Every so often a club like the San Antonio Spurs or Detroit Pistons comes along to turn the NBA's balance of big-market power on its head.
Over the last 24 years, those two teams have accounted for nine appearances in the NBA Finals. They've crashed an elite party that's more accustomed to inviting powerhouses like the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls.
The Miami Heat have certainly joined that group, and the New York Knicks are looking for results more are befitting of a massive market.
But financial resources and strong fan following clearly aren't enough to build a dynasty. Dynasties also require a whole host of really important clichés like a "winning culture," a "savvy front office" and the "right kind of system"—whatever that means.
No team has epitomized those franchise fundamentals than the Spurs, but more than a few are attempting to emulate it. The Oklahoma City Thunder have it almost perfect, and the Orlando Magic are hoping to be next.
Needless to say, some teams are closer than others to proving market size doesn't matter.
Here's a look at six who have a chance to make some serious noise at some point over the next five years.