So we have all heard the news that Lebron James has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for the next four years, leaving the Eastern Conference for the first time in his career. We all know that Kevin Durant departed from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors two seasons ago. Durant now has two rings and two Finals MVPs. So, now that the Warriors have signed All-Star center Demarcus Cousins, their roster seems unstoppable. Fans and players alike are screaming that there is no longer competition in the NBA. Players would rather team up and chase rings opposed to stay on their current team and try to build a winning culture.
But here's the problem with that: the current fans themselves caused this frenzy. We place such a high premium on championships alone in terms of judging a player's greatness that many ballers have decided to just join the best team that they can and run the table. The days of staying and leading your original team to the promise land is over. It ended when the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce and win a championship. It became a trend when Lebron finally got fed up with carrying the Cleveland Cavaliers by himself (the first time) and joined his friends Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat.
But you know what the irony is? The Golden State Warriors did not create a super team. Most of their All-Stars were scouted, drafted, and developed! They won a championship before Durant even arrived, which was part of the reason why he joined them. Even the OKC Thunder had three MVPs on their team that they actually drafted (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden) and they still have Westbrook.
Which leads to my final point: The NBA is just fine. There is still competition. Paul George has decided to NOT join the Lakers and stay in OKC. It's doubtful that Kawhi Leonard will join the Lakers this year. The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will battle as powerhouses in the East. Many of the large market teams such as the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls are still attempting to rebuild. The Lebron-led Lakers may not even make the Finals this year.
And for all those fans that complain about the lack of parody? The Celtics and Lakers have the most championships combined by a mile compared to everyone else. This is nothing new.
By Joshua Hamer