Photo Credit: SB Nation
Predictable. Boring. Unwatchable. All of those negative things and more are terms that people have used to describe the NBA this past season, and all of those claims have enough evidence to back them up with since this year’s NBA did, in fact, turn out how most if not all people predicted it would.
But while many people will be quick to blame the lack of a competitive NBA on Kevin Durant for joining the Golden State Warriors this past offseason, here is a list of 5 things that have contributed to the NBA being so predictable that have absolutely nothing to do with Kevin Durant. Don’t think that I’m the only one who thinks this either. Durant himself has made it very clear that he is NOT the one to blame for the NBA being the way it is.
“Like I’m the reason why (expletive) Orlando couldn’t make the playoffs for five, six years in a row? Am I the reason that Brooklyn gave all their picks to Boston? Like, am I the reason that they’re not that good (laughs)? I can’t play for every team, so the truth of the matter is I left one team. It’s one more team that you probably would’ve thought would’ve been a contender. One more team. I couldn’t have made the (entire) East better. I couldn’t have made everybody (else) in the West better.”
Without further due, here is that list of 5 things.
1. Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers; Part Three
That’s right, part three, meaning these two teams have met in the NBA Finals the past two seasons as well. Was Kevin Durant playing for the Warriors then? No, he was not. Was the NBA still predictable? Yes, it was.
2. Huge Contracts to Non-Elite Players
Is it Kevin Durant’s fault that the Memphis Grizzlies are giving Mike Conley, who hasn’t made it to a single All-Star game in his 10-year NBA career, a record $153 million over 5 seasons? And that’s just naming ONE notable player…
3. Bad Trades
Is it Kevin Durant’s fault that the Brooklyn Nets traded away four first round picks for a bunch of washed up former NBA champions and are now terrible because of it? Again, that’s just naming ONE notable team and trade…
4. 16-Team Playoffs
Over half of the NBA teams make the playoffs. Of course having numerous subpar teams going to the “most competitive” part of the season results in predictability. Even with two conferences having eight teams each in the playoffs, no team lower than a 3-seed has won the NBA championship since 1995. Kevin Durant was 6 years old at the time.
5. One & Done NCAA Basketball Players
The best college basketball players typically go to the worst NBA teams in the NBA draft. But said best players are typically 18, 19 or 20-year-old kids who are not developed enough to compete with the stars of the league for championships.
Freshmen have been the top pick in the past seven NBA drafts. It’s no wonder bad teams don’t typically experience quick turnarounds. Even the Seattle SuperSonics went 20-62 in the 2007-2008 season when 2nd overall pick Kevin Durant was a rookie after just one season in college. That 20-62 record was 11 games worse than the team’s record the previous season, and it was their worst in franchise history.