Teams Like the Heat Ruin Professional Basketball
The Miami Heat are officially the 2012 NBA champions. Sad, for some. But for some fans, this is a time of jubilation and partying. Not me. And not just because the Thunder lost.
The NBA is faced with one of the worst states ever: a league filled with “SuperTeams.” NBA star athletes, now more than ever, are attempting to unify forces to build an outstanding team roster for the purposes of winning a championship. On the surface, this doesn’t sound so bad, but because this occurs with most great athletes in the game, it causes teams with less talent and teams in smaller markets to never be able to build up a great franchise to compete.
The idea of the Superteam began in 1995 when Clyde Drexler demanded to be traded from the then fateless Portland Trailblazers to the Houston Rockets who were the NBA champions the year before. Drexler joined forces with all-star center Hakeem Olajuwon to win a second consecutive title.
Other Superteams followed: the 2004 Los Angeles Lakers (composed of Karl Malone, Glen Rice, Gary Payton, Kobe, and Shaq), the 2008 Boston Celtics “Big Three” (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce),and this years Heat team. Teams like the Knicks have made poor attempts at several Superteams as well, but many have not panned out due to poor assembly, coaching, and management. Such teams include the infamous team that had Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, and Alan Houston on the roster, in addition to the current team which equips Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
Supreteams ruin the game. Teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, or the Detroit Pistons cannot rebuild under conditions such as these because players do not want to sign with these teams; they’d rather go play with their friends or for a winner even if it drastically affects their pocketbook.
A league with top-heavy teams makes for poor interleague play. Whats the point in watching the NBA regular season when you already know who is going to make the playoffs? Or, even worse, who is going to make the eastern and western conference finals?
The league should figure out a way to put an end to players who demand trades in order to join up with Superteams, or players to buy out of their contracts so they can sign with a winner. Otherwise revenue, from a leagues perspective, will ultimately suffer.