For the basketball fans eager to see the era of superteams end soon, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver understands your despair and frustration.
Silver, the league’s commissioner since 2014, is fully aware of how divisive the concept of modern superteams, which stars such as Kevin Durant and LeBron James have taken full advantage of, remains among fans. However, don’t expect significant changes or a league-mandated breakup of the Brooklyn Nets’ power trio to arrive in the near future.
Adam Silver addressed the NBA’s superteam problems in a recent interview
Above all else, Silver considers himself a sports fan. The man who grew up rooting for Bernard King and the New York Knicks now spends his days governing one of the world’s most popular professional sports leagues.
Silver appeared as a guest on the Aug. 19 edition of Carton & Roberts on WFAN in New York. When the topic of superteams came up, the veteran commissioner admitted he’s “not crazy” about the concept.
While discussing superteams, Silver acknowledged he thinks there are improvements the league can make to the system. Basketball fans may also be pleased to hear he is optimistic the NBA can discuss those changes without a radical overhaul or pushback.
“Four hundred fifty players in the league all want to win championships, and while they want the ability to become free agents and then go to a team of their choice, they also have an interest in parity around the league and ensuring that the top players are distributed in a fair way.”Adam Silver
The key, Silver explained, is finding the right balance where teams build through the draft and make smart decisions in free agency and through the trade market. Although he did not name any organizations who fit that bill, the Golden State Warriors — who won a title with a team built around players they drafted, including Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, before Durant arrived in 2016 — immediately come to mind.
“I think whether it’s players coming together themselves or smart GMs bringing them together, you don’t want to see too much talent aggregated in one place,” Silver said.
The Miami Heat’s Big 3 fully established a new precedent for modern superteams
The concept of the NBA superteam existed long before Silver took over as commissioner in 2014. The less said about Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal teaming up with Gary Payton and Karl Malone on the Los Angeles Lakers in 2003, the better.
It wasn’t until 2010, when James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat, that the modern superteam proved it could win. The Heat won two championships in four years and made the NBA Finals each season, establishing a new precedent for teams across the league to follow.
One could argue the Boston Celtics’ Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen created the modern superteam. However, it’s also worth noting that all three began their time together in their 30s. Every member of the Heat’s trio was in the prime of their career and opened the door for other teams, including the Nets and Warriors, to assemble a powerhouse consisting of players in their late 20s and early 30s.
Basketball fans need to accept that superteams aren’t going away anytime soon
The best thing Silver did when he addressed the idea of superteams was not making any promises that he’d eradicate the trend. Neither he nor the NBA would ever realistically create any type of rule barring two All-Stars under the age of 30 from playing on the same team if the organization in question didn’t draft them.
For as many fans dislike the superteam, plenty want to see their favorite stars team up together. Anthony Davis left a beleaguered New Orleans Pelicans organization to join James on the Lakers. The Nets partnered Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving together and made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.
The superteam is far more likely to go the way of the 3-point shot, something that sticks around and only becomes more popular as time goes on rather than those sleeved jerseys teams wore a few years ago. We’ll always complain about it while accepting it and continuing to watch games.
Say what you want about superteams, but we can all agree it’s a better idea than the sleeved jerseys, right? Right?