Dei-mails: Should NBA shrink to 24 teams?

Dei-mails: Should NBA shrink to 24 teams?
December 17, 2013, 8:00 pm

Deputy commissioner Adam Silver, left, takes over as NBA commissioner starting on Feb. 1, 2014 when David Stern, right, steps down. (USA Today Images)

The Eastern Conference has eight teams four games or more below .500. The Sixers are one of them -- 7-19 and losers of seven straight.

This is the team we expected at the start of the season, but they're playing with heart. Even so, Evan Turner's future with the Sixers remains unclear (see story).

With that said, here is a Twitter question I have received about the state of the NBA:

The Eastern Conference is so bad that only two teams have a winning record. Think the NBA needs to look at shrinking the league to 24 teams?
-Andrew (@therealdribs)

It’s a good thought in terms of making the league more competitive across the board, but that will never happen. The players’ union would certainly fight it because of the number of jobs that would be lost.

These things go in cycles, and the Eastern Conference has a number of teams rebuilding. As we have seen for too long in the NBA, rebuilding is not easy. The good teams attract the top-tier free agents, and the bad teams stay bad until they get lucky in a draft. Even then, it requires years of building a strong product. Fewer teams would make for a stronger talent pool, but going backwards requires too much sacrifice for too many people to sacrifice.