Jackson: NBA Has Never Had Parity

In light of DeMarcus Cousins signing with Golden State, Jim Jackson says the NBA has never had an equal balance of dominant teams

Reiter Than You
July 05, 2018 - 10:20 am

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

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Shock and disbelief has shrouded the NBA as the rich continue to get richer.

In an unexpected turn of events, four-time All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins signed a one-year, $5.3 million with the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, and everyone around the league has something to say about it.

As the news broke while talking live with CBS Sports Radio about topics surrounding free agency, 14-year veteran and Fox Sports NBA analyst Jim Jackson gave his honest reaction to the storyline that has swept the entire league. 

“Very surprising,” Jackson said on Reiter Than You. 

From a talent standpoint, Jackson thought it made sense for the Warriors to pickup the highly touted free agent. However, he’s astonished by the sudden move due to Golden State’s culture emphasizing on selflessness in the locker room, which contradicts the reputation that Cousins has built in his eight years in the league.

“That culture is so entrenched around unselfishness, guys really getting along, and a great locker room presence,” Jackson said. “I thought that was the issue that Dwight Howard had about wanting to come there. You figure it didn’t make sense for Golden State to get someone of (Cousin’s) caliber in regards to what he can do because of his personality. It didn’t seem like his personality fits for what the Golden State Warriors want to do. But he’s a little older and maybe a little more mature, and maybe this can be the shot in the arm that he needs to change the perception of who he is.”

Although many basketball fans are upset about the idea of Cousins, who averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game in 48 games before suffering a torn Achilles injury last season, joining a team that already swept their opponent in the previous NBA Finals, Jackson reiterates that the league has never been about parity. Referencing the period between 1957 to 1959, which saw Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics win 11 championships during that span, Jackson noted this unequal balance of dominant teams has been precedent in the NBA for years, and that won’t change anytime soon.

“We talk about who we hold to the gold standard, which is the Boston Celtics. When they were playing from 1957 to 1969, it was only eight teams (in 1957). It was the Eastern Division and the Western Division. That means there were seven teams in each league (by 1969), so you played each other eight, nine, or ten times. Where’s the parity in that? It was Boston and Philadelphia winning everything. It’s never been parity. When has it been like that? Boston had their superstars, the Lakers had their superstars, and Philly had their superstars. As much as we want to talk about it and say back in the day it was (filled with parity), it wasn’t. That’s the purpose of free agency — being able to test the market and go to a place that may fit your talents better, so I’m all for players with mobility, and I think it has a lot of intrigue and drama.”