"What If?" questions are like cocaine for sports fans. Sure, we love discussing tangible things, like current events, upcoming games, or WHY CAN'T THE KNICKS JUST BE A NORMAL BASKETBALL TEAM!? You know, the kind of things that turn polite conversations into shouting matches. However, the idea of the unknowable, of completely hypothetical, alternate timelines, pique the interest of sports fans more than anything based in reality.
Every sport has its own massive "What If?" questions. Baseball: what if Babe Ruth played in the modern day, with minorities and no whisky in the dugout? Football: what if Bo Jackson hadn't broken his hip? Soccer: what if Americans weren't d*cks and had just named their bonkers fight club sport anything else? All of those are unanswerable, but still really fun to think about.
Basketball has its fair share of "What If" questions too. Throughout the NBA's 71 year existence, a number of seismic events have drastically altered the course of the sport and have left hoops fans the world over forever wondering what could have been. If we're really lucky, someone will invent Dr. Farnsworth's What-If Machine so we can get some concrete answers, but in the off chance that Elon Musk isn't working on that very project at this very moment, we'll have to answer these questions ourselves.