As I sat in front of my television watching the final seconds of Game 5 of the Warriors-Lakers series trickle away, two thoughts shot through my mind: one, I am incredibly grateful to go to sleep, and two, let the Nuggets please beat the team that gets out of this one alive.

Let me be clear, this is not because I have strong anti-Lakers or Warriors biases, nor does it have anything to do with Denver themselves. I have no NBA fandom and enjoy the basketball the league provides for what it is. I am simply sick of seeing LeBron or the Warriors in the Finals.

One or both of them have showcased in every NBA Finals since 2011 except one. The lone breath of fresh air was in 2021, when Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks were seeking their franchise’s first title in 50 years against the upstart Suns, who had a .302 winning percentage in the five seasons prior to 2020-21 yet were in the Finals with an aim at Phoenix and Chris Paul’s inaugural NBA crown.

That Finals turned out to be a great one. Milwaukee overcame a 2-0 series deficit, winning four-straight contests to crown itself champions for only the second time ever, while Giannis elevated his legacy to that of a ring wearer.

Fresh faces aren’t required for a fantastic Finals. For example, the 2016 NBA Finals included both of my contemporary objects of ire, and it was one of the most classic championship bouts the Association has seen. Plus, it’s not as though the 2019, 2020, or 2022 Finals were bad. Each were compelling watches, and they all included Golden State or LeBron’s Lakers. Even with a repetitive representative, the same could be true for 2023.

But I’m just done with it. I consider 2002 to be the beginning of my sports recollection, and since then, the Lakers have been to the NBA Finals six times, the Warriors went six times of their own, and LeBron has taken 10 trips with three different teams (or four, depending on which way you look at it). It’s boring, and I don’t want it anymore.

The potentials presented in the 2021 NBA Finals make it permanent in my mind. We were guaranteed a winner that hadn’t done so in at least half of a century, if ever. Exciting players like Antetokounmpo, Paul, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton introduced themselves to the sport’s biggest stage for the first time. Everything was fresh, all was original, and anything was possible.

My biggest gripe with the NBA has always been its relative lack of parity and unpredictability. I need my sports to be impulsive with impunity, not straightforward, and without chaos. I don’t want to wait decades between 2011 Mavericks-esque dramatics. Life is too short.

That seems to be changing, though, which has reeled me in closer than ever before. The first two rounds of the playoffs are not the formalities they once were in the not-so-distant past, and talent is much more widely spread out through the league. The stars of the 2010s are older now, and the next generation is aging up into their rightful roles. The conditions for a shift are in place.

The Nuggets and Suns are new kids on the block. Denver has never played in the NBA Finals and only reached the Western Conference Finals on four occasions. Phoenix is also waiting on its first NBA championship, though the franchise has played in three NBA Finals. But more importantly, both teams are a few years removed from total obscurity, and they represent the new crop of contenders, not the usual suspects.

Don’t worry, I’ve seen “The Dark Knight.” I know that you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. If the Suns are the ones who escape the West, it would be the second time in three years they made the quest. It could be the next step in their rise to prominence. And if that is the case, then you know where my wrath will run. But until it is, Phoenix is still something different from the tight rotation otherwise offered, and the Nuggets are foreign enough to the Finals to be from another planet.

It’s not about villainy, though. Neither LeBron, the Warriors, nor the Lakers are evil in my story. They’re just played out. The NBA has spent many years with the same players and same teams running the show. Some people find that interesting. I am not one of them. I got a taste of what could be two years ago, and I’m insatiable for more. I need a new chapter. I don’t need another round of déjà vu.


How do you win NBA pick'em pool?

In order to win an NBA Pick'Em pool, players must have the most points at the end of the season. For each correct pick during the regular season, members will receive one point (customizable based on the pool commissioner). Some pools will choose picks based on the spread or straight up.

What is NBA pick'em pool?

In an NBA Pick'Em pool, players make weekly picks (either against the point spread or straight-up). The number of picks each week is customizable by the pool commissioner. Optional best-bet and confidence pick settings can be put into place as well. Commissioners can use a hosting site like RunYourPool to keep up with scoring and calculations.

How to play an NBA basketball pool?

The way one plays a basketball pool varies on the game type. For example, in Pick'em Pools, you simply pick every game each week.

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In order to run a basketball pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

How do you win NBA Survivor Pool?

In NBA Survivor, the last player standing wins. The name of the game is to make it to the next week. A member will select one game from all the games in that given week. If members choose the correct winner, they move on to the next week. If they pick incorrectly, they are eliminated from the contest.

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In an NBA Survivor pool, players choose one NBA team each week that they believe will win. They may only pick a team one time per season. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. If their pick is correct, they survive until the next week. An incorrect pick eliminates the player from the pool for the remainder of the season.

What is a basketball pool?

"Basketball Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more basketball game. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system.

How to make a basketball pool?

A basketball pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use basketball pool hosting services like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

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In NBA Playoff Bracket pools, the winning entry is the team with the most points at the end of Playoffs. Members try to pick the winner of each playoff series. For each series, they also pick how many games they think the series will go. Points are awarded for each winning pick, with bonus points for how close they come to the correct series length

What is an NBA Playoff Bracket Pool?

In an NBA Playoff Bracket pool, players pick the winner of each NBA Playoff series. Commissioners can choose to have members receive bonus points for guessing the series length. Points increase as the tournament progresses (points per round are configurable by the commissioner). The winning entry is the player with the most points at the end of the playoffs.

Are there other Playoff Pools?

Yes! RunYourPool offers plenty of contest types for various playoff events! March Madness squares and bracket pools aer very popular among basketball fanatics, while the Super Bowl Prop Pool is the most popular annual event game.

How to set up a basketball pool?

To set up a basketball pool, you'll need to first choose a pool type like Survivor or Pick'em. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As pool commissioner, you'll enforce these rules and make sure the game runs smoothly throughout the season. Many commissioners use pool hosting sites like RunYourPool to make it easier and more engaging.


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