We’ve seen superteams in the NBA for decades now, and even though it’s not a new trend in the NBA, it was caught by the media and the fans when LeBron James had his ‘Decision’ on live television. That happened 11 years ago, and ever since then, we’ve seen a growing trend of players actively teaming up in the same way LeBron did with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. The backlash was tremendous, and ever since then, the fans and the NBA community, in general, don’t have much approval for that type of behavior from the players.
Former NBA player and a true legend of the game Julius Erving recently made an appearance on the Yahoo Sports podcast where he talked about his all-time favorite team. It includes ten players, and surprisingly enough, it primarily consists of players that retired two, three, or even more decades ago. He didn’t include any player from the current era or players who played 20 years ago.
My first team is Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Elgin Baylor. That second team is Magic, Michael, Larry, Karl Malone Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Those guys would be my second team, and a lot of people would argue that guys like LeBron would be on my third team.Julius Erving, via Yahoo! Sports
Erving then made a subtle jab at LeBron for changing the game in terms of players teaming up to create superteams. Numerous older players often said they would never team up with their rivals unless it were a management decision through a trade of some sort.
When you look at LeBron and everybody, that sort of pick to be his teammates, so you know, playing with so many guys. He is the guy that lead the charge in terms of superteams being put together. When he put a team together in Miami, he put a team together in Cleveland as well and a team in Los Angeles. So he could pick his own team.Julius Erving, via Yahoo! Sports
NBA teams that create superteams through drafting, developing players, and trading for the right pieces may be in some way a thing of the past. Erving mentioned an example of Kareem when he got traded from the Bucks to the Lakers back in the ’70s. After that, the Lakers built through drafting the right players and having Kareem set the foundation of excellence.
Players weren’t picking their teams. When Kareem got traded for four players from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, that was a management deal. It wasn’t his deal. When him, Magic, and Worthy got together, they got together cause they traded for Kareem, drafted Magic and Worthy.Julius Erving, via Yahoo! Sports