There is an ongoing notion among NBA fans that the creation of superteams is hurting the league in the long run. LeBron James is considered the creator of superteams after joining the Miami Heat in 2010, making it official on national television. However, the truth is that superteams existed in the NBA several decades ago, but they were built differently than they are nowadays.
The Brooklyn Nets are a true superteam in the league today, and sometimes it seems unfair to have such a group of talented players on the same team. Charles Barkley is one of those people who thinks that is unfair for the rest of the NBA, and he recently talked about that in a recent interview for Sports Illustrated. Barkley said he is actively rooting against the Nets and every superteam, no matter who they are.
“KD is a great player, and I think he’s a great kid. I don’t know him that well, but I’m not a fan of superteams. So listen, if they win it, they win it, but to be perfectly clear, I’m rooting against those guys. I root against all superteams.Charles Barkley, via Sports Illustrated
Barkley is one of those all-time great players that never won an NBA championship, predominantly because he played in the same era as Michael Jordan. However, he also admitted it never crossed his mind to join other great players on the same team even though he had the opportunity.
“If I’d known you guys were going to make fun of me for not winning a championship, I would have joined a superteam back in my day—me and Patrick [Ewing] and Karl Malone and John Stockton. But I feel good about my legacy. I’m pretty sure Patrick and John and Karl do, too. LeBron [James] started this superteam thing [in Miami], and hey, it’s the way the game is played now.”Charles Barkley, via Sports Illustrated
The argument against superteams is that their existence minimizes the excitement in the league, which is pretty much an accurate statement. Several great teams that can compete for a championship in the NBA are always a better option, and Barkley agrees because things were better in that regard back in the day. He talked about how there were multiple championship-caliber teams in the ’80s, and 90’s that each had at least one recognizable player on their roster.
“To go back to my day, even though we didn’t win the championship, the Sixers were worth watching. The Knicks were worth watching. The Pacers were worth watching when Reggie was there, same thing with Atlanta and Dominique. I just don’t think it’s good for business, but these young kids, they all fold to peer pressure and feel like they’ve got to win a championship or their life sucks. I don’t believe that. Listen, there’s not many people I’d trade my life with.Charles Barkley, via Sports Illustrated
The problem with the creation of super teams nowadays in the NBA is that the players are the ones who are initiating those deals. They have more power than ever before, and they use different ways to maneuver the cap space and arrange to play with other great players, which increases their chances of winning a title. We might not like the way things are done, but that is the reality we have to accept because players themselves also realized they have the power to change the narrative and increase their chances to win a championship.
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