In what must be some kind of weird, totally misunderstood attempt at satire, ESPN.com has a section tracking whether the Los Angeles Lakers or San Antonio Spurs will beat the record of the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls for most wins in an NBA season.
This is the page right here. (ESPN.com deleted it minutes after this article went online, but you can see a screengrab below.) And the introduction to why ESPN is dedicating time to something that appears to be totally random and have absolutely no chance of happening:
"For a team to be considered the greatest of all time, it has to outpace the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls — Michael Jordan's fourth title team finished 72-10, and many think it was the greatest NBA machine ever assembled.
Two of the most impressive teams of the young season — with a plausible chance of reaching 72 wins — have been the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs.
Bookmark this page and come back to see just how well the Lakers and Spurs are doing, game by game, compared to MJ's Bulls."
Maybe I could understand this in past years with Shaq and Kobe or Tim Duncan and the Spurs at their best… but this year? In 2013? Who in their right mind thinks this year's Lakers, starting the likes of Xavier Henry, Steve Blake, and Shawne Williams, have a "plausible chance" of being THE GREATEST NBA TEAM OF ALL TIME?!?!?! WHAT IS THIS???? THEY JUST LOST BY 19 POINTS AT THE MAVERICKS!!! THEY HAVE A LOSING RECORD!!!
To reach 72-10, the Lakers have to go 70-7 over the rest of the NBA season. There's a better chance that 49 year old Charles Oakley returns to the Knicks and leads the league in scoring this season. Who exactly is going to bookmark this page?!? The Lakers will be mathematically eliminated in this "chase" by Christmas.
For that matter, the Spurs are 3-1 but the chances of them breaking this record are between extremely slim and none. They were the #2 seed in the Western Conference last year and still fell 14 wins shy of the record. Also, what about the Oklahoma City Thunder? What about the Miami Heat??? How in the name of all that is holy could ESPN publish something as ridiculous as this and include the team that sits 11th in the Western Conference and ignore the two-time defending champions!
Please ESPN.com, please keep this page alive throughout the rest of the season, so when the Lakers are 20-23 at the All-Star break we can still ask whether or not they have a chance to be the greatest NBA team of all-time. It'd make a great debate for First Take.