July 6, 2016, 11:33 am
The runner-up Golden State Warriors, who finished the regular season 73-9 and were one minute away from repeating as champions, just added a top-three NBA talent. Game over folks. Kevin Durant tipped the NBA scales by joining the team favored to win the NBA championship in 2017, and for years to come. This is quite possibly the first time in NBA history that we will arguably witness four top-15 players on the same team.
Karl Malone wouldn’t join the Bulls in his prime. Allen Iverson wasn’t going to abandon ship and join the Lakers. Let’s face it. It’s a new NBA generation.
Know this: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Boston Celtics added Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to team up and form the Boston Three Party (granted, they were older, but still effective). They achieved their ultimate goal and won an NBA title. To counter, the most recent example was The Decision. LeBron James took his talents to South Beach and brought along Chris Bosh to join Dwyane Wade for two championships and put an end to the old Celtics.
Then came the Warriors and their likable dominance. Dazzling shots and whirling dervish passing. You walked into a non-Cleveland bar during the NBA Finals and get about 80% of the crowd swearing they are die hard fans for the team heavily favored. Then they blew a 3-1 lead to LeBron and the Cavaliers. Enter KD.
Every time super teams are formed, you hear the hype surrounding the team about how it’s a new dynasty and “not five…not six…not seven” championships will be handed to them. If there was ever a time to buy the hype, this is probably it. You can bet on one thing though, there will be a counter. You can’t be sure about when, but it’s coming.
Avid NBA fans have seen the videos and snapchats. LeBron, Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony are close friends. If there was to be a counter to the Warriors dynasty, it starts and ends with the 2016 Finals MVP. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them team up.
— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) July 5, 2016
LeBron, it’s your move. Something will be done to challenge the Warriors (successful or not).
It’s a different era.
AROUND THE ASSOCIATION
One cog in the inevitable super team gang is D-Wade, who is enjoying his tour of the leftover market. This could simply be Bluffgate in order to leverage a better deal from Miami, as the Heat will get their last meeting today. The Denver Nuggets are reportedly ready to offer Wade a two-year deal of $52 million to leave South Beach. What are they smoking in Denver, you ask? All of this sounds like an under-the-table agreement to house Wade for a few months and then trade him mid-season to the Cavs so that LeBron can get the team’s finances in order. Meanwhile, the Bucks and Bulls are also trying to bring Wade close to home. The Bulls are reportedly the only team offering Wade a partial three-year deal. It’s all becoming a game within a game now. I can’t see him playing on any teams other than the Heat or the Cavs by the 2017-18 season.
Everyone wants a piece of the championship pie. There are bandwagon fans, and then there are ring chasers. David West has left the San Antonio Spurs to come chase a ring with the last three MVPs (Curry, Curry, KD) on Golden State. Talk about hedging your bet.
Forty-one year-old Ray Allen is contemplating a return to a contender as well, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, with the Warriors on his mind. Although, we aren’t so sure that he got game (thank you, I’ll be here at the same time next week).
The Spurs traded Boris Diaw to the Utah Jazz for the Jazz’s second rounder Olivier Hanlan, a guard from Canada who last played in Lithuania. That opens up room for the Spurs to officially sign Pau Gasol, the biggest under-the-radar signing of the offseason. Gasol joins, oh, I don’t know, a 67-win team that no one cares about. This announcement is also so that when you are up late on a random Tuesday night watching the Jazz and see Boris Diaw, you will remember he was traded. Spurs will be Spurs.
The Atlanta Hawks have to like what their shiny new hometown free agent Dwight Howard has to say these days. Howard is bringing in a “new mentality” to the Hawks. As long as he doesn’t have any broads in Atlanta, I think he’s off to a better start.
Nene Hilario signed with the Rockets on a one-year, $2.9 million deal. He’ll likely compete for a backup center role and won’t have any fantasy value. He is 34 years-old and hasn’t played more than 70 games in a season since the 2010-11 season.
In summer league news, Ben Simmons is expected to play on Thursday against the Utah Jazz. Simmons left Monday’s game with cramps in his calves and was held out on Tuesday. He scored 10 points with eight rebounds and five assists in his debut.