Over and Back: Count the (regular-season) rings

We are regular-season stans here at the Over and Back Classic NBA podcast.

What if we valued the best team in the regular season as much or more as the NBA tournament winner? The regular season is obviously longer with a greater sample size — you could argue it’s more reflective of the quality of the team that season (obviously a lot of people would argue otherwise)

How would it change how we think of teams in NBA history? Whose legacies would be affected most?

Listen to Part 1 of this two-part series as we examine how the championship would play out over the course of NBA, ABA, and pre-NBA history if we awarded titles to the league’s best regular season team.

We start in 1947 with the two leagues that predated the NBA: BAA and NBL as well as the early NBA looking at their new champions under our exercises. Discussions there include the dominant Rochester Royals, George Mikan’s delayed dynasties, pre-Bill Russell/Boston Celtics champions and more.

Our discussion moves to the late 1950s and 1960s as we look at how Boston’s blitz of the NBA would have changed under our system (hint: not a lot), the impressive resume for the Celtics even judging by regular season alone and titles switching between Boston and Philadelphia for much of the decade.

Our last half of the show dives into the ABA’s inclusion in our exercise, the wild 70s with no dominant team, narratives changing around Wes Unseld and the Washington Bullets, Julius Erving’s legacy, if “Breaks of the Game” ever gets published, Portland’s delayed championship, if Kareem would have stayed in Milwaukee and much more.

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