NBA

Just crown LeBron James again and put an end to this long, predictable season

NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers are just one win away from wrapping up yet another NBA championship and that means the season is nearly over.

And frankly, I don’t think I could get any more tired of a single season unless I was actually one of those poor souls in the media held captive in the NBA bubble.

Give the Lakers their trophy, just as we expected almost a year ago, and move on. One more season ends up just the way we thought it would. One more time, the most drama in the NBA comes from somebody’s Twitter account or Instagram photos.

Miami gave us a glimmer of hope for a while that an actual TEAM could win the league title, rather than the Klutch Sports Lakers or Billionaire Ballmer Clippers.

But no, a few days from now, everyone will be worshiping again at the throne of “The King,” LeBron James -- a man whose legacy someday will be as much general manager as a player. He doesn’t just play for a team, he constructs it. And when it runs out of gas, he simply trades it in for a new one.

Sorry for the cynicism, but as I said, it’s been a long, long season. And the league’s decades-old reliance on turning basketball into a Battle of the Network Superteams always wears on me during the playoffs.

As usual, all the hype is turning into “The King’s coronation” rather than “The Lakers won again.” The cult of personality that is the backbone of the NBA is downright irritating at times.

 

And the lack of level playing field is frustrating to anybody who loves the underdog stories and the idea of several teams in any sport heading into a season with a legitimate chance to win a championship.

I do not pretend to have any answers as to how to fix this problem, because the salary cap hasn’t worked to do it and whatever free-agent restrictions that have been tried have mostly failed.

The Trail Blazers have done an excellent job in this environment of staying competitive, with all the factors working against their success, and I think there should be more appreciation for how difficult it is to compete without being any sort of free-agent destination.

And I think the league is set up so that over the long haul of its season, more joy should be taken from the thrilling upset wins, exciting games and heart-stopping finishes of those 82 regular-season contests.

Of course, by the time next season starts, we’ll all be ready for it. There’s always that chance. Things could change. You never know.

Hope springs eternal. Just not right now.