The formation of superteams has always been a strategy of certain teams to win championships ever since the ’60s and it’s definitely not something new in the NBA. There is a notion among fans today that the formation of superteams is a trend relatively new in the NBA, which is not true, however, the way they are created is completely different than it was in the earlier days.
Numerous teams experimented with having several all-star players on the same team, and even though some teams were really successful there were some that didn’t achieve the ultimate goal bacuse of various reasons. Gary Vitti who worked as an athletic trainer for over 3 decades for the Lakers gave a great interview for Scoop Radio, where among many other things he explained the difference in the superteams of today and for example the Showtime Lakers that build a dynasty that lasted for over a decade.
Vitti thinks the main difference is that superteams nowadays are driven by players themselves who decide they want to play together and then pressure the management of a certain team to make the deal happen. Vitti used an example of the Lakers who built their superteam with great drafting and making the right moves at the right time in free agency.
“In the sense that is you talking about a super team that was put together through free agency. Or are you talking about a super team that drafted well and developed players? You know, eventually because super, so, Kareem did go to the Lakers as a free agent, but he was already there. They drafted Magic Johnson, ok then they drafted James Worthy. They traded for Byron Scott, so it wasn’t that Byron was a free agent and chose to go where he wanted to go. It was different, there was more strategy in putting the team together in the sense that the franchise either traded or developed along with the free agency. This super team stuff is more like the players getting together and saying: ‘hey let’s play together. I am going to be a free agent, you are going to be a free agent next year. Come here and we will get this guy, he will be a free agent next year.’ And so it’s different. The construction of the super teams was different back then. Management created the super team where it seems like now the players and the agents are creating the super team.”