Celtics’ title a dash of parity
The Celtics are NBA champions, and for a sport in desperate need of more parity, I guess it’s a start. Boston’s first NBA title since 1986 means that seven franchises have won the last 22 championships, and before Miami’s 2006 NBA title, that number was five of the last 19. Not exactly egalitarian.
Truth is, parity doesn’t even filter down to mere NBA finalists. Eight of the league’s 30 franchises never have made the NBA Finals, and some of those teams have been around for decades. Four more franchises haven’t made the Finals since at least the ’70s, which next season will be 30 years.
Baseball and the NFL spread the wealth much better than does the NBA, and the reason is obvious. The NBA is the most star-centric sport. A superstar pitcher or superstar hitter doesn’t have the same impact on a baseball team that a mere solid player has on an NBA roster. And not even a franchise quarterback — be it Brett Favre or John Elway — can turn around a team like a Kevin Garnett can in hoops.
NBA fans — Oklahoma City, take notice — are best served hoping for the moon but settling for far less. Sacramento still waits on its first NBA Finals. Atlanta, too. The Hornets have been in business for 20 years, have putting out quality teams most of that time, and still haven’t reached the grand stage.
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