On July 7th 2010, NBA fans were engulfed in the drama of where All Star Forward LeBron James would be playing basketball for the 2010-11 season. On July 8th, via “The Decision”, we all learned that he would be taking his talents to South Beach, along with All Star Power Forward Chris Bosh, and current resident, Dwayne Wade. The move even had NBA Legend Michael Jordan questioning King James’ competitive nature, stating that he would’ve never dreamed of joining forces with rivals Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. To the fans, the mini All Star team in Miami resembled the roster dealings of teams like MLB’s New York Yankees. And thus, the NBA entered into the highly-criticized world of building “POWER HOUSES”.

The League’s disapproval of these acts has never been more evident than in the 2011-12 NBA off-season, when Commissioner David Stern, and team Owners, rejected the Los Angeles Lakers’ bid for point guard Chris Paul. Paul was later dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers, essentially halting the opportunity of another 3 All-Star team being formed. But I present the argument: are “POWER HOUSES” actually unhealthy for the NBA? I am sure the Miami Heat’s owner would say “NO”, but the rest of the league would disagree with him. I’m sure some will argue that it’s unfair to the competitiveness of the sport, and that it takes the challenge out of the game. After all, who wants to see a team with 3 or 4 All Stars beat up on a team with 1 good player with 10 mediocre players around him?

IN MY COUCH SPORTS EXPERT OPINION, there is NOTHING wrong with “POWER HOUSES” in the NBA. As I witnessed what the roster the Miami Heat were able to assemble last season, I never once felt disappointed. I just felt SHOCKED! Shocked as in, “Why didn’t my team think of doing something like that?”, SHOCKED! Otherwise, I felt that the signings of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh to one roster was brilliant, and fair game.

Here are my reasons why teams forming “POWER HOUSES” is NOT unhealthy for the NBA:

1. IT’S BEEN DONE FOR YEARS. Teams have been “stacking the deck” for years, just unnoticeably. You can look through seasons of NBA Champions and there is a reoccurring theme: Good, strong veterans, joining forces to win a ring. Sure, they haven’t been of the same caliber as the “Heatles”, but still the same concept. Look at the Lakers 2008 and 2009 Championship roster: Derrick Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum. Out of the players listed, Bynum is the only one that has never been the lead scorer on a previous roster. Four of these players have been All-Stars and league leaders, when playing with other teams. The other one, Kobe Bryant…..do I need to say more? Teams have been doing it for years.

2. TALENT DOESN’T EQUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. Teams can stack all the talent in the world on their roster, and it won’t automatically equate to a championship. Just ask the Miami Heat or Orlando Magic. You still need a coach who can manage all those personalities. You still need natural and verbal leaders. If you are lucky enough to get all those components, you will still need at least one guy with a “killer instinct”; someone who can go out there close out an opponent. And most importantly, ALL of those pieces will have to learn how to play together.

3. THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE HAS A SALARY CAP. Major League Baseball teams are highly criticized, because the team with the deepest pockets has an upper hand on getting the best talent. This isn’t the case in the NBA. Every team has the same salary limitation. So if you are a team who repeatedly misses out on getting marque talent, you need to question your efforts and the perception players have of your organization. The salary cap is the same for everyone, and how they spend it is their prerogative. If teams want to sign players of the caliber of Antwan Jamison to inflated contracts……they have to live with it. Just the same, if teams want to let top free agents, like Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, slip by without serious attempt at acquire, it’s their stupidity. As I watched the daily bids for Chris Paul, and the drama surrounding Dwight Howard during the off-season, I had one question: Why isn’t Orlando attempting to trade a share of their talent packed roster to get Chris Paul? Wouldn’t that be the move that keeps “D12” in Orlando for another 6+ years? Wouldn’t that be the move that puts them back in the “contender” category? Apparently the Magic did not think so, and I think they will have a heavy price to pay this coming Summer. Orlando, through their lack thereof, showed me that teams that build these “power houses” are ones that have enough guts and determination to go for it. The remaining teams, who sit back and watch, only become mad once the idea has already been formulated.

Besides, the NBA has only had about 10 quality “contenders” for years. Now, those 10 are separating themselves from the rest of the pack, and making their head-to-head battles more interesting


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