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birdsanctuary
07-28-2006, 07:42 PM
The SuperDuperStar Theory
Authored by Elrod Enchilada - 25th July, 2006 - 1:08 pm
LINK RealGM (http://realgm.com/src_goaltending/107/20060725/the_superduperstar_theory/)


In my article for RealGM on July 17th, I argued that anecdotal evidence makes it clear that unless a team possesses a dominant superduperstar –not just a really good annual All-Star, but a one for the ages, top three in the game talent– it cannot win an NBA title. Just look at the last quarter century. Teams led by Shaq, Duncan, Bird, Magic, Jordan and Olajuwon – six guys clearly among the 10 or 15 greatest players of all-time -- won 23 titles. Staggering.

In no other team sport does a single great player dominate the game as in basketball. Football and baseball have countless Barry Sanders and Barry Bonds who are unrivaled superstars but whose teams never win titles. In basketball, the equivalent of Sanders and Bonds always win titles, usually several of them, before their careers end.

Holding superduperstar on your roster does not guarantee titles as having a quality core of players, playing superb team basketball is still important. There are usually a few superduperstars in the league with solid surrounding casts at any given time, but having a superduperstar is the one indispensable part of building a champion. Truly great superduperstars can occasionally carry fairly mediocre supporting casts to titles, as the Bulls proved six times during the 90s and the Heat proved this year.

That is why once teams get a superduperstar, they almost never let them go except under severe pressure from the player. It is safe to say that no package on earth could get the Cavaliers to trade LeBron James. Nothing at all. Because if he stays healthy and Danny Ferry is a remotely competent GM, the Cavaliers are going to win multiple NBA titles as long as James is in tow. All that can stop James that would be a similarly talented set of superduperstars (e.g. Wade, Oden) who have stronger supporting casts. (Or James demanding a trade under threat of becoming a free agent.) Ask Jerry West and Elgin Baylor about bad timing. If Red Auerbach does not make the deal for Bill Russell in 1956, West and Baylor possibly win 5 or 6 flags in the 1960s.

This is not just an academic argument. If it is true, it means that a team pursuing a title will put maximum emphasis on trying to corral a superduperstar. The importance is understood by the league, which is why it created the coin-flip and later the draft lottery to prevent teams from tanking to get the first pick in the draft. Tanking in the NBA is exceedingly rational, so the lottery was created to make it far from being a failsafe.

In my opinion, GMs still do not appreciate the importance of getting a superduperstar. Many are content to simply collect a bunch of good players, let them play together, and hope to become a contender. But NBA history shows that this approach is a nearly complete dead-end street. NBA history is filled with wonderful teams like the Chicago Bulls of the early 1970s, the Milwaukee Bucks of the 80s, the Indiana Pacers of the 90s and most recently the Sacramento Kings ; teams that have wonderful veteran cores, play superb team ball, win 50-60 games year in and year out, and never even get to the finals, let along win a title. For one simple reason: they lacked a superduperstar.

Then there are other teams that get within sniffing distance, even to the Finals, but their superstars just aren’t quite superduperstars, so they lose to teams with brighter stars. Think Portland-era Clyde Drexler or Patrick Ewing or Gary Payton or Allen Iversen for recent examples. The jury is still out on Dirk Nowitzki, but it probably won’t be for long.

Sure, there are a couple of exceptions, which I call ensemble teams. These are NBA championship teams that have no superduperstar but still win a title. I believe these are flukes, exceptions that prove the rule. I will discuss them in below, but first let’s provide harder evidence for my claim about the role of superduperstars in winning NBA titles..

Who are the best NBA players over the past 50 years?

Let’s start by making a list of the best players in NBA regular-season history for the past 50 years. How do we do this? It is crucial that we use criteria that are not based on success in the playoffs. Otherwise the player ranking could tend to be circular: players whose teams win titles get selected for all-pro teams. Let’s look at the all-pro teams that are named immediately following the season. These teams are selected before the playoffs, so they are not influenced by who wins the flag, but, rather, regular season play. There was a first and second All-NBA team until 1989, when a third team was added. Let’s give a player 5 points for every time he was selected first team, three points for every time he was selected second team, and one point for a third team selection. That means players after 1989 have more chances but that is only fair, because there are so many more teams and players today.

All-NBA teams are useful in identifying the top players in the league, but not sufficient to track down the greatest players. There is a core problem: They are selected on the basis of position, so there is only one center on each team. This means that throughout the 1960s either Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain did not make first-team All-NBA. Russell and Dave Cowens actually won the MVP in years they were not first team All-NBA. Only having one center means that some brilliant players like Cowens and Robert Parish hardly ever made all-pro. Bob Lanier never ever made all-pro in his entire career. Moreover, the “position” requirements for forward and guard were not so strict. The All-NBA team could easily have two power forwards or two small forwards if those were the two best forwards. It happened all the time. So great forwards and guards are more likely to rack up points than centers.

