LBS- While speaking to the media after the league’s annual board of governors meeting this week, Silver acknowledged that the current collective bargaining agreement needs to be adjusted in order to maintain the competitive balance across the NBA.
“Just to be absolutely clear, I do not think that’s ideal from the league standpoint,” Silver said of Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. “For me, part of it is designing a collective bargaining agreement that encourages the distribution of great players throughout the league. On the other hand, I absolutely respect a player’s right to become a free agent and in this case for Kevin Durant to make a decision that he feels is best for him. I have no idea what’s in his mind or heart in terms of how he went about making that decision.”
Reporter: "Mr. Silver! Over here to your left. What do you think the state of your league is now that Kevin Durant has signed a historically great team that was already a favorite to win the championship, and has basically left every other franchise not named the Cleveland Cavaliers hopelessly scrambling to finish to second?"
Adam Silver: "Not ideal."
Well that's certainly one way to put it! Honestly, I am just glad someone in the know finally fucking said it, because the idea that the NBA is better off with a super team is asinine. I know the rhetoric- everyone will tune in either to love or to hate the Golden State Warriors and it will cause the ratings to go up. That very well may be true, but that increase in views will easily be offset by the apathy of people that feel their team no longer has any conceivable chance at winning a title.
It's not that the NBA needs parity. Hell, the NBA hardly ever has true parity. It's always been a league that was prone to domination by a handful of teams. That doesn't mean that the illusion of parity doesn't help keep the casual fan interested. There's just no way you can convince me that being 95% sure of who is going to win the title a full year before it's given out makes the quest to that title as aesthetically pleasing or as financially beneficial as it could be if the Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs were still a legitimate threat. I refuse to believe that. The amount of intriguing regular season games - that was already dwindling - is now limited to those that appear on the Warriors schedule and start at 10:30 EST. Unless you enjoy watching LeBron sleepwalk to 60 wins while the rest of the Eastern Conference beats each other over the head with mediocrity than an entire coast has been ostracized from watching entertaining basketball.
That's not to say the league is going to tank, because the fact that it's worth more than ever made Kevin Durant's move possible in the first place. However, we can stop acting like the formation of a potentially unstoppable juggernaut just greased the wheels for the NBA's money train, because even the commissioner of the league itself just begrudgingly admitted that it didn't.