LeBron, Boogie Cousins And The NBA Have Nothing To Apologize For

    There are many basketball fans that have similar feelings with my colleague Rob Parker, who is adamant that the NBA is damaged, broken and nothing more than “…noncompetitive basketball at the highest level.

    They’re pointing to Golden State’s recent sweep of Cleveland in the NBA Finals, and their third title in four years, as some proof that the league is boring and predictable. But I ain’t buying it.

    And with the Warriors recent free agency bombshell of bringing All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins into the fold, some folks are beyond apoplectic.

    First off, let’s debunk this myth that Boogie playing for the Warriors is bad for the NBA. 

    Yes, he’ll be unstoppable playing with the supreme shooters that Golden State trots out with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. DMC is one of just eight players in NBA history to average at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a single season, the numbers he posted last year through 48 games before rupturing his Achilles tendon. 

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    He provides a supreme upgrade at the center position and the Warriors will be dominant again, perhaps even more than they’ve ever been. And what really has some folks mad is that he took a one-year deal for the bargain basement price of $5.3 million. 

    Prior to his injury, he was a lock for a max deal this summer. But the economic climate for his services changed drastically, and no NBA General Manager was going to fork over max money given the severity and uncertainty surrounding his return from such a major injury. 

    So he makes the best decision for himself, goes to a team that gives him a great chance to win a championship and takes some short money to prove that he can once again attain a level of excellence that will set him up for the big pay day next summer. How can anyone be mad at that?

    This is not a situation where a superstar willingly took a massive pay cut to win a ring, thereby laying the groundwork to return the power back to the teams and owners, where they don’t have to pay players anything and just rake in crazy dough at much higher margins. The players, after years of fighting for the equitable financial fruits of the revenues they generate, are ceding nothing right here.

    No one was raining cash on Cousins and his options were limited, so he made a chess move. The other point of contention is that Golden State, already historically dominant, got better. 

    And? 

    Are they not allowed to make their own power moves in free agency, considering the arms race underway to dethrone them, and the fact, which most people seem to gloss over, that they were a Chris Paul hamstring injury away from getting knocked out of the Western Conference Finals?  

    I hear folks talking about how “unbalanced” the NBA is and how what’s happening nowadays threatens parity. 

    Well here’s a newsflash for you, the league has never enjoyed parity. 

    Its rising tide has always been driven by dominant squads. And given that attendance and revenues were at an all-time high last season, business is booming. And it will continue to boom even more as folks tune in to see who can knock the big bully off the block. 

    Call it the Mayweather effect. 

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    Aficionados tuned in to appreciate his technical brilliance. Others tuned in to see somebody, anybody, knock his ass out. And no matter how superior he was, he generated more money than any fighter ever has.

    And can we please kill this nonsense about LeBron James, and “The Decision” to go to Miami, ruining the NBA. It’s beyond absurd. 

    The man exercised his hard-earned right to be a free agent, learned under one of the game’s great architects in Pat Riley, digested what a championship organization is supposed to look like, and won a couple of rings in the process. He made a life and a business decision, but some folks sure were, and remain, angry about him having the audacity to leave the plantation.

    And if you think winning those titles with the Heat were shortcuts,  I’m pretty certain you didn’t watch a single minute of the conference finals against Boston in 2012, especially when they were facing elimination, down three games to two. If you did watch it and you’re spewing that nonsense, you obviously had no comprehension of what you were looking at. 

    Same thing goes for the 2013 NBA Finals, facing elimination again, and down three games to two to a remarkable Spurs squad.

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    Unrestricted free agency began in 1988, thirty years ago. Until then, an NBA players destiny lied with the whims of his team. Signing with another team after your contract was up, if you were an exceptional talent, was not an option. They either kept you or traded you.

    LeBron is not responsible for free agency, but he was ahead of the curve in understanding his own power, how he could be the master of his fate as opposed to letting someone else decide it for him.

    And ya’ll are mad at that? C’mon man, knock that off.

    The NBA has always been ruled by dynasties. But ya’ll were cool when management wielded the power. Now that it’s young, black, rich men calling shots, making power moves and taking charge of their own destiny’s, ya’ll hating like Rico, the illest dude in Nebraska, when Sincere and Tommy came to town, ready and willing to drop a dime!. 

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    Rico

    I support these young brothers claiming their power. Some of ya’ll need to wake up. The league has never been balanced. Over the last 30 years, only ten teams can claim an NBA championship. Straight up and down! 

    Wake up and stop acting like Stephen in Django. “LeBron gonna stay in da big house? IN DA BIG HOUSE???!!!”

    The NBA is in the best shape it’s ever been in. With Houston, and now the Lakers, coming at an even more dangerous Golden State squad out west, and with Boston and Philly on the come-up in the east, the league just got better.

    We’re about to see some of the dopest basketball mankind has ever witnessed. The league has always been defined and thrived due to its dynasties. 

    Ain’t nothing changed, except the people wielding the power. And that’s what makes some people mad as hell.