The Los Angeles Lakers are Elgin Baylor and Jerry West and Showtime and Magic and Kareem and Kobe. The Boston Celtics are Bill Russell and Hondo Havlicek and Larry Legend and D.J. and the Chief and Paul Pierce and K.G. The New York Knicks are Willis Reed and Clyde and Earl the Pearl and Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley.
Why are we doing a quick run through these teams' history? Because when it comes to the playoffs this season, they are history.
For the first time, the NBA will hold a postseason without any of those three teams.
"It's horrible for the NBA that those markets may not be in the playoffs," Lakers radio commentator Mychal Thompson said (via USA Today). "The NBA is a lot healthier business when those franchises are competing for championships."
Not that people necessarily feel any sympathy.