Superstars Win Headlines, Not Championships

Melo never made it to the Finals as a Nugget, but as a Knick, it's a sure thing, right?

Following some recent blockbuster deals in the NBA, Melo to Knicks and Williams to Nets, those teams receiving the superstars have more hope than ever to not only win, but win a championship (or can at least think about it now).  While there is no escaping the buzz surrounding the moves, in my opinion, it doesn’t really matter.  Yes, it matters to those franchises, yes it matters for the former teams and I’m not arguing that these teams aren’t better because of those moves.  All I’m trying to say is that a superstar or two won’t win you a championship.  It wins you fans, sponsorships and coverage on SportsCenter (just ask Blake Griffin), but it doesn’t guarantee you championships.  Even Michael Jordan needed Scotty Pippen and Steve Kerr, just saying.

The team with the best record in the NBA is the San Antonio Spurs, 46-10.  They quietly boast an aging super star and their play has been routinely described as boring (defense and fundamentals).  They have won four championships since 1999 and have the two lowest viewed final ratings in NBA history in 2003 and 2007 (Cavs lost 4-0).  Why aren’t people clamoring about the Spurs?  Who’s jumping on the Spurs bandwagon?  How many analyst have picked the Spurs to be the NBA champion?  My guess is next to none.  But they can win, because they’ll do it as a team.

What about the two-time defending champion Lakers?  They have a superstar, Kobe, and he has won 5 Championships (one more than Shaq).  Also, it appears they are in position to make another run for their second three-peat in as many years.  However, it can be argued that they would not have won the championship last year without key role players Ron Artest and Lamar Odom (who would start for other teams, but comes off the bench!).  Furthermore, Phil Jackson is also famous for utilizing the triangle offense to great success.  Superstars yes, coverage yes, but a lot of other intangibles are in the mix that create a climate of winning in Los Angeles.

Boston is in a similar situation to L.A. (without last year’s championship ring…).  Superstars, coverage but still have some of those intangibles that can will a team to victory.  Last year, they might have won too, if Kendrick Perkins didn’t get hurt in Game 6.  They are good, not just because of their stars, because of their team.

James, "Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven..."

Lastly, let’s look at the newly formed Miami Heat.  Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.  Miami definitely has superstars and I have never heard of media setting up at training camp like this past year, so the team definitely has the coverage.  They’ve played some big games, lost some big games and rely on those three players for the majority of their scoring (many times, more than 70 points a game).   But can they win?  Yet to be seen, but until they get some good roles players, my guess is no.

Posted on 2011/02/23, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I agree with you that superstars just on their face don’t win championships but you’d have to look hard to find a team without at least two great, dominant players that have won. The Lakers have Gasol to go along with Kobe and the Celtics core of Garnet, Pierce, and Allen, even though they are getting a little long in the tooth, are very impressive, especially when you factor in Rondo.

    The Melo to the Knicks deal confounds me because unlike those other teams, the KNicks needed defense, not another shooter. I think the Knicks may actually be worse off in the short run with Melo. We’ll see who they sign during the offseason.

    • Yeah, I was more criticizing the Knicks for Melo deal than the other teams. I agree with you and think that most teams need a couple of great players to win, but adding to that I believe that those teams shouldn’t trade most their talent to get them. We’ll see about the Knicks though since D’Antoni plays fast and loose and just doesn’t seem to worry about defense that much. Although, they now have a lot of talent, I agree that they will have to sign other key players in order to compete for a championship. Thanks Keith!

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