Hot Take Marathon: Superteams Are Good for the NBA
*The NBA offseason is cooling down, but the takes at OTG aren't. This month, we are hitting you with the Hot Take Marathon. Check back every day for a spicy NBA take!*
It’s been about two years since the last time I had a week free of NBA complaints. The most common complaint, especially from older NBA fans, is that the league has become “soft” and that players these days would never survive that 80s-90s style of play. From the physicality, the seriousness of the trash talk and the overall toughness of the league back then (to say nothing of the constant “These players would never have an answer for Michael Jordan!” comments), this gripe has been around for some time.
And while the “kids these days” commentary on the state of the league has traditionally been fertile ground for a grievance, I don’t think it comes close to the amount of times I’ve heard the latest protest in recent years: the rise of the “super teams”.
To me, a super team is a team that has three or more all-stars. The most notable super teams in recent memory have been the 2010 - 2014 Miami Heat, 2014 - 2017 Cleveland Cavaliers and the frustratingly dominant 2014 - present Golden State Warriors. This Warriors team specifically is the reason for all of the anger geared toward the super team stigma.
Whether via Twitter, TV or in person, basketball fans have said to me that this Warriors team is unfair. Yes, Golden State makes it harder for teams to compete for a championship, though to claim its “unfair” is preposterous to me. These are paid athletes. They are paid to compete on a nightly basis, and that is why I feel that super teams make for great basketball and an overall greater NBA experience.
A lot of players in the league shy away from the competition of super teams. Instead of taking the challenge head on they’ll take the easy route, and call it quits for the season. That is clearly a mentality that lacks the tools to be great.
When I say that super teams make the NBA better, I think of players who go out every night and compete. Players that go at their opponents with no mercy and no intentions of making friends. I’m thinking of players like Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, John Wall, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lebron James and Joel Embiid, among others. These are the guys who make basketball so much fun to watch and when they go up against super teams, it only makes them even more intense.
Take for example, Paul’s intensely competitive play for the Houston Rockets during the Western Conference Finals this season. You could almost feel Paul’s adrenaline just by watching him during that series. Paul played his heart out and although he did not achieve the ultimate goal after suffering a devastating injury at the peak of his play, I can only imagine the ferocity he will play with when they meet again.
The point is, players around the league take the challenge head on and do everything in their power to beat these super teams. This is must-see basketball and each contest has the potential to create must-see moments; moments that will go down in history.
This is why super teams are great for the NBA. The players who have that killer mentality play their hardest and the competition is turned to levels the game has never seen. It keeps fans like me waiting for that one special team to step up and go against the odds to take down the giants. It’s bound to happen.