Small Market Teams Have Success, The Indiana Pacers Just Stink
Congrats to the small market of Milwaukee on winning an NBA title. Population 594,548 - the 3rd smallest market behind the Utah Jazz and OKC. The team one spot in front of the Bucks? The Indiana Pacers (population of Indianapolis - 864,447.) Indy is a team that rakes in one of the smallest revenue shares while still managing to find some success in the playoffs, but always falling short of winning the finals.
It doesn't help that when the Pacers have assembled their best rosters they ran into Michael Jordan, Kobe & Shaq, Malace at the Palace, Miami's Big 3, and Paul George being a mental midget. Tough. You've got to beat the best to be the best, and the Pacers will live in mediocrity until the front office gets something higher than pick 13 - 18 ...
Welp, maybe the problem is the Pacers drafting random garbage stretch 4's like TJ leaf and trading away assets like Kawhi Lenoard to the Spurs for "The George Hill Plan." Until the Pacers completely get it together, it's back to hoping and praying a big-name free agent will decide to make a legacy for themselves in Indianapolis. LOL. Luckily, teams like the Bucks show you can draft a star without a #1 pick and keep them happy in a small market by continuing to build a winning team.
BUT how quickly we forget about the real small market gold standard, the New England Patriots of the NBA, a team only 3 spots ahead of the Indiana Pacers in market size - The San Antonio Spurs.