First things first: I just recently became a big NBA fan. Before this season, I was merely a casual fan who watched the playoffs and only kept an eye on the regular season from a distance.
This year, I have been able to pick apart the finer points of the NBA and enjoy it as a different game than NCAA basketball. One of the many things that drew me into The Association was the young talent spread across the league.
You have Stephen Curry at Golden State, RussellvWestbrook and Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City, Kevin Love in Minnesota, Chris Paul in New Orleans and Blake Griffin playing for the Clippers, just to name a few.
I think that having the talent spread all around is a great thing for the NBA. It gives people a reason to watch the Timberwolves vs. the Clippers, just to see Love and Griffin go at it. This is why the thought of moving towards a few "super teams" will be good for the NBA, but bad for the casual fan.
The first glimpse we saw was the big three in Boston, then the Heat over the summer, and now the Knicks just recently at the trading deadline. The reason this is good for the NBA is that the biggest markets are getting the best teams, which means more money in its pocket.
What people are forgetting about is that the teams that are struggling to bring in solid attendance numbers as is are going to struggle even more when they lose their All-Stars to the major teams.
There will be a top heavy league in which the teams that cannot pull in at least two big-name players will struggle to compete with the super teams.
The New Orleans Hornets are a perfect example. They have one of the most exciting point guards in the game in Chris Paul, but are struggling to even keep the team in the city. They have the 23rd ranked attendance in the league with teams like the Bucks, Wizards and Pistons are ahead of them.
When Chris Paul becomes a free agent in 2012, why should he stay in a place that does not support its team? Ticket prices may partly be to blame, but this could become a widespread problem if the super team trend continues.
I am not saying that I don't enjoy watching a team like the Heat or Knicks play. It's cool to watch great players play with each other, but the key to the NBA's success right now is excellent young talent giving fans in a variety of markets a reason to tune in.
Without anything to draw their attention to the local team, the fans may lose interest in the league altogether thanks to feeling pushed out by big money and big markets.