The Fantasy of the One Man Team

This weekend is All-Star weekend in Dallas. Many of the NBAs best players are there participating. Many of these players are also looking forward to free agency this summer including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. With this in mind they have been asked about teaming with each other or moving to a bigger market such has Chicago or New York City. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh have said they’ll consider all options . If I were them I would try to team up with one of the others, I think it’s a fine idea. It may not work financially but ideally it makes sense to me.

One person it does not make sense to is ESPNs Jamele Hill. In her commentary (LeBron James with Dwyane Wade? No!) she argues that they should not team up. Any comination of those three teaming up would simply be too ‘boring’ because superstars need to carry teams to a championship on their own. After all she states, “Jordan is considered the greatest because he won six titles with teams consisting primarily of him, plus role players. Had he ever paired with another superstar, he might not have been looked upon as invincible.”

Right, because we all know it was Michael Jordan and four Adam Morrison’s that won a regular season record 70 games and six NBA championships. Imagine what he could have done with another superstar on his team. All he had to work with were role players like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. We all know how limited Pippen was. A 6-8 forward who was one of the NBAs 50 greatest players, all-defensive first team eight times, who could also play pointguard, shoot from three, and dunk on you for good measure. Don’t get me started on Rodman. All he did was win Defensive Player of the Year twice, to go along with first team all defense seven times, all while being the best rebounder of his generation.

That quote might be the dumbest statement I’ve ever read. This idea that players win championships by themselves is absolutely ridiculous. Magic, Bird, and Jordan were all great but were on teams with other great hall-of-fame level players. Every NBA champion you look at is stacked with great players.

I think this started after the Lakers won another championship last year. The media has been dying to give Kobe all the credit they can possibly give him. Kobe goes from missing the playoffs to NBA champion, it was all Kobe’s determination of course. It had nothing to do with trading for all-star center and perfect complement Pau Gasol. And if he wins it again this year it’ll have nothing to do with Pau, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum and for good measure Lamar Odom coming off the bench. His team isn’t stacked, he’s clearly willing his team to the finals.

The idea that this is boring is also baffling to me. Fans love super teams, fans love greatness, fans love winning. It’s really as simple as that. Everyone talks about how great the 80s were with the super teams, Celtics and Lakers, going back and forth. What is more exciting, Kevin Garnett wasting away his career on terrible Minnesota teams? Or joining Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo to win an NBA championship? I think fans in Boston (as well as the NBA in general) would prefer the latter. As for Dwyane Wade we all know it’s more exciting watching him stuck on mediocre-at-best teams during the prime of his career. Teaming up with Shaq and producing one of the best finals performances ever was clearly boring.

I disagreed with this entire article so I could go on forever about it. But my main point is that individual players (Mainly the guys who score the most points) are wrongly attributed all the success or failures of their teams. Superstars teaming up not only should happen because it is more exciting but it has to happen if those players want to win a championship. The idea that one player can take a bunch of role players and win a championship is simply a fantasy.

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