NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says that the world’s most famous basketball competition is not a two-team league.
In the press-conference on the eve of the third straight Finals meeting between defending champion Cleveland and Golden State, Silver waved away the notion that parity in the league has died.
“It’s just hard for me to fathom how there becomes this perception that at the moment there are only two teams that are truly competitive in the league,” said Silver. “I just don’t believe it.”
Silver backed his claim by saying what the Cavs and the Warriors are doing are far from the more dominating dynasties erected by two more famous franchises: Boston and Los Angeles Lakers.
“You know, think back, you guys know the history,” said Silver to the media. ‘We have the Lakers and the Celtics, the Celtics have won 17 championships, Lakers 16, that’s almost half of all championships won in the NBA.
“Now [the Cavs and the Dubs] are being called dynasties. One [Cleveland] before last year had never won in the history of the NBA. Golden State hadn’t won in 40 years.
“These are the two teams now that are playing and everybody’s saying, ‘Now they’re dynasties’. So they have a lot of winning to do before I think they should be declared dynasties in the way that the Celtics and Lakers dominated for so many years, or even San Antonio with their five championships or the Bulls with their six championships.”
This is the first time in NBA history that two teams will meet in the Finals in three consecutive seasons.
Boston won eight straight NBA championships from 1959 to 1966, while the LA Lakers won four of eight championships from 1980 to 1988.
Detroit won two straight from 1989 to 1990 before Michael Jordan and his Chicago team won three straight from 1991 to 1993. Houston won in 1994 and 1995 while Jordan was out in his first retirement, then the Bulls won three straight from 1996 to 1998.
The Lakers were the last to win three straight titles from 2000 to 2002, though San Antonio won five championships in 15 seasons from 1999 to 2014, and Miami won three in eight seasons, including back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.