Is the NBA turning into English Soccer?

I stumbled onto an article in the WSJ written in February that I thought was particularly interesting, comparing the current state of the NBA to England’s Premier League. It’s an interesting thought that many fans have probably been thinking about lately. Here’s an excerpt:

Carmelo Anthony’s trade to the New York Knicks Monday night is the latest sign that the NBA is drifting in one distinct direction. It’s becoming a league where a handful of glamour-puss teams are attracting all the marquee players and where, if recent events are any indication, they may vacuum up championships for years to come. In fact, as more stars like Anthony defect to these few teams, the league may quickly come to resemble (gasp!) English soccer.

In England’s Premier League, which is widely considered the world’s deepest pro league, only four teams—Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United—have managed to finish No. 3 or better in the final league standings over the past seven seasons. Not coincidentally, these teams have also been the prime destinations for mid-career superstars who’ve taken a change of scenery. (Manchester City, a team that has spent lavishly on superstars, has also prospered. It’s currently poised to take this season’s No. 3 spot).

The NBA hasn’t seen anything approaching that level of predictability…But the winds of change are clearly blowing. By switching teams to the big-market Knicks, Anthony (formerly of the Denver Nuggets) joins Amar’e Stoudemire (formerly of the Phoenix Suns), in making New York a prime player. LeBron James (Cleveland) and Chris Bosh (Toronto), have joined Dwyane Wade to make the Miami Heat a perennial power. This comes not long after the Los Angeles Lakers loaded up with Pau Gasol and Ron Artest and the Boston Celtics grabbed Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Paul Pierce.

Just imagine if the Heat had won the title; this theory may have been solidified.


See here for the full article:

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