The proliferation of super teams in the NBA has been controversial since the moment LeBron James informed us he was taking his talents to South Beach. Three titles later, the biggest challenge to James’ (sorry, the Cavaliers’) repeating is Golden State, thanks to Kevin Durant’s surprising choice to join forces with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
But there’s another super team out there most of the public is ignoring.
The big, bad New York Knicks.
Derrick Rose spoke of the team’s sky-high expectations in an interview with NBA.com’s Lang Whitaker.
“They’re high. I mean, with these teams right now, they’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams, and they’re trying not to build that many super teams, and Adam Silver came out with the statement and this and that.”
Clearly, Rose believes he and longtime teammate Joakim Noah will be able to transform the Knicks from a laughingstock to a juggernaut. He and Jason McIntyre appear to have drank copious amounts of the same orange-flavored Kool-Aid.
Silver’s statement included his belief that “two super teams” are not good for the NBA. It should be fairly obvious that he was referring to the Warriors and Cavaliers, who are once again expected to meet up in the 2017 NBA Finals.
You can’t blame Rose for his optimism. Long-suffering Knicks fans will be encouraged by his interpretation of New York’s current place in the league. And it’s understandable.
Few great athletes got that way without fostering at least a small amount of delusion. Good on Rose for dreaming.
Now let’s rain on his parade.
Unlike Golden State and Cleveland, the Knicks have just one star player with his best days ahead (Kristaps Porzingis). Unlike the defending conference champions, Rose and Noah are chasing the ghost of what could have been, not what was. Even in their prime, they didn’t win anything.
I don’t know what the missing ingredient was during all those years but I know what it was not. It was not Carmelo Anthony.
Look, the definition of a super team is somewhat vague. But there’s a blatantly obvious pecking order here. Rose may technically be able to call New York a super team in the same way both Alabama and Southern Utah can call themselves football conference champions.
Saying a bruised, mealy apple and the most delicious, symmetrical Gala are both apples is factually accurate. But let’s not pretend they’re of the same quality.