Is the upcoming NBA free agency period getting too much attention?
Not at all.
The NBA is a unique league. Unlike other major sports leagues, the NBA is dominated by “dynasty” teams built on the backs of a select few superstar players.
Here’s a stat that aptly illustrates this point: The last 25 NBA Championships were won by a total of seven teams. That’s right, seven.
Of those seven teams, six won multiple titles during that span. The only single title winner was the 2006 Miami Heat.
Compare that stat to these other three major sports leagues:
The last 25 Super Bowls have been won by 14 teams, with eight single title winners.
The last 25 World Series have been won by 16 teams, with nine single title winners.
The last 25 Stanley Cups have been won by 13 teams, with seven single title winners.
As these numbers confirm, the club of NBA Champions is among the most exclusive clubs in sports.
And how does one become a member? Through the draft? Of course.
Entry into the club can be the byproduct of a lucky bounce in the lottery, or a superstar unwisely passed on by another franchise.
How about trades? Absolutely.
Trades for Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, and Pau Gasol have helped teams make the club.
Free agency? Oddly, not as much.
While free agent signings have been significant factors for some championship teams, it is difficult to find an example of champion that has been built primarily through free agency.
Then again, there has never been a free agent class like the 2010 class.
This year’s list—LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, and David Lee—is unprecedented in terms of “balance of power” talent.
Another unique factor is the number of teams who have gone “all in”… gutting their rosters to obtain the necessary cap space to make a splash in this market.
What will the outcome be? I’ll leave that to the rumor mill.
One thing is certain, though. This free agent free-for-all has the potential to create the next dynasty.
All other mediocre teams...you’ll just have to wait for a lucky lottery ball bounce.