Thursday, June 9, 2011
Want your team to win an NBA Finals..... Get a Superstar
All the talk of the Big 3 in Miami and the emergence of Dirk in these Finals got me thinking back to the NBA Finals I have seen. All of the winners have contained top 5 to arguably top 3 NBA superstars. When everybody was jumping on the Shaq bandwagon after his retirement, I (and my Houston peeps) were busy making the point that Hakeem carried lesser teams to championships. Then I heard Kevin McHale say these quotes at his recent Rockets presser: "You’re always looking to get a superstar, you’re always looking to trade for a guy like that, but to say, oh, we don’t have that guy we can’t win – I don’t believe that. I believe we’ll go out there and we’ll win as a unit. So am I going to turn down a star? No, I’ll tell you what we all like them. But I think you can win without them." WRONG! I am cool with the McHale signing, but his quotes here have 30 plus years of proof to show they are unequivocally false. I started looking at the NBA champs from 1980 to now and you know what, it reads like a who's who of the last 30 years: Magic, Bird, Worthy, Abdul-Jabbar, McHale, Isaiah, MJ, Dr. J, Moses, Hakeem, Duncan, Kobe, Shaq, Dwade, Pierce, Garnett etc. The only outlier of the bunch would be the 2004 Pistons led by Chauncey Billups. As much as I would like to say that was because the Pistons were the better "team" and they won despite not having any superstars who are 1st ballot sure-fire HOF, I have to place most of the blame on the Lakers. If you remember, that was the year Malone and Payton's corpses showed up to try and piggy back a ring. That was also the last year of the Kobe-Shaq marriage, and it ended uglier than Pitt-Aniston. So while the Pistons were a great team without an NBA top 20 of the last 30 yrs, they also lucked into drawing the train wreck that was the Lakers of 2004. Remember how they quit in the clincher? Yes, Phil's teams actually do have a track record of falling apart prior to this season. So Rockets fans, the real question is not who the Rockets hire as coach, he could be the difference in a few more wins and a playoff berth. But if we want to win another title then we need to find another Hakeem, or Dirk, or Lebron, or another superstar, because according to my data that's the only way you win in the NBA.