For the past decade, the NBA has been dominated by two players, LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Furthermore, for the last twenty years, only four franchises have been able to constantly make it to the NBA Finals. Those four teams are the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors.
However, not only will we have a new champion this season, it will be a team whose fanbase has desperately been waiting for this moment. Oklahoma City Thunder fans may remember this feeling from when the Thunder made it to the Finals back in 2012.
Of the eight remaining teams in the NBA Playoffs nearly half play in small markets. In addition, five of the remaining franchises have never won an NBA championship.
None of the eight teams still alive in the NBA playoffs have won a title since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1984. pic.twitter.com/1XN3vYRcw3
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 7, 2021
Even for a team like Oklahoma City who is now rebuilding, this is a great sign of things to come in the NBA. The Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz were all in the rebuilding process just five years ago.
Outside of the league’s newfound parity, these playoffs have shown that in terms of talent the NBA’s future is bright. Players like Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young have proven in these playoffs that they can deliver on the national stage.
Moreover, young players like Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic, despite losing in the first round, have shown that they are superstars in the making.
With all of these young stars coming of age, the NBA will be in good hands when the likes of James and Curry retire. Oklahoma City fans should be excited as they have one of these young stars in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Gilgeous Alexander averaged 24 points and six assists per game this season. Both were career highs for the third year point guard. It is fair to say that Gilgeous-Alexander blossomed into being an All-Star level player.
To have similar team success as these other franchises with young stars, the Thunder need build around him. The Thunder have to give Gilgeous-Alexander his chance to shine on the playoff stage.
Do you think parity is good for the NBA?