Despite the negative responses associated with forming superteams, Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade thinks they are good for the NBA.
Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade knows a thing or two when it comes to the subject of superteams in the NBA. After all, it was six years ago when he, LeBron James and Chris Bosh formed one of the league’s most formidable trios.
Although the Heat received its fair share of negative backlash, that team dominated the Eastern Conference similar to the way the Bulls did during the 1990s. They went to four consecutive NBA Finals and came away with two championships before their reign came to an abrupt end in 2014.
The Golden State Warriors, the squad that won a record 73 games in 2015-16, became this year’s superteam when they acquired Kevin Durant. While Durant is well within his right to suit up for any team he chooses, the consensus was that he should not have joined the squad that eliminated his Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
In spite of the negative feedback that comes with forming superteams, not everyone shares that same opinion. As a matter of fact, Wade recently recently stated that star players teaming up is actually good for the NBA, as reported by ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
“I think certain moments — it’s great,” Wade said. “At the end of the day, whether you dislike the Heat or you loved the Heat, you was tuning in to watch the Heat, right? Same thing with Golden State. Whether you dislike what happened with Kevin Durant or whatever the case may be, you’re going to tune into watch, whether you want him to succeed or fail.
“Our game is growing. Eyes are on our game. And at the end of the day, me as a player, I just love the fact that players have the ability to control their own destiny.”
Wade’s comments are accurate on multiple levels. For starters, although the Heat became an instant villain in the eyes of some, most NBA fans kept a watchful eye on that team, even if it was just to see them fail.
And all was right with the world when Miami came up short against the Dallas Mavericks in 2011….
and against the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.
Additionally, the way organizations view their players can change at a moment’s notice. One minute a star player is the cornerstone of the franchise, and the next minute, that same star player is deemed as expendable.
Taking that fact into consideration, players should have the right to pick and choose the teams they want to play for when the opportunity presents itself while landing the biggest possible payday in the process.
Furthermore, let’s talk about every athlete’s ultimate goal, aside from becoming the greatest player in their respective sport: winning a championship.
That drive to win it all can cause players to look at their careers in a different light rather than remaining with the franchise that initially drafted them, especially if they don’t feel like they can win a title with that team.
Charles Barkley, for example, switched teams not once, but twice. Following eight years with the Philadelphia 76ers, the former All-Star forward joined the Phoenix Suns prior to the start of the 1992-93 campaign.
Unfortunately for “Sir Charles,” his Suns were defeated in the 1993 NBA Finals by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Three years later, Barkley joined the Houston Rockets for the chance to play alongside Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. The caveat here is that the Rockets had knocked the Suns out of the playoffs in 1994 and 1995.
Sounds familiar right?
That scenario didn’t play out too well either. The Rockets did make it as far as the conference finals in Barkley’s first season, but they failed to make it past the first round of the postseason in each of the the following two seasons, before falling out the playoff picture altogether during the 1999-00 campaign.
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In 2007, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics in hopes of fulfilling their championship aspirations. This proved to be a good move, as Garnett and Co. produced two Finals appearances in three seasons, winning it all in 2008.
The same argument can be made for James and Bosh joining Wade in Miami. Neither of them had won a title, and Wade wasn’t satisfied with just one championship ring to his name. That desire to win more championships is why he was willing to make financial sacrifices in order to achieve that goal.
So while some people may not be crazy about Durant joining a Warriors team that was just one win away from winning its second title, the idea of forming a superteam should not be totally frowned upon because 1) it gives players the opportunity to control their own destiny and 2) fans want to see the best go up against the best, which means they will continue to watch NBA games regardless of their disdain for superteams.
In other words, it’s a win-win scenario for everyone.