I love basketball. It may be my favorite sport to watch out of everything. Basketball is a team game, a team concept and needs all five players working together to have a successful team. Some of the greatest individual talents have lost to a cohesive team over a long series, see the Lakers and Pistons NBA Finals from 2004. There is no way a team that had the talent of the Lakers that season lose to what was an inferior Detroit team.
That 2004 Los Angeles Lakers team may have been the first “super team” that has been created in the modern NBA game. Four superstars, or at least stars, coming together to try to win a championship. Two things derailed that team in the finals. the first was the injury to Karl Malone, but probably the more important was the implosion of Shaq and Kobe.
Our next “super team” (I really hate that term) came in 2008 when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen went to Boston. That, my dear readers, is how we have gotten to the point in time where we are now. The Celtics came together in that first season and won the NBA title. The next couple of seasons saw LeBron James lose a semi-final series in the Eastern Conference against Orlando and then the conference finals against Boston a year later.
This brings us to the common place birth of the superstar teams with the 2010-11 Miami Heat. The superteam era began when LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh all joined forces to beat the Celtics and win all the NBA titles they promised but only won two.
However, the super team concept died out a little bit for a couple of years and the arms race has only flared up in the past three seasons or so when Kevin Durant jumped ship from Oklahoma City to Golden State. The NBA has gone from a league built on guys staying with a team for most of their career like we had seen from the beginning until around 1999 it seems like. Who else wants to forget that Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen played a year for the Houston Rockets? I sure do.
Then again I’m sure every fan wants to forget that awful lockout season, sans the San Antonio Spurs anyways.
The NBA has seemingly become a league where loyalty is largely treated as a joke and players are instead looking after themselves rather than the well being of a franchise. These two year contracts with an opt out after one season seems to be the standard, or at least becoming the standard. Players sign for below market value in some cases to just get the chance to be a champion.
Is it a smart move? Yes, yes it, but it destroys what basketball is supposed to be about. It’s a group of players that compliment each other working together for a common goal, not forming a starting five where every single one of them is an all-star.
That’s about as exciting as doing it in a 2K sports video game on the easiest difficulty. The media is chomping at the bit talking about how Golden State can possibly win 80 games this season. I hope, and I really do, that was a joke.
The one and done rule pales in comparison into how the NBA is becoming a league of mercenaries for the highest bidder. There is no more loyalty to a team. LeBron is gone from Cleveland, again, and appears to be set to finish his career in Los Angeles. DeMarcus Cousins took the easiest way out, two years after blasting Durant on going to Golden State.
The league might be popular but it is not for me anymore. I will gladly watch high school and college basketball where team play is rewarded. Loyalty, well, that does not exist hardly anymore in the collegiate D1 level anyways, but they usually have to sit out a year if they jump. That’d be an interesting rule for the NBA.
You go to a new team but you sit out a year before you can play. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll see Golden State win another title, somehow.