No other sport needs a star player as much as in basketball. With 5 players on the court at one time, a single player has a huge effect on the game. This isn’t as noticeable in football, baseball, or soccer where a strategic team game can overcome a superstar. In basketball though, a star is necessary and I hope to cement this point with this post.
I watched the Jordan 1v1 with Ahmad Rashad, taped earlier this year, and it’s what led to this post. In the hour long interview, MJ went through each point of his career and the different competition he faced and the challenges along the way. His take on various players and what he was like in practice was fascinating. His intensity was unrivaled and what lead to his enormous success. His 6 championships put him right near the top and it could have been even more if he didn’t quit for baseball somewhere in between. ALSO, he retired after winning his 6th championship! Talk about leaving on top. MJ will always be considered a legend.
To go hand in hand with this post is the Philadelphia 76ers and their 2013 season. This season was one of the worst I can remember because it was majorly hyped up prior to the season. The 76ers were hoping to work Bynum into the rotation after a month or two and basically conned the fans into buying tickets to see their new superstar. I’d bet my life ownership knew the whole time he wasn’t going to play a single game. So this season the Sixers put a mediocre squad on the court with absolutely no key player to take control of the games. They proved to me that basketball can’t be won without a player to turn to who can make a key bucket. Jrue isn’t that player yet. The rest of the team are only role players. This type of team finished exactly how good they were with a record well below 500. This team was an injustice to our basketball fans. Evan Turner will never be a superstar! Now, let’s take a look at the current elite teams who actually try to win championships:
Heat – Lebron
Knicks – Melo
Thunder – Durant
Spurs – Parker
I’d bet my bottom dollar that one of those teams wins the championship this year. Spurs are the only team without a legit superstar but they do the most with the less. Lebron vs Durant rematch is most likely going to take place which will hopefully be a better challenge than last year.
In the past 22 years there have only been 9 teams to win championships.
Bulls – Jordan – 91′-93′, 96′-98′
Rockets – Olajuwon – 94′-95′
Spurs – Duncan – 99′, 03′, 05′, 07′
Lakers – Bryant – 00′-02′, 09′-10′
The Heat (LeBron), Mavericks (Nowitzki), Pistons (6 teammates), and Celtics (Garnett, Piece, and Allen) round out the list. You can keep going back but history continues to repeat itself and my point with Bird, Magic, Kareem, Russell… Basketball isn’t as much a team game as needing that one guy to take over the game when your team needs it the most. AI took a bunch of role players to the finals in 01′ which should prove the point even further. This is why I’m unbelievably upset at the Sixers and all the other shitty teams in the league who put out piss poor products. Do they know they have a poop product? Do they think the public is so stupid that we just buy into their marketing of bullshit? No star = No championship = No fans. You can sell the Eagles as a collective group and it’s harder to see but I’m not buying into shitty basketball products anymore unless ownership tries a bit harder.