Why would any play ever try to win at their current team? Why stay with a franchise? Take a player like Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is probably the best player in the NBA and current MVP. What is his incentive to stay with the Bucks? He has watched LeBron’s Heat and Golden State assemble all-star teams to win. He would be much better off leaving his team next year to join a cast of superstars so he can get his ring. But what happens to the rest of the league. It used to be that every year there was a chance my team could win this year. But now there is no point for optimism. If you don’t have a stacked team, you have little chance. Even if you draft well, anyone who get any good will leave.
Like many of you I watched The Last Dance last summer. Think about that Bulls team that won its first championship. They had a superstar in Jordan and an amazing play in Pippen, both drafted by the Bulls. They were then rounded out by good role players. What is sad is that that Bulls team never would have been today. After a few failed attempts to beat the Pistons to reach the finals, Jordan would have taken his talents to Detroit to join them instead of beating them. In LeBron’s world we never would have had those amazing Magic/Bird duels. Instead of wanting to beat each other they would have left their teams and joined the 76ers to play with Dr. J.

I know the NBA does everything in their power to make sure LeBron and the Lakers will win this year. However for the rest of us, we should all be routing for the Heat. If the Heat can win, maybe we can reboot the NBA and go back to the time when great players made their teams better and wanted to beat the best, not join them. Maybe the Heat can inspire others to stay in other markets and not head to New York or California and join the next super team. I think the Lakers will win, but when they do I think we all lose.

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