So in addition to calculating points based on all-pro team selections, I have also given players points based on how they fared in league’s annual MVP balloting. This is helpful because the MVP vote – also done immediately after the regular season – is done specifically to highlight the dominant players in the league. It is not by position. I give first place in the MVP vote 5 points, second place 4 points, third place 3 points, fourth place 2 points and fifth place 1 point. So if a player goes first team all-NBA and wins the MVP award for a season, they can get 10 points. That is what Steve Nash has done in each of the past two seasons.

So using this scoring system I have come up with the 69 best players in NBA history since 1956. Each of these players has at least 10 points. Active players have an asterick by their names. Here they are:

PLAYER……………All-NBA, …MVP, Total

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar..68……52……….120
2. Michael Jordan…….…56……43……..…99
3. Karl Malone……..……62……27…….…89
4. Larry Bird………….…48……36…….…84
5. Magic Johnson…….…48…….35……….83
5. Jerry West………….…61…....22……….83
7. Bill Russell...................39.........43……….82
8. Wilt Chamberlain….…44…….36…….....80
8. Bob Pettit…………..…53……27…....….80
10. *Shaquille O’Neal........49.......27.............76
11. Oscar Robertson……..51……23……….74
12. *Tim Duncan…………43…...25…….…68
12. Bob Cousy……………56…...12…….…68
14. Elgin Baylor…….……50……17……….67
15. Hakeem Olajuwon……42……15…........57
16. Moses Malone………..34……20…….....54
16. Charles Barkley………41……13…….…54
18. David Robinson………30…...19…….…49
19. John Havlicek…...……41……3….…….44
20. George Gervin……..…31……12……....43
21. Julius Erving………….28……14……....42 (ABA)
22. *Kevin Garnett…….…25……14……....39
23. Rick Barry………….…33…….5…........38 (ABA)
24. *Kobe Bryant…………28…….7……....35
25. *Allen Iverson……..…25……..8…...….33
25. *Jason Kidd…..………28……..5……....33
27. Patrick Ewing……...…23……..9…….....32
28. John Stockton………..31……...0…..…...31
28. Elvin Hayes……….….24……...7……....31
30. Nate Archibald…….…26……...4……....30
30. Bill Sharman……….…29……...1……....30
32. Willis Reed……………17……11…...….28 (injuries)
32. Walt Frazier……….….26……...2…...….28
34. Scottie Pippen…..….…23……..4…...…..27
34. *Chris Webber……..…25……...2..….….27
34. *Gary Payton…………24……...3……....27
37. Dominique Wilkins.….19………6……....25
38. *Dirk Nowitzki…….…18……...6…..….24
39. Dave Cowens………….9……..14…..….23
40. *Steve Nash…….……12……..10……....22
40. Isiah Thomas…………21….…...1……....22
40. Billy Cunningham……18………4……....22 (ABA, injuries)
40. Jerry Lucas……………21……...1……....22
44. *Tracy McGrady…..…17………4……....21
44. Hal Greer……….……21…..…...0……....21
44. Bob McAdoo………….8……..13……....21
47. *Grant Hill……………17……...3…....…20
48. Sidney Moncrief………17……..2……....19
48. Pete Maravich… ……16………3……....19
50. Clyde Drexler…………13……..5…........18
50. Paul Westphal…….…18….……0….…...18
50. Bernard King…………14……...4…........18
50. Dave Bing……….……13……...5………18
54. Bill Walton…………….8……....9……....17 ( injuries)
54. Spencer Haywood……16………1………17
56. *Alonzo Mourning……8……….7…....…15
56. Tim Hardaway………15…….…0……….15
58. Anfernee Hardaway…11……….3…..…..14 (injuries)
59. Kevin Johnson………13………..0…....…13
60. *LeBron James….……8………..4………12
60. Chris Mullin…………12……..…0……....12
60. Gus Johnson…………12….……0….…...12
60. Tom Heinsohn…….…12….……0……....12
60. Sam Jones…………..…9…….…3………12
65. *Ben Wallace…..........11............0............11
65. Mitch Richmond..……11………0……....11
65. Marques Johnson……11…….…0………11
68. David Thompson……10…….…0……....10
69. Wes Unseld…………..5…….…5………10

Is this a perfect list?
Of course not. There are a lot of great players who do not make it, like Kevin McHale. (There are around 75 additional players who got some points over the past 50 years, but not at least 10. It is an impressive list, too.) But the first 25 or so on this list are pretty difficult to argue with. It is biased toward players with long careers; hence Kareem’s hegemony and Karl Malone’s astounding location. Had MJ not taken those two years off in the 90s, I suspect his total would be 119. Dr. J and Rick Barry each spent five primetime seasons in the ABA. Had they played their entire careers in the NBA, they certainly would be closer to the top 10, but not in it.

