Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant, third from left, looks on with teammates from the bench during game against Golden State Warriors, Monday, March 28, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn.

Karen Pulfer Focht, Associated Press

Two months ago I wrote (gleefully) that the NBA Super Teams — teams that sold their souls to superstars who collaborated with other superstars to form instant championship teams (or that was the theory anyway) — were struggling. Well, I’m happy (actually very, very happy!) to report that the verdict is in and it’s official: They flamed out.

And that’s good for the NBA, which has allowed players to stack the deck since LeBron James formed his first super team in Miami years ago.

This year: The Los Angeles LeBrons finished 11th and missed the playoffs completely. The team that LeBron formed and demanded — including the disastrous acquisition of Russell Westbrook — won just 33 of 82 games. Then he blamed the team formerly known as the Lakers and demanded that they fix his mess, to which they responded: You made this mess, you fix it.

Twenty-two teams won more games than the LeBrons, who boast the fourth highest salary in the league at $136 million. The team formerly known as the Lakers deserved it; they cast off a group of young, promising players to sign LeBron and his all-stars, and this is what it got them.

“I can/will NOT miss the postseason again for my career! This (profanity) HURT,” he tweeted with his usual elegance.

Let’s hope he’s wrong.

The Los Angeles Kawhis finished ninth in the Western Conference and were eliminated in the play-in tournament by the New Orleans Pelicans, the eighth best team in the West — a team that finished with a record of 36-46, the worst of any playoff team since 1997 (note: the Pelicans are another team that has built its roster organically and they’re giving the league-leading Suns all they can handle in the playoffs). It was a disappointing performance for a team whose roster features Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and commanded the third highest salary in the league at $167 million. Of course we can’t really know how the L.A. Kawhis might have fared if …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


Teams that do things the right way thriving in the NBA | Opinion

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