Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Banner Blueprint

Maybe they didn’t consider the repercussions.  It’s likely that they were just far more concerned with championships than consequences; the Larry O’Brien trophy can be blinding.   Surely when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce in Boston in 2007 to collectively chase a championship, they did not anticipate the massive affect their movement, and resulting success, would have on the structure of the League. 

Had they lost that year maybe things would be different.  Failure in the Finals would have led to a multitude of conbb3cerns about the ability of three superstars to coexist, regardless of how “dedicated” they claimed they were to winning.  Falling short could have served as a warning sign to future players to not attempt to construct such a union; a warning that three superstars are not meant to be united.  Yes, it’s safe to assume that the NBA landscape would be vastly different had the Lakers bested Boston.  Instead, the Celtics were successful, and their 2008 banner hangs as a blueprint for all championship-hungry superstars searching for immediate gratification. 

At the time I was happy for Boston’s Big Three.  Each one had dominated individually for the better part of a decade, leaving everything on the floor for their respective franchises.  They had all piled up massive miles on their NBA odometers and had begun to see the window of opportunity slowly shutting.  So when they decided to collaborate to chase a championship, their decision was met with support rather than cynicism and second-guessing.  It seemed that each was individually deserving of a championship and in order to put themselves into the best possible position to achieve that goal, each had to sacrifice, at least stats if not stacks, making the whole thing seemingly acceptable.

Three years later however, with a potential perennial powerhouse stationed in Miami, and rumblings from several other marquee superstars about fomb3rming similar alliances, the initial Big Three’s union is looked at in quite a different light.  LeBron led the charge, and now it seems that everyone else is interested in developing their own “super team,” and from a competitive standpoint, who could blame them?  Does Carmelo really think that himself, J.R. Smith, and Kenyon Martin can contend with the stars in South Beach?  Of course not, but what happened to winning on your own accord; bringing a title to your team, rather  than following one to another franchise? 

Doesn’t anyone in the current crop (Kobe excluded) have that alpha-dog gene; that killer instinct that makes you want to be the best, and beat the best?  Mike had it, and that’s why we loved him.  He was embraced because he brought championships to Chicago, rather than going championship chasing.  Not that Mike had the same opportunities available to him, as today’s players wield much more power, but him teaming up with a rival like Larry Bird seems almost unimaginable. 

If this Miami Heat mega-team attains even a sliver of the success that is expected of them, expect the stacking team trend to continue, a scary sign for anyone who likes their stars spread across the NBA landscape rather than stacked on a few super squads.  Thanks Boston.


Anonymous said...

With Miami off to a 4-1 start it seems that the success is already starting to come.

Anonymous said...

Lebron didn't join rivals though, he joined his friend Wade who played on a horrible miami team the past couple of years (minus the championship 5 years ago) that never could of challenged his cavs the last couple of years and Bosh I mean come on you can't call him a rival either he played on shitty toronto nowhere near a contender. Honestly not buyin the whole "do it yourself thing" even Jordan had Pippen a legit #2. I like watching really good teams and don't hate it at all.I personally think the NBA is watered down by the amount of teams it has.No one hates on the lakers for how ridiculously stacked they are because no one acknowledges how good pau is, or lamar so everyone will just say kobe did it by himself.. I can't wait for this team to match up against Boston and LA were going to see some epic battles...

Michael K-B said...

Of course no player can win by themselves, but there is a big difference in remaining loyal to a franchise, in LeBron's case not just a franchise but his city, and bringing them rings, rather than jumping ship to join two other "friends" on a stacked squad.
This current Lakers team wasn't "created" in the way the Heat were, rather they were built. If you remember the team before the additon of Pau and Lamar; they weren't very good and Kobe wanted out. He stayed however, and they were able to build the team they have now (The Grizzlies basically giving aweay Gasol helped. It takes time and patience to build a contendor, and the 'win now, super-team attitude' is in opposition to that.

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