Friday, July 25, 2014

The NBA's New Balance of Power

Carmelo stayed in New York. LeBron took his talents back to Cleveland. Chris Bosh is the leader of the Miami Heat. Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards can possibly win the Eastern Conference.

Regarding the Western Conference: Chandler Parsons has signed with the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs look forward to winning another championship. And other Western powerhouses (OKC Thunder, LA Clippers, Portland Trailblazers) patiently await their opportunity to represent the West in the NBA Finals.

With LeBron moving back to the great state of Ohio (hey, Johnny Manziel is there, it has to be exciting), the competitve balance of power has greatly shifted; not only affecting the Eastern Conference, but the West as well.

We're at a point to where the Dallas Mavericks are back in championship conversations. Plus, who would have thought the Washington Wizards would be a possible, top-5 finisher in the East? Even the Charlotte Bobcats Hornets have received a facelift in the hopes of becoming a playoff contender.

Once again, I extend a congratualtions to the San Antonio Spurs for sending LeBron back home...the NBA needed it.

It's a breath of fresh air to bring back the "up-for-grabs" atmosphere in the Eastern Conference..

Now, I know we can't travel back in time but the make-up of today's NBA brings me back to the last days of Jordan in Chicago (I was born in '92 so that's the only "MJ" I can remember lol).

There was a time when guys would compete for 48 minutes and even trash talk each other in the process. This was the era of hard fouls, debates with the referees, throwing basketballs at people, pushing the cameramen, taunting the opposing team's coach...this was THE ERA.

However, this era reached a stopping point when Jordan retired (his second time); which is where the NBA currently stands. There are not as many hard fouls or taunting (with the exception of the uncouth behaviors of Lance Stephenson); but one aspect from the 90s that today's NBA possesses is the balance of power.

Yes, Jordan and the Bulls won six titles. When we dig deeper into MJ's journey to his championships, we find out Jordan battled against some of the greatest guys to ever touch a basketball (Pat Ewing, Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson, and even John Stockton). These guys were not on "all star teams." The league was arguably balanced, where every year the NBA title was up for grabs (Chicago just received a head start).

Well, even though the competitive balance of power is not tipping as much, the elite of the NBA has greatly changed. Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles (Clippers), Dallas, and San Antonio are among the NBA's elite, which would be unimaginable over twenty years ago.

Since there's a new elite, there are also more teams taking on different roles. The New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers have officially been put at the back of the line for championships.

Kobe doesn't even want to be seen.

Pretty soon, the majority of LA is going to be painted in Clippers gear. And New York fans - such as the majority of East Coast fans - may jump ship and cheer for the Brooklyn Nets.

The 2014-2015 NBA season looks promising, but you never what new moves will occur between now and the Season Opener. Until then, we'll keep our eyes open and remain hopeful for an exciting season.