Despite a growing list of accolades and a strong claim to the title of greatest basketball player of all time, LeBron James gets criticized quite a bit. One common criticism leveled at the Los Angeles Lakers star is that he can’t win a championship without a superteam and that he’s responsible for the recent trend of superteams in the NBA. However, he’s not the only player to join a superteam.
Blake Griffin is currently part of his own superteam on the Brooklyn Nets. He decided to defend LeBron over the criticism of him forming a superteam with the Miami Heat in 2010.
“I think it’s really funny. You know how everybody really s*** on LeBron. LeBron was kind of the first guy that everybody s*** on for joining — the [Boston] Celtics did it,” Griffin said on JJ Redick’s Old Man & The Three podcast. “They brought K.G. [Kevin Garnett] and Ray Allen to team up with Paul Pierce.”
What the Celtics did in 2007 was certainly one of the first examples in the 2000s of a team forming a superteam in a short period of time by bringing in outside players. That said, it’s not entirely the same as what LeBron did.
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Redick Doesn’t Agree With Griffin
While criticizing LeBron for forming a superteam isn’t really fair, it’s not necessarily the same thing as the Celtics. Redick cut off Griffin and explained why the situations were different.
“Yeah, but I’ve said this before, and I’ll stick by it,” Redick said. “The Celtics did it by front office, right? It wasn’t — the LeBron thing sort of set off this player empowerment era. By linking up with D-Wade [Dwyane Wade] and Chris Bosh, and we’re all going to go to the same place together, having these conversations behind closed doors with USA Basketball, whatever it may be. Whereas with the Celtics, it was Danny Ainge the mastermind, up in the front office, putting up the superteam.”
Redick has a point. LeBron essentially put together the Heat superteam which is different than a general manager putting together a superteam. That said, it doesn’t make the final result any different. A superteam is a superteam and LeBron shouldn’t be criticized for only being able to win a championship on a superteam as that’s been the case for many players.
Which Superteam Is Best This Year?
The NBA is set to be very interesting this season as there are legit superteams in each conference. The Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook this offseason, which gives them the most stacked superteam in the Western Conference. The Nets still have Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden. They should have the premier team in the Eastern Conference if they stay healthy.
If the two match up in the NBA Finals, it will be fascinating to see who is better. The Nets have three stars who are all known for scoring. LeBron and Anthony Davis are elite defenders and Westbrook is an elite playmaker. However, known of them can shoot as well as anybody of the Nets’ superstars. It will be telling what wins out in the end.