Statistical analysis has exposed the NBA's parity problem.
From Free Market Shooter: fmshooter.com
An argument I’ve had with many people regarding college and professional sports focuses on NBA basketball, particularly the past few years of play. The argument always comes down to one simple conclusion:
The NBA isn’t fun to watch because it is a non-competitive, low variance league.
I should add the disclaimer that I’m not particularly fond of watching basketball, but I find college basketball to be far more exciting. Perhaps it’s the single-elimination playoff, greater number of teams, or any number of other factors that leads to a more unpredictable, higher variance game.
However, it can be demonstrated with an odds analysis that the NBA is by far the most non-competitive out of the four major professional sports leagues in the US.
For this odds analysis, I have used betting odds from Sunday May 13th at 8:00AM. These were provided not from Predictit or Betfair, but from Vegas Insider, which keeps its sports futures regularly updated. We’ll start with the NBA odds, and the crux of the argument:
According to these odds, the Golden State Warriors have a 61.5% chance of winning the NBA championship. But, more notably, at 30/1, the Boston Celtics have just a 3.2% chance of winning the title. The fact that the “worst” team of the final four is priced so cheaply is indicative of the top-heavy nature of the league.
This is a trend that was even more pronounced in prior years – in 2016, the Toronto Raptors were listed at between 50-1 and 65-1 to win the title, even after reaching the semifinals. Outside of the Warriors and Cavaliers, the other team in the semifinals that year – the Oklahoma City Thunder – witnessed superstar player Kevin Durant (pictured at the top of the article) leave in free agency the following year to join… the Golden State Warriors, adding to the league’s top-heavy disparity.
It is no coincidence that the last three winners (2015 Warriors, 2016 Cavaliers, 2017 Warriors) have all had superstar lineups and were heavily favored even at the beginning of the season. The lack of a superstar to compete for a championship has even led teams to resort to “tanking” – deliberately losing games in the hopes of landing a higher lottery choice for a superstar player entering the league.
This is in stark contrast to other pro sports leagues. The most pertinent example at the moment is the NHL, also in its semifinals:
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According to reports, During the month of February several NBA teams played what they are calling “the negro national anthem” during the games.
Fox5ny.com reported: WASHINGTON (AP) - Several NBA teams have played what is known as the "negro national anthem" at games during Black History Month thanks in part to the urging of a retired Howard University professor.
Eugene Williams, a 76-year-old retiree in Clinton, Maryland, has made it his goal to get professional and collegiate teams to play "Lift Every Voice and Sing" during February. He has been calling and writing teams for the past six months.
The Washington Wizards became the fourth NBA team to play the song at a game, doing so during a timeout midway through the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night. As the song played, a video was shown with on-court highlights and Wizards players engaging in community activities.
The Oklahoma City Thunder played it in January, Williams said. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Warriors played "Lift Every Voice and Sing" in February.
Williams attended the Warriors-Wizards game on the last day of Black History Month to hear the song played.
"I had no idea it would amount to all of this," Williams said.
He plans to keep advocating for more NBA teams to play the song during Black History Month. He is also reaching out to universities to include the song during games, having already heard it at Georgetown University games.
Read story @ fox5ny.com
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NBA players have taken offense to Fox News host Laura Ingraham's suggestion for them to keep their political commentary to themselves and just do their jobs.
LeBron James responded with the hashtag, "wewillnotshutupanddribble",
prompting a response from Ingraham herself inviting James to be on her show:
Meanwhile Kevin Durant claims her comment is racist.
From The Hill:
NBA's Kevin Durant calls Ingraham's 'shut up' comment 'racist'
© Getty Images
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant responded to Laura Ingraham on Friday after the Fox News host questioned why the NBA star didn't "shut up" about politics, calling her comment "racist."
Durant told USA Today that he personally took the Fox host's comment as racist after Ingraham told Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James to "shut up and dribble" after the two made comments critical of President Trump.
“Must they run their mouths like that?" Ingraham said Thursday on her show, "The Ingraham Angle." "Unfortunately, a lot of kids — and some adults — take these ignorant comments seriously.
Read more @ thehill.com