Much as it would like to present a facade steeped in entertainment, the NBA is a business.
And just like any business, it's filled with plenty of investments.
These come in various forms, of course. Some involve taking chances on individual players, whether through the draft, free agency or a trade. Others revolve around challenging the status quo and scouting in different ways, building a competitive team in a manner that's unique or attempting to change a long-established culture or identity.
Unfortunately, the majority of investments don't work out.
Only one team can win a title each year, and the other 29 squads in the Association are left trying to rationalize defeat and figure out how they can be more successful during the next season. Some of their investments may have worked out, but many surely didn't.
Every once in a while, though, a gamble comes around that allows the people involved to strike gold.
Looking back through the last decade of NBA history, which we're referring to as "recent NBA history," there are a handful that stand out. These investments have had sweeping ramifications, and the people involved can look back on the past with pride.