Opinion: NBA Super Teams



Michael Moses

Michael Moses

Michael Moses is the sports columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected] and at @michaelmoses13.

Last year, Lebron James teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to make the “big three” (whether they played like it is a different story). In case you missed, oh, the past year or so within the NBA drama — lots of people were against this. Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, tons of NBA legends were against this “teaming up” of NBA superstars in order to get a ring. It can be looked at as cheap (actually, expensive), new-age or even immature for the players to have so much say as to where they play. The Heat were not the only team to do so.

The Knicks chased after the Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony for what seemed like months and finally were able to snag him and team him up with Amar’e Stoudemire. Now, the NBA’s biggest winner, biggest superstar, may possibly join the new fad in the NBA. The guy has five NBA championships, he’s a two-time Finals MVP and a nine-time NBA All-Star. You know who this is.

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are pursuing two more NBA superstars to make the Miami Heat look like the Boys and Girls Club’s B-team. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, and the New Orleans point guard Chris Paul. My issue with this is simple:

If Kobe Bryant would go on to win more rings with these two as teammates, would he be looked at just as Lebron James was or would he be criticized by the public and former NBA legends as Lebron was?

I would think that he should be looked at the same as Lebron. In the NBA today, it has become a running theme for superstars to team up and join forces to become the head honchos of the league. Many just penciled in the Miami Heat as NBA champions last year before the season had even started, given the fact that three NBA All-Stars (arguably two of the top NBA superstars) in the league now played for the same team. Look how that turned out. The old faithful Dallas Mavericks finally won their NBA championship, led by their lone superstar, Dirk Nowitzki.

Why does Kobe need a supporting cast now? Why are the Lakers following the Heat’s footsteps? I can see all the criticism as I type this. “Kobe pulls a Lebron,” “Howard, Paul take talents to Hollywood.” The fact that this is now acceptable in a league filled with divas and personalities is borderline scary. How much more can the NBA take of this self-promotion?

I’m not saying that Kobe Bryant is publicly lobbying for these players to come to LA. I’m not saying that both Howard and Paul are demanding trades to LA. I’m upset with the fact that these “super teams” are forming and the likeliness of a Dallas Mavericks is going down, down, down. Hell, who’s really to blame for this entire streak is the Boston Celtics. Back in the summer of 2007, the Celtics signed both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join forces with another superstar, Paul Pierce. They would eventually go on to win the NBA championship that year.

Since then, NBA players have started to take it upon themselves to form these tandems, sometimes trios. The days of lone superstars leading their team is close to being gone. Some believe that you can’t even compete with just two superstars. It can be looked at as cool and fun, something new, but as far as legacies go, I think players will have to live with an asterisk above their names.

Michael Jordan was the sole leader of his team (yes, he had Pippen, but Jordan made Pippen). Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, they all had star teammates, but they were the superstars, they were the leaders. They made the others who they were. Lebron James is not going to make Dwyane Wade. Chris Paul is not going to make Kobe Bryant. Dwight Howard will not make Kobe Bryant.

All along, I believed that Kobe Bryant was going to be the lone superstar in this league to stick to his guns — to stay the top dog in the pond, the sole leader of his Lakers. I’ve got to say — he always will be the locker room leader, but with Chris Paul and Dwight Howard potentially coming to town, he may not be the best, most dominant player on his own team. I enjoyed watching Kobe win on his own, and I hope he stays doing that.