So Adam Silver doesn’t like the idea of a Warriors super team, huh? The NBA commissioner and more than a few team owners are concerned Kevin Durant will tilt the field out of whack, it seems.
Well, under what large rock have these people spent the last six decades?
The NBA always has been about stars and superstars in big cities. Been that way since the late 1940s, when the league then known as the Basketball Association of America came into existence.
Of the 69 league championships since then, 37 were won by teams in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. That means four jumbo markets have accounted for 54 percent of all titles. Add the Bay Area, Detroit and New York to the mix, and the number zooms to 62 percent.
Sorry, New Orleans, but you’ve got almost no chance.
The NBA had good reason to lean on the big boys, really. As the newest professional team sport in the country, it couldn’t survive without them. So when Celtics mastermind Red Auerbach bullied, borrowed and stole 11 titles in 13 seasons back in the day, the league was only too happy to look the other way.
Then there was the 1962-63 Celtics, who boasted nine future Hall of Famers on their roster. That’s right — nine. That’s five or six more than the Warriors have now.
Say, just how did the 1985-86 Celtics wind up with Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Bill Walton, anyway?
If Silver and the team owners don’t like the current system, they can look in the mirror for the reasons. They crafted the collective bargaining agreement five years ago. They had to know that some elite players might want to join forces along the way, but they were too blinded by dollar signs to do anything about it.
Now that the NBA had closed the gap with Major League Baseball as the No. 2 sports league, parity may be more of a priority. Fine. Either side can opt out of the CBA after next season. If the higher-ups are so concerned about competitive balance, they’ll have a chance to bargain for it in the months ahead.
Hi-yo, Silver, away!
IGGY FLOP: After all the jealous talk that Warriors had to put up with after their league title last year, one would think that they wouldn’t stoop to such depths. Andre Iguodala couldn’t resist, unfortunately.
Iguodala claimed the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Warriors better than anyone and should be NBA champions, an obvious shot at LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Except the Thunder didn’t beat them — the Cavaliers did.
Iguodala isn’t the guy to talk. If he hadn’t been posterized by James on the biggest defensive play in the series, the outcome might have been different. Better to take his lumps like a man, speaking of which …
BRADY IS A LOSER: So Tom Brady finally took a knee. The overrated New England Patriots quarterback gave up his appeal on Friday, took his deflated ball and went home. Even the New England media suck-ups had grown tired of his act, and no doubt that played a role in his decision.
Now how ’bout the rest of us sue Brady for all of our time that he wasted the last two years?
The players’ union could attempt to take the case to the Supreme Court as a labor issue. Don’t make Cesar Chavez laugh. Deflategate wasn’t about buck-an-hour workers who stomped grapes for long hours in the hot sun. It was about a incredibly rich and pompous jock who stomped his feet because he couldn’t get his way.
All Brady had to do was say he made a mistake and was sorry for it. He would have gotten off with a one-game slap on the hands then.
But that wouldn’t have been Tom Brady, would it?
Instead, Brady blamed commish Roger Goodell for his problems. He should have been mad at the union leaders and coworkers who handed Goodell the keys to the kingdom as part of a rotten labor deal 10 years ago. Without an opt-out clause, if you can believe it. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers voted against it.
At least the football gods got this one right even if it took waaaaay too long. Brady will forever be known as a cheater, liar and loser. And no amount of touchdown passes or Super Bowl rings can change his legacy.
THE LIST: Five Balls-y predictions for the second half of the local baseball season:
The Giants will fall short of 100 wins in the regular season, but only because manager Bruce Bochy will call off the dogs early.
Then they’ll beat the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs in the National League playoffs.
All-Star snub Brandon Crawford will play like his hair is on fire. (Chill, everyone, Balls means that in a good way.)
Athletics brainiac Billy Beane will trade Rich Hill, Ryan Madson and at least two other seven-figure salaries before the deadline. Then he’ll water his grass for two months.
The A’s will play every game on their schedule barring rain or a sewerage overflow at The Oakland Mausoleum.
JUST SAYIN’: 49ers sack leader Aaron Lynch was caught for a banned substance and suspended four games. “Winning with class,” CEO Jed York calls it.
• Anderson Varejao has joined Zaza Pachulia as the latest veteran to join the Warriors on the cheap. Splash Triplets, meet the Flop Brothers.
• Good move by the NBA rules committee to crack down on away-from-the-ball fouls. Next it can decrease the number of time-outs in the final two minutes …
• Then approve a running clock when any team trails by 20 points or more in the second half.
• James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade delivered a powerful-if-overdue message against gun violence at the ESPY Awards show, and Balls was thinkin’, “And nowwwww, your 2017-18 New York Knickerbockers!”
• Meanwhile, Lindsey Vonn reported that she gave Houston Texans stud J.J. Watt a hand with “lots of massages in the groin area,” the kind of inside information that only ESPN can offer us.
WHERE HAVE YOU GONE … Tiger Woods?
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