Image courtesy of Deadspin….and satan
It happened last night…I guess technically it’s supposed to be official today. In a 15 player, 4 draft pick, $6 MM swap across New York, Minnesota and Denver, Carmelo Anthony is headed to the Big Apple to team up with Amare Stoudemire. This whole thing stunk of “the Decision” and this shift of players turning into GM’s and controlling free agency is becoming a real pain in the ass.
“But, team’s with two superstars is completely normal”
That’s a statement I completely agree with. I think it’s more than reasonable and possible to put a team together that pairs up a “Batman & Robin” with a Commissioner Gordon on the side with the rest of the Gotham City police force. (For my example, let’s stick to the classics – no need for Barbara Gordon or the Birds of Prey, shall we?) In the “modern” era of basketball you had a main superstar, a complimentary star in the second tier, a third star in the second tier and role players. Even the “Super Teams” might have had a bunch of big names, but those were fading, aging stars, never big time guys in their primes.
This started going South with the Celtics.
Not Parrish, McHale and Bird. I mean the current Celts, Garnett, Pierce and Allen. Remember, the Celtics were a lottery team putting their hopes on Al Jefferson and Paul Pierce? Then in one hour at the draft, the Celtics turned into Pierce, Allen, Garnett and Rondo. Turned around and won a title. Then Kobe got mad. Said trade me or surround me. Kupchak and Wallace made the deal – the Lakers turned into Kobe, Gasol and Ariza – the next year turning Ariza into Artest.
I think those still followed suit with superstar, second tier, third tier, role players. It dipped its toe into “hey, wait, that’s a shit ton of superstars”, but it wasn’t anything anyone really saw as players organizing their own teams. It was the GM’s and coaches who were stockpiling, and that’s their job.
Then came “The Decision”. I’m not going to rehash this, but when James, Bosh and Wade organized themselves to convene in Miami and make it happen, you knew the game had changed.
So, how does this apply to Carmelo Anthony? He takes the entire first half of the season, holding Denver hostage, wanting money AND demanding that he get traded to New York. New Jersey was next door, and they’re moving to Brooklyn. They had the best package available for Denver, but, no, Melo would only go if it was the Knicks. So, you’ve got 2 parts: Melo and Amare. Who’s the third? Simple – look to New Orleans. A franchise that’s out of money and being run by the league that’s threatening to eliminate them. That’s going to setup a dispersion draft. Now, hark back to Carmelo Anthony’s wedding this summer and Chris Paul saying that he, Melo and Amare should play together and follow suit of Miami.
Whether we like it or not, CP3 is going to join those guys in New York, and we’ll have player-controlled franchises in NY and Miami. It’s only matter of time before Chicago follows suit. When the league “runs out” of superstars, will we see a shift back to team ball and the Pistons/Spurs teams of the early 00’s? Time will tell.