Thursday, July 08, 2010

Miami wins LeBron sweepstakes

I'll make this short and sweet: LeBron James' choice of the Miami Heat to play basketball for the next 5-6 years is great for South Beach but bad, overall, for the NBA. The concentration of so much talent, for so ridiculous of a price, does NOT insure a NBA for LBJ, or improve on the man's "legacy" or "marketability."
What it has done, plus the sign-and-trade of former Dallas high school star Chris Bosh and the resigning (for the maximum dollar amount) of Dwayne Wade, is make a mockery of the league's salary cap and free agent system; emasculate the NBA owners' bitching about out-of-control salary structure and destroy the franchises in Toronto and Cleveland and other cities (LA Clippers, for example, might as well give up NOW).
It says that money, not the draft, is the ONLY way to success and the more that is spent, the greater chance of championships. Hopefully, every NBA fan, outside of South Florida, will root against that notion and against the Heat.
Unlike baseball, where dynasties have centered on 2-3 teams, and MLB has often been about the Yankees and everyone else, the NBA has benefitted from a sense of parody among teams, involving more fans in other cities for a chance at victory. True, the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics have won the last four titles but each squad has remade itself and only gotten better through smart drafting (the Boston triplets aren't as comparable to the Heat new trio).
But no one in Cleveland or Toronto has a reason to attend a home game, other than to go boo the Miami roster. The death march is on for both franchises and it would NOT shock me if either moved or changed ownership ASAP.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Miami will win a damn thing. It would be a sort of cruel justice if it never happened because this is NOT a natural fit. Just because they played well together on the Olympic squad does not mean it transfers to an 82-game schedule plus the playoffs. Miami has no center, no backup point guard or shooters - and to get some will only come at minimum salary offerings. Meaning the scrap heap.
The NBA is a better product when there are stars spread among almost ALL its teams - not merely concentrated on 2-3 squads. Ultimately, it de-legitimizes the regular season and cheapens results.
So pardon me if I don't get excited. Good luck Mr. James and company; I hope it doesn't work out.

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