One notable thing with the NBA is no matter how bad a team may perform in a season it is still assured of competing in the same league come the next season. Although the system guarantees a team to actively remain playing in the league it somehow gives the stronger teams an undue advantage against the weaker teams.
A couple of years ago, some people caused a storm in the NBA by saying that a system of promotion and relegation of teams competing in the league should be considered for adoption. They faced a lot of objections with many analysts arguing that it is against the very principles on which the league was formed.
The system of promotion and relegation, as implemented in football, ensures that a team which has performed below the league's set standard, is demoted to a lower league while those that have performed well in a lower league, are promoted to the major league. Of course the issue of having major and minor NBA leagues is what became the thorny issue.
When a team knows what is at stake if they are to continue losing, it sometimes helps them to quickly put their act together. The burning question is why should the league have a team playing in a professional sport and yet it is way below the average performance of other teams?
Even though the idea of promotion and relegation was put on the shelf and has never been discussed again, one day one time it may just be given a serious thought by the NBA. Until such a system comes into existence the worse performing teams will always be playing among the elite without any pressure of being demoted.
A case in study is the New Jersey Nets, whose loss to the Lakers last Sunday extended their losing streak to seventeen games, equaling the worst start record. They have to win their next match on Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks if they are to prevent themselves from setting a new record.