Tuesday, December 9

Bizarro World

I've just finished a book about the Congo (In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz; worth checking out, although not as good as King Leopold's Ghost), and, among other topics, it covers the disparity between the wealthy friends of Mobutu and the rest of the country at the time of Mobutu's fall from grace. (Well, not grace exactly, perhaps fall from power is more apt ). Essentially, the country had a few folks living the high life, and the rest struggling to find ways to keep from starving to death.

Which takes me in a convulted fashion to the Western Conference of the NBA this year. At the moment, there are nine teams with 10+ wins, all winning close to 60% of their games.

And then there is the rest of the conference.

Of the six remaining teams, not one of them is winning more than 30% of its games. It's hard to appreciate the disparity when the teams have only played a quarter of the season, but imagine if you extrapolated the current records to a full 82 games.

The worst of the 'haves', Phoenix, would finish with 47 wins.

The best of the 'have nots', Golden State/Memphis, would finish with 23.

In other words, the nine teams competing for a playoff berth would have a two-month cushion over the next six teams. It's an amazing disparity of success, isn't it?

Perhaps someone with more diligence than I should comb through the records to see if, as the Zaireans did for so many years, the elite of the Western Conference are fattening themselves off of the backs of the poor.

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