YOU TALKIN’ TO ME – JULY 31
By ISM Staff

DOES THE NBA NEED TO START DENYING TRADES TO PREVENT SUPER TEAMS FROM BEING CREATED?

Gentlemen, we are playing with fire on this one.  We’re not only talkin’ to each other but to the fans of the National Basketball Association with this one.

I am going to go “old school” on you for my examples as to why NBA Commissioner Adam Silver needs to step into the fray.  What a surprise there, right?

Back in June of 1976, Oakland A’s owner Charly Finley sold the contract of ace pitcher Vida Blue to the New York Yankees.  At least he thought he did.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stepped in and vetoed the trade.  His reasoning was simple and that was that the trade was not in the best interest of baseball.  Brooklyn and South Beach and Chowdah Head, there’s a novel thought, right?

In fact, there’s precedent in the NBA for denying a trade.  Would you believe that I’m going to stay in the 21st century with my other example?

In 2011, NBA Commissioner David Stern nixed the trade that would have sent Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Commish felt that Paul joining superstar Kobe Bryant would make the Lakers too strong and would be harmful to the competitive balance of the NBA.

Here’s where I think Adam Silver needs to think along the same lines as Stern did.  Fans want to see teams, like the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks, have a chance to get to the NBA Finals like they did this season.

If the Association doesn’t step up and stop the insanity of players forming their own super teams, look for the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets to be the participants squaring off for the Larry O’Brien Trophy year after year.  That probably would have been the scenario this year if the injury bug didn’t bite them both late this season.

So, I’m talkin’ to all of you on this one.  What’s your opinion?

First, Low Ball, what is the problem we are trying to solve? Are we trying to prevent “super-teams?” How did those bums in Brooklyn fare this year?

I think super-teams are more indicative of the modern NBA game. Isolating star players for scoring opportunities and with little hustle on defense league-wide is the hallmark of the league. And, of course, the three-pointer is a major weapon for NBA teams nowadays.

I maintain that a strong defensive team can shut down these super-teams that struggle to realize there is still just one basketball. But, as for the league coming in to prevent the formation of these teams, I’m not so sure. The NBA would be granting the commissioner broad powers of deciding who is a superstar and who is not, no, Low Ball? In essence, there would have to be a list of those that are and are not superstars. How would that work?

I hate these “super-teams” too, but I think there has to be a better way to prevent these teams than disallowing certain players from being on the same team. It is way too subjective for my liking, Low Ball.

Adam Sznapstajler

Well, I’m going to have to agree with Brooklyn here, and not only because my Big 3 Miami Heat were the first “super team”.

But what makes a super team? The Bulls of the 90s had 3 Hall of Famers in their lineup. The “Showtime Lakers” had 3 as well. You could name the championship teams with single or no superstars on one hand. The Tim Duncan Spurs aren’t often considered a super team but they had multiple MVP and future Hall of Fame caliber players.

Super Teams are part of NBA history, the difference now is that there are so many great players around the league that there are much more “stars” to create a team with.

I do want to point out something you said Low Ball, the original CP3 trade to the Lakers was a peculiar situation because the league owned the New Orleans team at the time, so David Stern vetoed the trade as owner, rather than commissioner.