With the NBA lockout over and a Christmas kickoff at hand, the rumors have started and panic has set in.
After a topsy-turvy off-season that saw the fans lose out on 16 games and owners and players lose truckloads of money, the panic starting has nothing to do with labor issues.
Now everyone is concerned about the balance of power in the NBA.
When LeBron pimped himself out for an hour of TV to announce his decision to leave Cleveland and it’s loyal fans to head to the place where Horatio Cane solves crimes and shoots everyone, people were angry. Then Chris Bosh got on board and people became worried that the Heat would run the league, go 82-0 and waltz through the playoffs untouched.
After a season of chemistry issues and over exposed vulnerability, NBA fandom breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Heat showed their humanity and Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks won the NBA finals.
Catastrophe avoided, there will still be competitiveness and some parity in the NBA.
After all, there were still superstars scattered around the league. Some in big markets, some in small markets. While Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron had somehow formed the evil empire, thankfully that was a one off and we wouldn’t be seeing that again.
Or would we?
Reports have surfaced this week that NBA teams and superstars are looking for super partnerships to put together other Heat-like teams.
With Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire already in New York, rumors are flying that Chris Paul has requested a trade to the Big Apple. While this seems unlikely with the current state the Knicks are in, it’s a heart stopping though. Another team of three (debatable) superstars in the east?
Then came reports that the Lakers had put their whole team on the trading block with the hopes of acquiring Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Then we all reread the article and realized that it said Dwight Howard AND Chris Paul.
A Laker team with Kobe Bryant, Paul and Howard would be a power play like none other. LeBron and Dwyane Wade would be on the same level as Kobe and Paul but Howard is far greater than Bosh and the Laker’s would be overloaded with talent. With a good supporting cast, it might not be a stretch to think they might really go 82-0 and waltz through the playoffs.
Fans look at these scenarios and think of it one of two ways, either they love the idea of the return to the ‘showtime’ Lakers or they hate the Lakers and can’t believe this is happening. Most would say something to the effect, “Allowing this many superstars on one team is bad for the parity of the league.”
On the surface, that’s understandable.
If we dig deeper, it’s great for the league.
We look back on the 80s as some of the best years in the NBA’s history. I’m sure people complained but the Lakers-Celtics rivalry was great for the league. Those teams were loaded with superstars and everyone tuned in to watch.
If we ended up with three or four teams with Lakers-Celtics type talent, things would be great. Look at last season, there was a buzz around the league because of the Heat. Fans either wanted to watch what they thought would be poetry-in-motion or they wanted to watch so they could root against the Heat.
In the end? The underdogs won, one of the good guys in the NBA, Dirk Nowitzki finally won an NBA title and it was good for the league.
I say let the Lakers acquire Paul and Howard. Team them up with Kobe. Get this thing rolling and give us teams to cheer for or hate. Let us watch them go 90s-Bulls on everyone or fall flat on their face.
In the end, these things are good for the NBA and good for basketball.
Give us a reason to really like the NBA again.