So let’s take a quick break from football because I think what has gone down in the NBA this free agency has been pretty interesting.

The NBA had two massive questions going into the free agency season. Where would KD go, and where would Kawhi Leonard go? If you listened to a large portion of the media and a large contingent of fans, it would have been the Knicks and Lakers. Because BIG MARKETS. PRESTIGE. HISTORY. MARKETING OPPORTUNITY. Bigger markets have always created a discrepancy in sports. An ideal sports world would have Jacksonville be as popular a destination as Miami. But things don’t work that way, and if the NFL has irritating market bias, the NBA is twice as bad. It’s frustrating when two franchises that have been terrible for years can basically scream “yeah but it’s us” and grab big names anyway because…it is them. They do hold that sway. You can be above average in NY and you’ll be an overrated star while someone can slave away in Charlotte and get no love.

That’s what makes this offseason’s developments so interesting. New York and Los Angeles got the super teams they wants. But not on the franchises everyone expected. Instead of the Giants, they picked the Jets. The two little brothers of the big market areas have now become the super teams. The Lakers got ignored for the Clippers, a second fiddle team that until recently had never even been relevant. The Knicks got completely ignored, losing out on even more in exchange for the Jets of the NBA, the Nets. The Nets are now a future super team with Kyrie and KD (can’t wait for this drama bomb) and the Clippers get possibly the best player in the league with Kawhi, who managed to steal Paul George from OKC with him. The two “other” teams in New York and LA are now the teams to watch.

The Lakers obviously didn’t completely lose out. They got Anthony Davis, Boogie, and they still have LeBron, but they traded away their entire young core for AD and are still a front office catastrophe. The Knicks got completely clowned. If they hadn’t managed to snag RJ in the draft (which was still a letdown considering so many simply assumed Zion was going there because NEW YORK) they’d be in even worse shape. Kyrie and KD spurned them for their neighborhood bro. They didn’t get Zion or AD. Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, and Klay Thompson all went elseware. Kawhi wasn’t ever really on the table. The biggest name they got was Julius Randle, who casual fans might not even instantly recognize. Knicks fans have to wait till next year until they can claim New York supremacy in hope again. I guess there is also a chance they get Russell Westbrook now that OKC is in freefall after PG bailed.

Why doesn’t football really have this issue to nearly this extent? If you had to pick between the Jets or Giants, completely ignoring current team situations and only considering market value, you’d pretty much always go for the Giants. It would be more valuable to your brand to be on the more historical franchise. No one would ever sign with Tennessee or Jacksonville or the Chargers. But in the NFL it feels like even the top free agents mostly just follow the money. There is some market bias of course but not to the NBA’s extent. Why do you think the NBA is so much worse about it?