This season’s All-NBA selections indicate optimal league parity

Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 03: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles up court while being defended by Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of a game at Fiserv Forum on April 03, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, This season’s All-NBA selections indicate optimal league parity. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

The three All-NBA teams were released on Tuesday, honoring the best players over the course of the regular season.

What stood out was the fact just one team, the Phoenix Suns, had multiple selections (Devin Booker and Chris Paul). With 14 different teams represented, is this the best indication yet that the NBA has reached an important period of parity across the league?

This season’s All-NBA selections indicate optimal league parity

According to All-NBA teams since the 1988-89 season, the NBA may have hit its fairest period in quite some decades.

Many have despised the ‘superteam’ era of the past decade or so. Granted, four teams (the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Golden State Warriors) have combined for 17 of the last 23 NBA championships.

But while both the Heat and Warriors have the chance to make that 18 of the last 24, it’s fair to acknowledge they’re now doing it on culture and system rather than overwhelming talent.

This is now the second season in a row where only one team has had multiple All-NBA selections, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George making it last season for the LA Clippers.

Prior to the last two seasons, all but one of the previous 33 seasons (since All-NBA selections were first composed of three teams in 1988-89) had at least two NBA teams with multiple selections. The only other season with just one team was also recently, in 2016-17, where the Warriors had three in Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green.

Not only is the talent more dispersed, but you could also argue that’s because there’s more overall talent in the league. Every single franchise could assess that they have either an All-NBA caliber player or, for young, rebuilding teams, the makings of at least one potential All-NBA player in the future.

Of course, evaluating league parity covers so many more aspects, including front office staff and anyone beyond the court itself. But basing it on All-NBA selections seems a reasonably fair judgment. And according to that, this might be the fairest the league has been in a long time.

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