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Are Super Teams Good for the NBA?

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Kevin Durant has often been marked as the starter of the super team.

Kevin Durant has often been marked as the starter of the super team.

Ronald Martinez/getty

Ronald Martinez/getty

Kevin Durant has often been marked as the starter of the super team.

Charlie Ben-Ami, Staff

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In the summer of 2016, Kevin Durant did the unthinkable; as a free agent, he signed with The Golden State Warriors, which already had stars (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green) and was one game away from winning the NBA finals the year prior. Many fans were disappointed and upset at Durant’s decision. Not only did he join the team that had beaten him in the playoffs the year prior, but he set up what would become one of the most predictable years in NBA history. The Warriors seemed to sleep walk all the way into the playoffs, and did not lose one game until the NBA finals.

Despite this, the off season that followed may have given hope to many. Chris Paul went to the Rockets to team up with MVP runner up James Harden. The Celtics matched Kyrie Irving with their other stars to try and challenge The Cavaliers in the East; the Thunder got MVP Russell Westbrook some help in the forms of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. While the Thunder has a 20-17 record, both the Rockets and Celtics have looked fantastic this season, and both look like challengers to the Warriors and Cavaliers respectively.

This again raises a question: Does the rise of stars teaming up to win championships make the NBA better? The short answer is no. I do agree that this off season was truly captivating and that at this point in the season the Finals match up is much less of a sure bet than last year. But even with this, a bunch of teams being good means the rest are not, looking at it from this perspective is more looking towards the playoffs. There was once a time when most NBA playoff series were very entertaining. Looking ahead to this year’s playoff standings maybe one or two of the first-round match ups would be competitive, and in that the teams that are projected to be evenly matched would in all likelihood not have a shot to unseat any of the “super teams.” Sophomore Dylan Burfield echoed this opinion: “Super teams make the regular season, and most of the playoffs are pointless because you know what the finals match up will be.”

Again, looking at the super team issue is all a matter of perspective. If a Golden State Warriors fan is asked if super teams are good, it is likely he will surely say yes, but the average NBA fan who enjoys the league as a whole probably views the super teams as boring for the NBA. Sophomore James Charpentier had this to say: “I think super teams do have some good aspects to them, but, overall, the lack of parody is boring for most fans.” This brings up another point for a fan of one of the many non-super teams in the NBA: What is the point of tuning in to watch one’s team? The “casual fan,” which makes up a lot of the NBA’s revenue, may be less inspired to watch because of the lack of hope for many fan bases.

Simply put, the days of teams winning without more than one superstar are over. The NBA’s new model will not allow for it. The best thing someone who despise super teams can do is hope more are formed so some competition can be added into the league. That last sentence could be thought of as counter intuitive, which it sort of is, but the only way for the NBA to be more competitive is with the emergence of more players teaming up together to win championships. Whether it is good for basketball or not, the super team is here to stay, so it might as well be enjoyed.

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About the Writer
Charlie Ben-Ami, contributor

I am a sophomore at Lynbrook High School, and a contributor to Horizon. I enjoy watching and playing sports with friends.

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Are Super Teams Good for the NBA?