Parity comes to the NBA
The NBA playoffs are nothing short of fantastic, with incredible series and games. The playoffs also are nothing short of historic. Three of the four franchises left never have won an NBA title. And no matter which team wins the championship, it will give us four champs in the last four years: Miami, San Antonio, Boston and either the Lakers, Cavs, Nuggets or Magic.
That’s a rare level of parity in the NBA. The NBA is the most elitist of the major sports. Most every NFL franchise has Super Bowl hopes. This decade’s nine World Serieses have been won by eight franchises.
But in the NBA, the titles have been reserved for the few. Until Miami’s championship in 2006, the previous 26 titles were won by only seven franchises.
The four franchises-in-four years feat hasn’t been seen in the NBA since 1977-81, when Portland, Washington, Seattle, the Lakers and Boston won. The 1970s were the golden age of NBA parity. Six franchises won the six titles from 1975 through 1980: Golden State, Boston, Portland, Washington, Seattle and the Lakers. And five won the five titles from 1971-75: Milwaukee, the Lakers, New York, Boston and Golden State.
The only other stretch of parity came in 1954-57: the Minneapolis Lakers, Syracuse Nationals (who became the 76ers), the Philadelphia Warriors (who later moved to San Francisco) and Boston.
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