The NBA has Super-Teams that are Similar to Video Game Teams, and That’s A Problem

You know that sports video game that’s really fun for the first few games? You start a franchise, acquire all your favourite players, and finally, you’re off.

Then as you continue, the schedule seems long. You start simulating a few games. Then the bulk of them. Then your team, which is an absolute monster, finds themselves in the NBA Finals. Man, THOSE games are fun. You’re probably not simulating THOSE.

Here’s the thing though, those monster super-teams are real now. Every other team’s looking up at the Warriors, Thunder, Cavaliers, and Celtics as the four teams inevitably headed to the playoffs. Every other team’s aware that it will be two of those super-teams in the Finals.

And the fans will be watching the first few games with full concentration, and it’ll be awesome to watch — for about a week. Then it’ll be boring seeing four teams dominate, and you’ll wish it was playoff time. Except in real life, there’s no button to simulate.

The NBA is one of the more interesting leagues day-to-day for a lot of people, as the games are widely covered and fast-paced. Games are usually close until the fourth, which gives the viewer an incentive to watch until the end. All this could end with the super-teams.

The super-teams will come into your home arena, and blow your team out, even if your team’s good. You’ll go in, as a fan, with hope. You know your team has young talent and you believe you can contend against LeBron and the Cavs.

And Toronto’s Pretty Good! Imagine if this is a team that’s not this good.

The Cavs think that’s a rather funny scenario you’ve dreamed up. Isaiah Thomas (due to return in late December) and LeBron BLEW. YOU. OUT. Kevin Love had a great game. D-Wade and LeBron looked like they were on the same page all game.

It was like watching your team face an NBA 2K MyGM franchise… but not just ANY franchise. It was like watching a franchise from a dude who spent serious money to make his squad better. You’d LOVE your normal squad to make the playoffs, but you know to win the Finals, you’ll have to face four of these overpowered monster-teams.

That’s not fun to play. It’s also not really fun to watch. And that’s the risk the NBA is running with right now.

There are some cool ideas Adam Silver’s floated around to make broadcasts more engaging for fans, so we’ll see if the NBA will stay interesting through the super-team era.

But the league’s first priority needs to be this — Keep the games interesting for both the casual audiences and the diehard fans despite the obvious final result and inevitable blowouts.

Good luck, Adam Silver. It won’t be easy.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store