Originally Posted by Poetry
You are viewing things in an odd vacuum.
Say for instance, there was a university that only admitted 100 top qualified candidates a year. Then the next year they decide to admit 120 students. The fact that additional students were added to the ranks, doesn't suddenly mean the requirements for getting into the university are less stringent. And it doesn't mean those 20 student didn't exist. Or that another 200 behind them aren't waiting to get into the school too. It just means a larger number of deserving people were allowed into the school.
Likewise, in the NBA, the talent was always there at the college and alternative professional level, but the league was more exclusive. So fewer deserving players were getting into it.
For instance, say the NBA contracted. Does that all of sudden mean there will be less people trying to get into the league? That all of a sudden, that the thousands upon thousands of ballers trying to get into the league will suddenly give up. No it just means fewer will get in and will be distributed outside the NBA.
There are always guys knocking at the door, fighting tooth and nail to get into the league, deserving, talented players that just don't get in.
Look at the Raptors in their first year of existence. .256 W/L record (1995-96). Look at them in their 17th year of existence: .268 W/L (2010-11). They've come full circle over the course of their existence. Not every team in the league can have a winning percentage.
In 1995 there were 29 teams. The year before that, 27, i believe.
Today there are 30.
Based on what you think, the league today should technically be more watered down than it's ever been.
But that isn't the case either. 99% of the elite players, all-star players, great players and good players will get into the league regardless of how many teams there are.
The league now is about as competitive as it was then.
1995--13 sub .500 teams.
1996--13 sub .500 teams.
2010--14 sub .500 teams.
2009--13 sub .500 teams.
I think you miss the point. The same amount of talent spread over more teams will surely make the league more watered down. If we have 20 Lebrons spread over 10 teams, that would surely be less watered down than 20 Lebrons spread over 30 teams. That's strictly in terms of quality though.
Competitiveness doesn't have anything to do with this. If everyone sucks equally, the league would still be as competitive as ever.