NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Talks Playoff Blowouts
NBA commissioner Adam Silver talked about the playoffs filled with blowouts and the disparity in the league. For Silver, it is all about looking to “celebrate excellence” while turning away from the non-competitive games that have defined the postseason thus far. The NBA is lucky to have the two best teams in the finals while each playoff round was a lopsided series for the league — not only the sweeps but the margins of victory.
“From a league standpoint, you always want to see great competition,” Silver said, via CBS Sports. “It’s what our fans want to see, it’s what we provide in this league. But having said that, this is real life. It’s not scripted, and it happens. So, sure, the fan in me would love to see more competition at times, but on the other hand, I’ve said it before, I think we should also celebrate excellence.”
Trying to find the balance between competition and excellence has not been evident in the playoffs as the Warriors and Cavs have dominated any competition.
This year’s NBA Finals is the third consecutive time Golden State and Cleveland have met. One could easily conclude that both teams have shown a level of excellence we have not seen since the Michael Jordan-era Bulls. But the lack of competition has left the rest of NBA fans annoyed and less interested in the same two teams that will meet again this year and probably more years ahead. “The rich keep getting richer” is very evident when the commissioner lets teams and free agents assemble any team roster that is far superior and will dominate like the Warriors for years to come. Almost like a monopoly with no competition. There was a time when trades were not allowed by the league and when the Warriors got Kevin Durant, the dynasty was complete. Previous Commissioner David Stern voided the trade when Lakers were denied the services of Chris Paul. Will this trend continue to hurt the league fan base and create superior teams by design.
James, Wade and Bosh started this strategy to win an NBA title by forming a Miami Heat super team and getting to the finals more than once.
Golden State earned its 13th consecutive win to open the playoffs, beating LeBron James and the Cavaliers by the score of 113-91. One could say the Warriors’ highest level of play in the postseason should be something to marvel at. A team that is now 13-0 and winning by an average of 17-plus points per game is an out of league display of superior talent. The league is fortunate the Cavaliers can provide a good finals for ratings but the previous playoff sweeps were boring and predictable.
“I think that people are also inspired, as I said earlier, by seeing such tremendous play, by seeing teams come together the way they have,” Silver continued. “I think their play has been inspiring. I think they have done it in the right way, and I also think these things have a way of working themselves out.”
The commissioner is trying to justify an alarming trend in the league. The NBA has some other serious image problems with the absurd All-Star game to domestic violence issues to address and tanking games.. Some will conclude that Golden State signing Kevin Durant impacted the competitive balance in the NBA. That it was bad for the league. But we also have to realize this team earned an NBA title back in 2015 with a local core that included Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Good management, smart draft picks and talent evaluation will be rewarded. The Warriors cannot be blamed for their success but trades or free agents signings of the top players in the league should be left to an arbitration panel for checks and balances. Just an approval process or a denial process would be some type of balancing idea to consider.
If the Warriors and Cavs go up against one another in the Finals each year, the regular season becomes much less effective. That is the larger problem for the NBA and one that is hard to find a solution without some drastic rule changes.