Building ’Superteams’ as Undoubted NBA Fashion

Despite the fact that a type of teams that are called ’superteams’ (three or more All-Star caliber players teaming up) exist for a long time, the number of those that are formed and meet the criteria to be called that way has exponentially increased: Warriors, Cavs, Thunder, even attempts like the Celtics, Rockets, Pelicans, or Timberwolves. 

Many players with high-performance reputation have decided not to renew with their old teams to join these accumulations of stars named ’superteams’ rather than making the league interesting. What they cause with such decisions is a growing interest in a few franchises and the ignorance of the rest of the teams, which remained without their stars and attention. Irving - Hayward (not forgetting Horford and young Tatum and Brown), Harden - Paul, Cousins - Davis... 

The thing is that some ’superteams’ came off like a big hit from the first moment, like Warriors or Rockets, others have had a hard time in the beginning, like the Cavs, and others had zero chemistry causing them to make results below predictions or worrying results, like the Thunder. Of course, chemistry is a key factor when it comes to whether a team is successful or not, and more so if we talk about the stars of the respective teams. Here is a small analysis of the three ’superteams’ we have now or up until recently in the NBA and a handful of interesting contenders. The above graphic from Betway shows some of the recent super teams that dominated the NBA. 


Despite all the hatred they arouse for being the ones who signed the “traitor” Durant and for dominating the league so easily, we must recognize something about the Warriors. Apart from making basketball fun to watch, they managed to fit ’pieces’ incredibly effectively into their system without changing it, while maintaining their winning scheme. The arrival of Durant, which could have been a fiasco due to his failure to blend into the team’s play of ’The Bay’, turned out to be a total success as he accepted the Warriors’ play as a native and contributed to the sweep in the playoffs. They have stepped on the brakes for now, but they are still a challenge for all rivals to beat them. 


After a tough failure that allowed them to learn that not everything can be won with comebacks of star players, the Cavaliers have taken on a Wade, eager to add one more title to his collection, and have formed one of the most renowned quintets in the NBA: Isaiah Thomas, Wade, LeBron, Love, and Tristan Thompson. Despite the injury of Isaiah and Love as a center after Thompson’s injury, the Cavs’ improvement has been tremendous after a dire and doubtful start. 

The leap in their quality was such that they managed to match the Cleveland franchise record for consecutive victories. With a completely reconstructed team, the Cavs acted as they had a lot to prove, being a very strong rival that could not be removed before the Finals, when they lost to the Warriors. 


Excitement, joy, enthusiasm, and a lot of mixed feelings were what OKC fans had when they found out that Paul George will be wearing the jersey of their team, while Carmelo’s arrival only increased high expectations. 

And these expectations had a solid ground given the current MVP was teamed up with one of the top players in the NBA and also a complete player at the time, who still had a lot to give to basketball. Regardless, the start has been hesitant and the ’ship’ did not seem to be straightening out but everyone in the club thought the patience was needed to let the chemistry kick. But it did not. These Thunder were not fearsome and they lost to Utah in the first round. 

Possibly the key between success and failure was is in the renewal of Paul George, given it was observed as the necessary ’equipment’ of the Thunder to win the ring and attract more stars. However, the following season ended for the team the same way as the last – with the elimination already on the first step of the Playoffs. 


In Boston, things have changed so much at once - signing Hayward, the most requested free agent, and trading Thomas and Crowder for Irving, which resulted in reaching the Conference Finals. Much has been talked about the ’big three’ that Hayward and Irving could have formed, which coincided with the explosion of young talents. Probably, if Gordon had not been injured, neither Brown nor Tatum would have so much prominence and, therefore, their season would not have been so spectacular. Both present and future look great for the Celtics. 


The first reactions to Chris Paul’s arrival in Houston were negative as there were players who were more suited to the Rockets style and who would not overshadow Harden’s work so much. To the surprise of some and the joy of many, the Rockets have started as a real rocket, staying at the top of the conference and with a Harden who won the MVP, turned to be a tough bone to crack to favorable Warriors in the Western Finals. To conclude, despite the marketing and the hypothetical success that comes with signing big stars and building a team full of them, the experiment does not always go well. There are many factors to consider, as well as players’ personalities and playing styles. 

What we all hope is that this trend of forming ’superteams’ will not continue to rise this much because it would completely spoil the interest in this wonderful league. For now, we can enjoy a league where, although less than before, the stars are evenly distributed to make this competition the most interesting and fought in the world of basketball. 

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