On Sunday, an extraordinary basketball season climaxed with the Game 7 matchup between basketball's top two stars. In the end, Lebron James dropped a triple-double as the Cavaliers edged Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, earning the playoff MVP award and bringing a championship to Cleveland after the city endured more than half a century of pro sports futility.
Now that we've caught our breath, let's look at two key issues facing the NBA that fans should be paying attention to this summer.
1. Competition: Lack of parity, tanking, and more
One one end, we see superstars and their teammates carrying their teams to the top and keeping them there. On the other end, we see teams purposely tanking multiple seasons based on some abstract master "rebuilding" plan.
But is this lack of competitive balance a problem for the NBA? Does parity mean a better fan experience? Or should we just all sit back and enjoy the show that Lebron, Steph and co. are putting on season after season? It's a fascinating debate, and one that fans and the league itself should be leading.
2. On the court: Officiating, flopping and the length of the season
What kind of product is the NBA offering its fans? Can it be improved?
Many fans felt the officiating during the 2016 playoffs was particularly bad. Was that the result of human error or a systemic problem with the NBA rulebook? Can — or should — the league re-examine its approach to officiating?
We could be facing a lot of conversation and decision-making about the NBA's on-court product in months and years ahead.
What are your thoughts about this and the other issues we called out? Anything we missed? Head over to the Sports Fan Coalition Facebook page to speak your mind.