The creation of superteams in the NBA has been the topic of furious discussion for several years now, and a lot of fans blame LeBron for starting the trend when he joined the Miami Heat back in 2010. Even though that is not entirely true, and we've seen superteams in previous decades of the NBA, the truth is also that most of those teams have been built by drafting well and making smart trades which makes the whole discussion more interesting.
It all started with the free-agency
Larry Bird is one of the legendary players that was a part of a dynasty that ruled the NBA for almost a decade. His superteam, however, was built by Red Auerbach, who knew how to create championship-caliber teams. In one of his older interviews, Larry Legend shared his opinion on the creation of superteams in the league, saying things have changed in that regard quite a bit since he played. He noticed players were flocking Cleveland when LeBron decided to return home; even though it's known around the league, Cleveland is not the most desirable destination to play in, but when you have LeBron on your team, all that changes.
"Free agency started all that. When LeBron decided to go back to Cleveland, you've seen a number of players rallying around him wanting to go to Cleveland. I call them cocktail guys, they all want to be where the action is, and you really can't blame them. This league is all about doing your best, make a lot of money and win, that is all it comes down too. If you have the chance to play with LeBron James or Kevin Durant, you take that opportunity."
The priority is to make money and win
Bird has seen it all in the NBA, throughout the last 40 plus years of being a player, coach, and then an executive. He saw the trends changing, but one of the things that he believes all the players in the NBA want is more money, winning, and he said jokingly, having other players take the blame and the pressure on them.
"The priority is to make a lot of money and be on a winning team and have all the pressure on another player, that's how it works in this league."
There is no question players themselves now have more power than they ever had in controlling the outcome of their careers. Bird brought up a good point saying players just want to win and make more money, and if that means they can achieve that through forming superteams, then that is what will happen. It's true older players from Bird's generation were different in a sense; they saw everyone else as rivals, and it didn't cross their mind to arrange to be teammates on the same team. So their greatest sense of accomplishment was beating the best in the game, and even though that is still relevant in today's NBA, the means of doing it have dramatically changed.