NBA Superteams: Good or Bad for the League?
As the 2018-19 NBA Season gets ready to start, we can't help but wonder about the ever-changing dynamics in the league. The strength of a few wealthy teams has left the rest of the pack far in the dust.
The most recent finals matchup was a rematch battle between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. However, it would be just as accurate to say it was a matchup between LeBron James and the Warriors. LeBron James almost single-handedly willed his team into the NBA finals where the super-team constructed of four NBA All-Stars (Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson) proved to be too much for LeBron James to handle as the swept the Cavs 4-0. Cleveland lacked multiple superstars, which at this point is necessary to compete for the championship. An MVP alone will not do it. But, an MVP and an ex-MVP plus two other perennial all stars seems to be the right formula for a finals win.
The recent off-season has been a roller coaster of trades with highlights including LeBron James relocating to the Lakers where NBA fans believed he would be able to rival the Warriors in the western conference with a better supporting cast in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Rajon Rondo. Los Angeles is a large enough market for a superteam, but smaller cities without a generous billionaire owner will continually watch stars walk past their offers. To further remind all of the NBA fans that our world of superteams is only getting more exaggerated, Golden State added to its already absurd arsenal. Twenty four hours after LeBron James' decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers was made public, DeMarcus Cousins agreed to a deal with the Warriors filling in their weakest position (center), and becoming the fifth All-Star to join the team. This has caused a lot of outrage amongst NBA fans and players who feel that superteams are killing the leagues competition and putting money over the love of the game. While there is little evidence that anything will be done about the constructing of superteams, fans hope the league will step in and limit the talent on any one team to keep the league competitive and entertaining.
NBA salaries are exploding relative to other sports, placing the elite players even more out of the reach of smaller market teams.
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Written by Victor Sinopoli, Edited by Rachel Weissman & Alexander Fleiss