NBA Playoffs: Losers Don't Deserve Spots

Dave MillerContributor IMarch 21, 2008

File this under I’m mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore! 

With apologies to those of you living in cities with losers for basketball teams, if you can’t win at least 41 games, why do you think you belong in the playoffs? 

Anyone with half a brain can figure out that if a team loses more games than it wins, it doesn’t belong in any kind of playoff, except maybe for the worst team in the NBA.

But apparently David Stern, the owners, players, and everyone else connected with this farce thinks differently.  What else explains why the NBA hasn’t figured out that the best system would take the top 16 teams, regardless of location?

But then that would deprive some folks in the East of the chance to root for their precious team.  Well, I’ve got news for you, Philly, New Jersey, Atlanta, and the rest of you Eastern wannabes.  Your teams SUCK and have no business being in the playoffs at the expense of better clubs in the West.  At least not this year.

Has the NBA become like Saturday afternoon soccer leagues where they don’t keep score so kids' egos won’t be damaged by losing?  Are we now giving out Little League participation trophies in the form of playoff spots?  It sure looks like it.

It used to be you had to win to make the playoffs, in any sport.  But with the increasing amounts of money out there, compromises were made.  Owners and league offices saw that a few extra games added a ton to the bottom lines.  So second place teams were added.  And then wild card teams.  

And then they sold their integrity.  Somehow setting up a system where you could play an entire season and still have losers involved in the post season.  Only the totally inept were counted out.

If you think losing teams in the playoffs are good for sports, your head must be on backwards.  The fact that they rarely win or upset a favorite is beside the point.

The playoffs are supposed to be a reward for a season well played.  And if you do well there, you might, just maybe, be crowned a champion.  The best of the best.

If an Eastern Division team manages to win the title this year, that win will be tainted because they will be playing in a protected bracket.  It is just common sense.  If a majority of the better teams in the NBA reside west of the Rockies, the winner of that division will be more beat up on the road to the finals. 

Wouldn’t we all rather see the best 16 teams in the playoffs, regardless of their location?