I see a future where Dwight Howard suits up for the Brooklyn Nets alongside Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. (Okay, I didn’t see Joe Johnson there until today. That one caught me completely by surprise.) And I see them hated throughout the league as the second coming of the Miami Heat. I am beginning to see a pattern emerge. Superstar players are using whatever leverage they have to go to the teams they want to play for. And fans are outraged.
I have a serious question: why?
The Miami Heat are hardly the first “super team” the NBA has ever assembled. How about the Boston Celtics’ “Big Three” (Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish)? Or the later version from those same Celtics (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen)? How about the San Antonio Spurs of the 2000s? The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s and 2000s? The Chicago Bulls of the 1990s?
All of these teams assembled some of the greatest players of their generation on one team. Do you know the difference? (The real difference, not the one hour television special that A) has nothing to do with the Nets, and B) everyone really needs to learn to get over.) These teams were assembled by their owners and general managers, with the players having little or no leverage.
What confuses me is that if you listen to people talk, they seem to have a moral problem with players having the power to play where they want to play, or with whom they want to play. I really don’t get that. If you want to tell me these players are overpaid, that’s fine, but you’re telling me the NBA owners aren’t? You’re offended by millionaires having more leverage to decide what team they play for, because it’s somehow much more morally correct for billionaires to have that control?
I don’t follow the logic. I really don’t. What makes these players so evil for wanting to play where they want to play and with whom they want to play? Someone help me out here. What am I missing?