Why NBA's "Big 3" Domination Is Bad For League


The absolute dominance of the Boston Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers is seemingly trumpeted on SportsCenter every night. Thankfully, in this tough economic time, the NBA has seen bust out performances from the likes of Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

I’d usually argue that this is a good thing for the league and that excellence draws more attention. But I’m actually more inclined to think that the dominance of these teams is actually the worst thing the league could have wished for. Why? Because the more teams you have at the .500 mark or better, the better off the league is in terms of convincing people to come out and watch a game or view it on television.

I looked back over the last nine regular seasons and discovered that, in most years, 15 or 16 teams finish the year with winning records. If you are to subscribe to the belief that the league is in the best shape when the most teams have a chance to win, you ideally want the deviation between those who have winning records and those with losing records to be as small of a win-loss gap as possible.

Well, thanks to the Celtics, Cavs and Lakers, look at what we have this year, compared to the last nine seasons.


2008-09 .662

2007-08 .632

2006-07 .604

2005-06 .639

2004-05 .604

2003-04 .598

2002-03 .598

2001-02 .595

2000-01 .606

I didn’t go back any further, but there’s a chance that, through the first quarter of the season, we’ve never had this type of disparity ever before. In this economy, I don’t think that’s a good thing.

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