I am an Australian basketball aficionado of 28 years who is passionate about the game being played the right way; ball movement, selflessness, defense, hustle and rebounding. I have played basketball at a reasonable level most of my life and found the greatest joy in some of the most overlooked facets of the game. From setting a good pick to get a shooter open, to a strong box out or tipping a rebound to myself or a teammate. The most enjoyable and successful teams I played on passed the ball unselfishly and worked together as a unit, not worrying about who took the shot but getting each other free to get the highest percentage look.
Although I am a huge fan of the NBA and spend copious amounts of my free time watching and reading about the League, in my opinion, it is far too star heavy, focusing too much on the individuals and not enough on the team. Teams win championships and history has shown us that an individual talent, no matter how supreme, can only carry their team so far. From Wilt Chamberlain, to Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Michael Jordan to more recently Kobe Bryant and Lebron James – these guys are some of the greatest, most dominant and awe-inspiring athletes to ever walk the Earth, but the first four only won championships once quality players were put in place around them and Lebron is yet to win anything. Basketball is a team sport where an individual can have a huge impact on the game but with the structure of the NBA Playoffs with best of seven game series, true teams with multiple contributors, a strong coaching staff and good chemistry win championships.
It is not easy to build and develop a championship team as only eight franchises have attained this goal in the last 30 years, but some teams have obviously had a lot more success than others and this is the element of the NBA which this blog will focus on. From the coaching and head office staff in place, to their decisions on draft picks, free agents and trades, to the players themselves and the way they play and approach the game. If done properly from top to bottom, teams can consistently reign as champions as the Chicago Bulls, LA Lakers and Boston Celtics have shown. I dream of a competitive NBA where there are more than 4-5 teams with any hopes of winning it all, so I will explore the outlined elements for all teams in the NBA and attempt to figure out why there aren’t more championship caliber franchises in place.
Read along, share your comments and help me figure this out.