Year after year, the NBA lacks parody. In the past decade, separation between the haves and the have-nots has been a gap larger than ever before. The league has been top-heavy with stars aligning to play together and smaller markets being left in the dark.
But there is hope!
As I write this, the Cleveland Cavaliers are seconds away from elimination in the 2022 NBA Play-In at the hands of Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. While I picked the Hawks to win this game, Cleveland showed why their future is bright.
Garland, Mobley, Allen, LeVert, Markkanen, and Sexton (alongside vets Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo) are a young core of talent that can build to greater heights. This rebuild should be applauded.
Similarly, we've seen a young T'Wolves roster make a rare playoff appearance. Teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and have built a consistent roster that can threaten well into the futue.
While there is still star-ladden teams like the Nets, Sixers, and "Lakers", it's the more balanced teams like Phoenix and Milwaukee who have seen recent success. Yes, the suns have Paul and Booker and the Bucks have Giannis and Middleton. But these two franchises built their rosters over time through the draft and committing to their home grown talent.
Even teams like Miami, whose roster is a blend of the draft, trades and signings of great players, lacks that superteam feel.
Superteams are cyclical. They existed in the past, faded away, and returned over time. It's always nice to have someone to hate. It creates storylines and breeds underdogs. Superteams will return. But for now, I am definitely enjoying the competitive balance in the meantime.