The modern era of NBA basketball can easily be proclaimed as the era of the so-called "superteams" with stars joining forces more than ever and centralizing the top of the NBA world. The latest example is the Brooklyn Nets with six current and former All-Stars on their squad.
In case the superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving wasn't enough to help them win it all, the Nets added names like Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Deandre Jordan in the rotation, all still great players even though their best days are behind them. Also, Joe Harris and Jeff Green are no slouches either. But is this fair and good for the NBA? NBA legend Julius Erving spoke on that topic and shared how this is nothing new, as the Lakers used to do similar things, stacking up so many stars that it looks like they are simply buying a championship:
"It's reminiscent of how the Yankees used to do it all the time. They load up – they call it 'buying a championship.' The Lakers are known for doing that too. They're getting all these pieces. … They don't know at the end of the season what it's going to look like or what it's going to feel like. But they're going to be formidable. You've got a team with six former All-Stars, and three [All-NBA] guys who have been there and succeeded in the playoffs."
Julius Erving, Inside the Green Room
Erving knows what he's talking about, as it seems the teams nowadays have taken building up a roster to a whole new level. Having 1 or 2 All-Stars is a thing of the past if you want to compete for a championship in today's league. And the teams that benefit most from that are the big-market teams that have money to throw around.
Dr.J. didn't criticize the Nets and the Lakers for being those types of teams, but many fans around the NBA world dislike them because of the disbalance and predictability they bring to the Association. The NBA is at its best when you have numerous competitive teams fighting to win it all, rather than one or two teams loaded with more stars than they need.
That's why Damian Lillard should get a lot of respect for his decision not to team up with other superstars. If Dame retires without a ring, we shouldn't hold that against him when ranking Lillard against his peers.