We’ve seen many changes over the NBA and now, almost everyone is obsessed with the “super-team” concept.
It’s almost an effect from the rising NBA salary cap, which is currently set at $94.143 million. It’s also why the super-team concept is on the rise.
The Golden State Warriors trumped the Big 3 strategy with a fourth man, which is none other than Kevin Durant. It’s paid off for the Warriors, who sit at 39-7 and are first in the Western Conference.
Everyone else in the NBA is playing catch-up. The New York Knicks’ self-proclaimed super-team is in disarray be it through personal or professional issues. The Chicago Bulls’ rebuilding process is haphazard at best.
Perhaps the biggest discussion is the Warriors’ Eastern Conference rivals: the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James publicly stated how the Cavs need another playmaker despite his team consisting of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. It drew the ire of many NBA fans and experts alike.
The panel at Inside The NBA took the issue at heart, with Shaquille O’Neal siding with James but admitting that James shouldn’t have taken his concerns publicly. Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith sided against James, saying the Cavs don’t need one. Then, Ernie Johnson made an interesting statement. He compared the Cavs’ need to the Warriors’ signing of Durant.
Let’s be reminded about Durant’s reasoning to join Golden State and leave the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant revealed that he was glad the Warriors lost, saying it would be easier for him to win with people around him.
Why would these superstars want to join together and form super-teams? The answer is a simple one: they want to build dynasties.
They don’t care about leading the charge. They want to be a part of it by any means necessary. That includes playing second fiddle to the main stars of their new team.
Kevin Durant is not the man in Golden State; Stephen Curry is. LeBron James became the man in the Miami Heat over his time with Dwyane Wade. Now, he is the man.
Will any All-Star be willing to play Robin to James’ Batman in Cleveland? It won’t be Carmelo Anthony at the moment.
Maybe there’s a bigger question in mind. Will an All-Star join Cleveland, or will it be another role player?
Keep in mind the dynasties that were formed before. Magic Johnson had Kareem-Abdul Jabaar for the 1980s and trade titles with Larry Bird. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen as his lieutenant and a plethora of supporting casts that lasted for two three-peats.
Kobe Bryant had two differing casts altogether and won five titles with the Lakers. Tim Duncan won every other year with a list of great players including David Robinson, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Kawhi Leonard. All in different eras this took place in.
The super-team era always existed, but it was never with a lineup equivalent to rival an Olympic-caliber team. Get used to the allure of banding together, because the days of the superstar helping his team are over.
And that is a shame for the game of basketball.
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