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An Interesting Sidebar

In Tom Ziller's recent article about why Charlotte is in dire straits as a NBA market, an abundance of topics are broached -- including a lengthy section dissecting the troubled past of former Hornets owner George Shinn -- yet, above all else, the following excerpt struck a chord with me:

"But expansion in the NBA is not easy, even compared to other leagues. The chart [below] shows the average time it takes an expansion team in each league to have a winning season, using data going back to the mid-1990s. The NBA presents the longest timeframe: an average of 6.3 seasons.Expansion-teams_medium_medium

And it makes sense, doesn't it? In no league do individual players matter more than in the NBA. You need stars to even break .500, except in special cases. How do you get stars? You draft them, you sign them or you trade for them. True superstars are rarely traded, and then only with the threat of free agency."

Once again, there's proof it's harder for weaker teams to compete against stronger teams in basketball compared to other major sports.

In basketball, an elite talent -- of whom there are less than 10 in the NBA -- holds more worth than an elite talent in baseball, football, and hockey. That has nothing to do with the respective leagues, either, but rather the sports themselves.

Oh, and with regards to Charlotte itself, the NBA would be markedly better off with a second team in the Chicago metropolitan area than trying to gut it out in the Carolinas.

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