Superteams in the NBA aren’t a new thing, but they’re definitely still en vogue across the league.
Kevin Durant made huge waves when he decided to part ways with Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in order to find greener pastures with the Golden State Warriors. Fast forward to today, and he’s getting set to battle LeBron James in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors would likely have made it with or without Durant, especially considering the injuries that brought the San Antonio Spurs’ season to a crashing end. Golden State essentially made it a given they’d make it to the NBA Finals when they landed Kevin, though.
The trend of superteams really picked up when the Boston Celtics landed Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to play with Paul Pierce in a single offseason. They’d go on to win the NBA championship in their first season together, led by Doc Rivers on the sideline.
That team would be a contender for years in the Eastern Conference, paving a concept that LeBron would take advantage of by making his own superteam in Miami. Then he did it again when he returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics were the origin point for superteams, though, and Rivers certainly benefited from his trio coming together. That’s what makes him being critical of Durant joining the Warriors controversial and a bit hypocritical.
Rivers joined ESPN’s Mike and Mike and had some interesting things to say about Durant and superteams, via Jordan Heck of Sporting News.
“It is tough when you see a guy join a team — in Durant’s case what he did this year. That was tough for anybody, anybody’s that’s competitive, to watch. He lost, and then he joined. Having said that, it was his choice, I have no problem with him, but it’s something from a competitive standpoint, you would think you wouldn’t do,” Rivers said.
“I have no problem with him doing it, it’s just something from a competitive point, for me, I guess when I played it would have been tough for me to join Detroit. Having said that, he has the ability to do it, guys are doing it, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
A coach who won a championship with a superteam of his own is questioning the competitiveness of Durant for joining the Warriors. The hypocrisy is a bit rich, even if what he’s saying regarding the superteam situation has some merit.