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A Brief Look At NBA SuperTeams

The Golden State Warriors may have swept the leg on another NBA season as they recently signed Jonas Jerebko to go along with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Oh yeah and they signed former All Star big man Demarcus Cousins. 

The addition of Boogie Cousins gives them the opportunity to start five All Stars together. They were able to sign Boogie on the cheap for only 5 million dollars because he’s coming off an Achilles tear and may not be able to play until the All Star Break. The move for one year is great for him as he can come back slowly, compete for a championship, and then get his big pay day next summer. If Cousins can ever reach his All Star status again, then the Warriors may have put together the greatest starting five in history. 

Cousins going to the Warriors, along with Durant two summers ago, has caused quite the uproar on the internet about the idea of “super teams” and the NBA. People seem to be upset that only one or two teams have a legitimate shot at winning the NBA championship. Hate to break it to them but this is the way it’s always been in the NBA.

The NBA has always been built on dynasties and super teams. Back then the super teams were built through the draft and savvy trades by smart general managers. Now the super teams are built by the players basically. The players conspiring with one another to sign short term deals and then plan to all player together at some point such as LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh back in the summer of 2010. It’s part of the AAU culture where guys just want to play with their friends and win that way. Who knows if back in the day Wilt Chamberlain would try to sign with the Bill Russell Celtics after losing to them the way Durant signed with Golden State? 

The idea that the NBA has some sort of parity in it like the NFL is laughable. Go back every season in NBA history and there is always three or four teams with a legit chance to win the championship. Every decade in league history has been dominated by a dynasty. The 50s saw George Milan’s Minneapolis Lakers win five championships. The Russell Celtics won 11 out of 13, including an unprecedented eight in a row in the 60s. Wilt Chamberlain teamed up with The Logo Jerry West to form maybe the first super team with the Lakers to win one in the 70s and have a 33 game winning streak while the Knicks and the Celtics each won two titles. The 80s had either Larry Bird or Magic Johnson playing in the Finals every year as Bird won three in five appearances and Magic had five in eight appearances. The 1980s were the NBA’s Golden Era of Basketball and I can’t imagine anyone complaining that Larry and Magic were always in the Finals.

The 90s had MJ’s Bulls three-peating twice and the Rockets going back to back during Jordan’s baseball “sabbatical” as the league became the most popular sport in America. The dynasty in the early 2000s were Shaq and Kobe’s Laker teams with a few titles sprinkled in by Duncan’s Spurs. We had KG and Pierce in 2008 which gave way to Kobe’s two titles to close out the decade (that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write), which led to the era of LeBron, the champion, and now brings us to the Warriors. 

Look at all those teams mentioned above. Before the Heat got together, it was all built on trades and draft picks. Red Auerbach drafted Russell, Dave Cowens, and Larry Bird. He traded for Robert Parrish and Kevin Mchale to play with Bird in the 80s. Magic was the number 1 overall pick the Lakers acquired from a trade the Jazz years prior. A few years later the Lakers drafted James Worthy off a trade with the Cavaliers. The Bulls drafted Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Spurs drafted Duncan and the Lakers had a draft day trade for Kobe. Danny Ainge traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. These were how these teams were built. 

The Warriors built their first championship team and the 73 win team through the draft with Curry, Klay, and Draymond but then they signed Durant. They added a former MVP to a 73 win team and won back to back championships. Now they add Cousins and are trying to win 4 
championships in 5 years. Even with the abundance of talent they have, they still need luck and for things to break their way. In this four year run, they’ve had no major injuries. If either Curry or Durant go down, they become a totally different team. And because they have so much money tied up in their starters, they don’t have a deep bench. After Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, their bench is made up of minimum salary guys and guys that will be playing in the BIG3 League within a few years. The addition of Jonas was actually huge for them.

So once again we head into another basketball season where, you guessed it, there are three or four teams with a legit shot of winning it all. The Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets, and the Boston Celtics. Even with the league being so top heavy, people will still watch and love the league as much as they always have. So don’t lie to yourself. Don’t say you’re not going to watch because of the Warriors, because you know you’re going to be as interested as ever. I know I will be. 

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