Last time here at Winners Win I facetiously claimed that the Golden State Warriors have already won the upcoming season’s NBA title. There’s been plenty of fallout from his move. While some “experts” on ESPN have called it a cowardly move, I’m a lot more bothered about this Super-duper team being an important issue in the negotiations in the next CBA. The chances of a lockout have increased greatly unfortunately.
The main 2 questions about KD to GSW are:
Is it good for the League?
What about competitive balance?
Is it good for the League?
Well it depends on your perspective. The people most aggrieved about his decision are the diehards, and who aren’t fans of GSW. The excitement of watching the NBA has been diminished as instead of wondering who’s going to win the title; you expect GSW to win it or injuries rob them of it.
But diehards will be watching regardless and on the other hand casual fans will love it. There was huge interest in the Warriors, and the NBA by extension, when they started last season with that winning streak. There was huge interest when the Miami Heat formed their big 3 and they’ll be huge interest again this season with the big 4 at GSW.
At Pinnacle GSW are 1.80 to win the title, which implies they have a 55.6% chance of winning it. If they’re fully healthy entering the playoffs they’ll be much lower than that. According to an article at Sports Insights they’re the shortest price for a team to win the title prior to the season since the 1997/1998 Chicago Bulls.
Here’s some of the recent title winners &/or favourites odds:
Full article here:
What about Competitive balance?
On JJ Redick’s podcast, recently he’s been talking about the KD story. He doesn’t have a problem with the move, he frames it by saying some people would only be happy if every single team went 41-41 (I doubt anyone wants that), and then goes on to say that in the last 7 years, 6 different teams have won the NBA title.
I don’t think that point proves there’s competitive balance either, but it did get me thinking about how that compares to other leagues and other sports….So using Wiki, I had a look at how many different winners each major sports league had in the last 5, 10, 15 & 20 years:
Starting off with the soccer leagues The Premier league doesn’t look so bad compared to some of the other leagues, especially the joke leagues in Scotland, Greece & now Italy. In Italy Juve have won Serie A the last 5 years and are 1.425 to win it this season. The German league’s had plenty of different winners. I would have assumed Bayern had won it loads but I really don’t follow this sport that much anymore.
Plenty of competitiveness (by this metric) in Union. Now’s a good time to point out that some sports leagues have a small number of teams competing, like most of the leagues here. NRL is one of the most competitive leagues in the world while closer to home only a handful have won the Super league. The only thing I want to say about AFL is that I don’t understand why anyone would pay to watch it!
The future of cricket is T20, but it doesn’t have a long history so far. Considering the nature of the sport it’s no surprise to see lots of different winners.
Now on to the sportsmost popular in the US and there’s plenty of different winners except some of the basketball league in Europe.
Anyway, just because a league has had a load of different winners in the last number of years doesn’t mean it’s a competitive league. You could have 10 different winners in the last 10 years, but if prior to each season the favourite went off at sub 1.20 and coasted to the title, then it’s not competitive. Despite having a different winner each season.
The Olympics starts in a weeks time. And to my mind, the most uncompetitive team sport is international basketball. If the US sends a good team then it needs a miracle stop them winning. Last week the men’s team was 1.10 to win the gold with Pinny, they’re down to 1.059 now. While the women’s team is at 1.08. I can’t think of any other major team sport where the favourite goes off at such short odds. Yes it’s uncompetitive, but I’ll still be watching!
The most dominant sports team ever assembled may well have been the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team nicknamed the “Dream Team”. It was the first American Olympic team to feature active NBA players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson & Larry Bird. They had an average margin of victory of 43.8 points in the Olympics.