A few days from now in a small market far, far away… hope will begin anew as the NBA season kicks off on Christmas Day. The new collective bargaining agreement may have brought an end to the lockout but the NBA remains in a state of civil war. The NBA is a house divided and David Stern’s interference in Chris Paul’s escape from New Orleans was just an example of the tension that’s boiling beneath the surface.

Most of the franchises banking on a Championship lie within the largest media markets in the nation (New York, Brooklyn, Dallas, Boston, Chicago). The rest reside within the hottest tropical locales (Miami, Los Angeles).

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the NBA’s other 99 percent. They are the NBA’s middle (Orlando, Denver, Phoenix, etc.) and lower class (New Orleans, Utah, Milwaukee). Most have resigned themselves to a fate determined by lottery balls and the next group of one-and-done college phenoms.

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