“Marcus, are you worried (or more importantly) should the league be worried about the increasing lack of parity between the East and West, now worsened by the luck of the two northwest teams getting two potential franchise players in the upcoming draft? I know one of the great appeals of the NFL is the parity that is now in place. Is the East becoming irrelevant in terms of talent and competitiveness? Maybe even more importantly, will some of the Eastern small market franchises ( Memphis , Milwaukee , Charlotte , etc) begin to lose their fan base?” – commish
I don’t think the league is worried as much about the East as it is about New York and Boston. As long as the big four have their fan base in order (New York, LA, Chicago, Boston), I think the league is fine. But because of the sponsorships and partnerships these big markets bring, it’s not good for the league to have Boston and Knicks sucking. From a historical and puritan perspective, the Knicks and Celtics fans are the most die hard, so there is a concern that since they have been bad so long now, they are starting to become irrelevant. That can’t happen. Especially not in NY. The Lakers are fine, the Bulls are rejuvenated. But the Knicks and Celtics fan base, which is national, is struggling. National teams bring in national dollars. Memphis certainly isn’t bringing national dollars.
As far as the East-West thing, that’s no matter. It will eventually shift back to the East at some point. There was a time when the West was clearly inferior. All you really need is one or two good East teams to make the Finals interesting, and everything will be fine.
A competitive integrity complaint might be coming. If three or four teams miss the West playoffs but would have made it in the east, you might start hearing more murmuring. But that’s not a bad thing because the league loves when the NBA is a national conversation except for when its about its players being unruly thugs.
Here’s a thought. With all the untapped resources in the Bay Area, which is usually locked up by the NFL and MLB, it seems like the league would love for the Warriors to be good. This is a large market, lot of money here. The Warriors have the potential to really rake in the dough out here.