StreetWise vendors know their sports! StreetWise volunteer Bill Coats and vendors Russell Adams, John Hagan and Vince Collaso (left to right) talk about the pros and cons of sports dynasties.
Vince: John, what do you think about sports dynasties?
John: I think they’re very essential to sports. As we see with the leagues nowadays, they’re not as strong as they used to be. Back in the ’70s when we had Pittsburgh winning four Super Bowls in six years, or further back, Green Bay winning five NFL titles in seven years … What you have right now is whole bunch of other teams that are just another football team, and that waters down the product.
Vince: What do you think, Russell?
Russell: Dynasties in basketball, it’s hard to say because it seems like they want certain teams to be good every year. I remember a couple years ago, the Lakers tried to trade Pau Gasol to New Orleans … and the league shut him down. They just stepped right in and said, “you can’t do that.” But then Cleveland tried to get Kevin Love and Lebron James. Come on, Kevin Love, Lebron James, Kyrie Irving. You’re giving them a team. They didn’t shut that down. They didn’t reject that. I think they do it for a reason.
Bill: “They” being the league, not the teams themselves.
Russell: Right. [The Lakers] have been on the top for a long time: Kobe [Bryant], Chris Paul, a couple other guys. They would have been great, but you can’t do that. But [the Cavaliers] got Lebron James and Kevin Love.
Bill: Well, you know the thing that I forget a lot of times is that the league has franchises, and the owners are like the people who own McDonald’s restaurants. And there has even been times where teams were the league’s team. Remember the Washington Senators, or Washington Nationals now? They were run by the league directly.
Vince: We speak about franchises, would you like fries with that touchdown? … Sports dynasties have their place, like the New York Yankees. No team in sports is as loved or as hated as the Yankees. Think of baseball without the Yankees. There would be a big hole, especially with all the storied players, and Yankee Stadium is like the Mecca of baseball … The key thing, I think, though, is to keep the interest.
John: I got a question. What do you consider a true dynasty?
Vince: Well, of course, the Yankees. In basketball, the Celtics, the Lakers. What do you guys think?
John: How about this? Three championships in four years. To me, that’s a dynasty. I know the Giants won three in five years, and they were a very good team. But that’s not a dynasty because they haven’t won back-to-back. And those couple of seasons they did not win the World Series they were not in the playoffs.
Bill: You can plan all you want to manipulate the game, but it’s very difficult. They want the big cities to have the best teams because that’s where the markets are. You want L.A., Chicago, Boston, New York. You want those teams to be the best teams, but it doesn’t always happen … I’ll tell you, the thing is, the games are still so appealing. Even if you think it’s fixed, it’s still wonderful to watch.