“How come we are afraid to lose?”
NBA super teams have become the norm in today’s society. And to be perfectly honest, it makes the NBA kind of boring. You don’t see it as much in the MLB, NFL, or the NHL. Super teams sound exciting, but when the same teams are in the finals consistently it waters down the sport. Don’t get me wrong, I witnessed the NBA run of the Chicago Bulls coming through the 1990’s with their 6 rings in 10 years. But, and there is a but, the Chicago Bulls had a superstar in Michael Jordan, the next best in Scottie Pippen, and amazing roll players who became stars themselves: Kerr, Rodman, Longley, Kukoc, Horace, Armstrong, and Paxton.
Some of the names I called off were, at their height, some of the best in the NBA in addition to being roll players. This is why Chicago was so much fun to watch. It’s kind of like the New England Patriots. Even though I am a Dallas Cowboys fan, the idea of 52 players on a roster, where we only know the names of a few, but they come together as a team to win Super Bowls is great football. It’s something so pure about a group of guys who win without that extra edge. Super Teams on the other hand are like using legal steroids.
The move of Kevin Durant to the Warriors really showed how boring the NBA has gotten. But is there more to this than sports? What does this say about our new millennial generation? Michael Jordan came out and stated he wanted to beat the best, not be on their teams. But when players today feel themselves losing, they run to the dynasty team. It says we as a generation can’t deal with the losing and must run from the challenge. In the millennial generation, today everyone gets a trophy, so you’re taught you’re great before you prove your greatness.
But then when you have to continue to lose, it really hurts and we tend to not be able to deal with the adversity. Look at Michael Jordan, he played for seven years before getting his first ring. He now is considered the greatest NBA player in history. He’s also a cultural icon for his game play and his apparel. He learned to consistently win because he took so many loses. That adversity makes you great. Tom Brady also was a last round NFL draft pick, sat on the bench behind Drew Bledsoe, and now is arguably one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks in history.
Will the super team mentality come back to haunt us? Will there come a time when Kevin Durant is alone and have to do it without his guys around? How will he feel once he realizes he’s going to lose here as well? But most of all, his former teammate Russell Westbrook has a chip on his shoulder because of his former teammate leaving. This may bring out greatness in Russell. But remember, there are a lot of other players who now want to knock the Warriors off their throne as well as the Cavaliers in the NBA.
In the end, how will this pan out moving forward? Will the super team method fizzle out? Or will people become bored and the NBA forced to make some adjustments? Because the Yankees tried to reach out over the years and build their super teams, but MLB players killed that plan. It’s what makes baseball exciting to see the Cubs and Indians play today. We have not seen the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees in the recent years in the World Series. Your super team building creates a beast. And that beast will eventually come for you.