Video: Competitive Balance in the NBA is a Pipe Dream

Erik Gee

Competitive balance in professional sports is an excellent idea, but it's never going to be a reality. Certain teams will always have an advantage based on market size, television contracts, gate receipts, or smarts. 

Option four is how the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to survive whatever financial, cultural, or attendance hardships that may come their way. Friday on ESPN's The Jump Adrian Wojnarowski was sounding the alarm about the NBA's future being a stake.  

Wojnarowski's concern was young rebuilding teams from small markets who might not have gotten to compete when the league resumes could have been left out in the cold.  With the board of governors expected to approve Adam Silver's plan of bringing back  22 teams when the season re-tips, at least Pelicans can breathe a little easier. 

 There is no getting around the dramatic loss of revenue the association will suffer this season.  It will be on the union and owners to figure out how the NBA can function and keep a competitive environment.    

The crystal ball is murky, and with the uncertainty surrounding whether or not fans can attend games, the league could see a steep drop in gate receipts, which would impact revenue sharing. According to Wojnarowski, teams like the Thunder receive 24-28 million dollars a year from organizations like the Lakers and Knicks. 

But even in the best of times, small-market teams have always had to be smarter than their big-market counterparts. Los Angles, San Fransico, and even New York will always attract free agents because of branding power. 

Oklahoma City will always have to draft well, find hidden gems like Lou Dort, hope to get bargain-basement free agents like Nerlens Noel who exceed expectations, and make savvy trades. Sam Presti continues to prove he can handle competitive imbalance, and as long as he is at the helm, the Thunder will continue to thrive where others fail.  

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