Remember back in the old NBA days where stars wanted to compete against one another and not join forces for the sole purpose to win a ring? I am talking about back in the days of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. These guys did not want to play together and dominate the NBA for years to come, they wanted to battle it out and compete against each other.
No, I was not around during the days of Bird and Magic, and was a baby while Jordan was in his prime, but I do know one thing, that the NBA has completely changed since then.
Superstars do not want to compete against each other, they want to play with each other. It all started in the summer of 2007, when the Celtics revamped their roster, acquiring Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to go along with an All-Time great Celtic, Paul Pierce. When I learned of this trade, I immediately hated the Celtics, and was rooting for them to fail. Garnett, who had been in Minnesota for 12 years, and had been out of the first round of the playoffs just once, could not take it anymore. He wanted to win a ring, and would do precisely that a year later with the Boston Celtics. My hatred for the Celtics grew more and more with each win, and after they won the championship. It in fact disgusted me.
Then, in the 2009 NBA playoffs it would reach a new high as they pulled it out against the Bulls 4-3 in what has been since mentioned as one of the greatest playoff series’ in NBA history. This was the most exciting thing I had ever witnessed as a Bulls fan, as well as the most heart breaking. I still have nightmares of Ray Allen burying three pointer after three pointer, and Paul Pierce hitting the big shots.
However, all my hate for the Celtics vanished in the summer of 2010 when LeBron James infamously “took his talents to South Beach” to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat. Like the rest of the world I was shocked when LeBron said this. How could this be? The guy who was supposed to be the next Michael Jordan took the easy way out, abandoning his hometown Cavaliers to join his buddy Dwyane Wade.
After back to back seasons in which the Cavaliers collapsed in the playoffs, LeBron James could not take it anymore and left the Cavs with nothing. Leaving the Cavaliers immediately ended any hopes he had of being mentioned among the greatest ever.
The greatest players in NBA history are the best players, and leaders of their teams. They love the responsibility they have of being the best, and LeBron James could not handle that.
With James leaving the Cavaliers, it appeared that a trend was starting. Carmelo Anthony saw what LeBron did, and he thought it would seem fun to join a fellow star. The whole first half of the season was dominated by Carmelo rumors and his dream to play in New York for the Knicks. His wish came true finally, as he joins forces with Amare Stoudemire in an attempt to make the Knicks relevant again.
Do you notice a trend here? Since Garnett left, the Timberwolves franchise has fallen apart, and since LeBron left, the Cavaliers are the worst team in the NBA. Will the Nuggets franchise suffer the same fate? Now, rumors are also surfacing that Chris Paul is planning on joining Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire in New York. If that happens, then add the Hornets to the list of teams in turmoil.