We refer to the operation of the National Basketball Association.
On April 13 the morning paper carried the final standings of the teams - apparently with four games yet to be played. The article informed us which teams had made the season playoffs for the championship.
This essay is intended to be, at least partly, for the information of readers who have the same general interest in professional basketball as does this author. None.
But as the author is interested in spreading knowledge of the outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars in subsidy of the sport, we offer this effort. After all, some of those "playoff" games will be in a taxpayer financed facility, from which the taxpayer will see no part of the revenues.
We find from this news item that there are thirty teams in the league, equally divided into two "conferences." The playoff for the league championship is between the winners of the conferences.
But at the end of the regular season, more than half of all the teams are still eligible for those playoff openings! A team which has won only half of the 82-game schedule is the equal of a team which won more than 80 percent of the time.
Sixteen of thirty teams - 53 percent of the league - will play as if the entire season was an unimportant "preliminary bout." And the "bracket" system set up will apparently require the ultimate champion to have won an additional dozen or so more games!! The rationale for this is obvious. More games mean more money in the pockets of the greedy owners.
But one question comes to mind, for those who care. If, through some minor miracle for instance, the Bulls (.500% on the year) would happen to beat Golden State (.815% on the year) in the finals, would that really indicate the best team of the season? Isn’t that determination the purpose of the whole season?
Or does that really matter compared to the additional coin in the owners’ pockets?