Adam Silver talks to the media in 2014.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Parity? In The NBA? New Media Rights Package Proves It's A Good Thing

The NBA has finalized a massive media rights deal, and guess what? You can talk all you want about ratings and the way today's perimeter-oriented game is played, but clearly, things are working.

In case you missed it, the new deal calls for the league to receive in the area of $75-76 billion over 11 years from broadcast/streaming partners ESPN/ABC, NBC and Amazon. This is a landmark arrangement and marks the biggest of all victories for Adam Silver, who took over as commissioner a decade ago.

It's also kind of cool how the league is going retro, returning to NBC for the first time in 22 years, while at the same time addressing the future via Amazon's inclusion. This is, without question, the best media rights deal in NBA history, even overtaking the increase in nationally televised broadcasts that resulted from the Magic Johnson and Larry Bird era of the 1980s.

Mostly, this deal shows that fans, sponsors and broadcast partners are just fine with the current era of parity — and the end of the so-called "super team" era. Silver should hang his hat on all that, too.

In each of the past six seasons, the NBA has had six different champions — the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics.

Not a single repeat champ in there. That hasn't happened since the 1970s. During the current span, only the Warriors, Celtics and Heat have advanced to the Finals more than once. The Raptors and Nuggets went for the first time, the Mavericks for the first time since 2011, the Bucks for the first time since 1974, and the Suns for the first time since 1993.

All of them were built through the draft, trades and free agency, as opposed to multiple stars purposely teaming up, AAU-style. The exception was the Lakers after Anthony Davis forced a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. (But it hasn't gone all that well for LA since.)

At one time, we entered an NBA season and already knew who would be in the Finals — Steph Curry's Warriors, LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls, Bird's Celtics, etc. Now, every season seems up for grabs. If the super-team idea were still a guarantee, last season's Suns would have at least advanced beyond getting swept in the first round.

And guess what? The new collective-bargaining agreement restricts teams from trying to compile a "Big Three" even more. No longer are the penalties just monetary involving massive taxes. With the new CBA, if you go above a certain tax threshold, you can barely make any meaningful roster moves. That is the biggest deterrent and another big victory for a league that aims for competitive balance.

The NBA has that now, and while there may have been some doubts, its media rights deal shows that what the NBA has is precisely what everyone wants — and something for which the people with big bucks are willing to pay.

(This article originally appeared on Hoops Wire and was republished with permission.)