The top 10 or 15 are really in rarified air. One person who almost certainly would be in the top ten had he remained healthy is Bill Walton. It would have been basketball heaven to have Walton leading the Blazers in the 80s against Magic, Bird and Jordan. True heaven.

Do the teams with the best players dominate NBA championships?

So if my thesis holds, we would expect to see most NBA titles won by teams where the best player on the team came from the commanding heights of this list. Let’s see of that is the case.

To do so, I went through every championship team over the past 50 years. For each team I picked the best player on the team that year. I also selected the second best player. Then I also marked down the name of the best player on the team that lost in the finals. I figured that it would be interesting to see if superduperstars not only dominated the titles, but even getting to the finals. This is also a way to acknowledge truly great superduperstars who had the misfortune to play in eras with dynasty teams, like West and Baylor in the 60s.

This is what I determined:

Player, Best Player, 2nd Best, Best on Runner-Up
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2, 4 ,1
2. Michael Jordan 6, 0, 0
3. Karl Malone 0, 0, 2
4. Larry Bird 3, 0, 2
5. Magic Johnson 4, 1, 4
5. Jerry West 1, 0, 6
7. Bill Russell 9, 2, 1
8. Wilt Chamberlain 2, 0, 2
8. Bob Pettit 1, 0, 3
10. *Shaquille O’Neal 4, 0, 2
11. Oscar Robertson 1, 0, 0
12. *Tim Duncan 3, 0, 0
12. Bob Cousy 1, 3, 0
14. Elgin Baylor 0, 0, 6
15. Hakeem Olajuwon 2, 0, 1
16. Moses Malone 1, 0, 1
16. Charles Barkley 0, 0, 1
18. David Robinson 0, 2, 0
19. John Havlicek 1, 4, 0
20. George Gervin 0, 0, 0
21. Julius Erving 1, 0, 3
22. *Kevin Garnett 0, 0, 0
23. Rick Barry 1, 0, 1
24. *Kobe Bryant 0, 3, 0
25. *Allen Iverson 0, 0, 1
25. *Jason Kidd 0, 0, 2
27. Patrick Ewing 0, 0, 2
28. John Stockton 0, 0, 2
28. Elvin Hayes 1, 0, 2
30. Nate Archibald 0, 1, 0
30. Bill Sharman 0, 0, 0
32. Willis Reed 1, 1, 0
32. Walt Frazier 2, 0, 1
34. Scottie Pippen 0, 6, 0
34. *Chris Webber 0, 0, 0
34. *Gary Payton 0, 0, 1
37. Dominique Wilkins 0, 0, 0
38. *Dirk Nowitzki 0, 0, 1
39. Dave Cowens 2, 0, 0
40. *Steve Nash 0, 0, 0
40. Isiah Thomas 2, 0, 1
40. Billy Cunningham 0, 0, 0
40. Jerry Lucas 0, 0, 0
44. *Tracy McGrady 0, 0, 0
44. Hal Greer 0, 1, 0
44. Bob McAdoo 0, 0, 0
47. *Grant Hill 0, 0, 0
48. Sidney Moncrief 0, 0, 0
48. Pete Maravich 0, 0, 0
50. Clyde Drexler 0, 1, 2
50. Paul Westphal 0, 0, 1
50. Bernard King 0, 0, 0
50. Dave Bing 0, 0, 0
54. Bill Walton 1, 0, 0
54. Spencer Haywood 0, 0, 0
56. *Alonzo Mourning 0, 0, 0
56. Tim Hardaway 0, 0, 0
58. Anfernee Hardaway 0, 0, 0
59. Kevin Johnson 0, 0, 0
60. *LeBron James 0, 0, 0
60. Chris Mullin 0, 0, 0
60. Gus Johnson 0, 0, 0
60. Tom Heinsohn 0, 3, 0
60. Sam Jones 0, 3, 0
65. *Ben Wallace 1, 0, 1
65. Mitch Richmond 0, 0, 0
65. Marques Johnson 0, 0, 0
68. David Thompson 0, 0, 0
69. Wes Unseld 0, 1, 1

This list accounts for virtually every best player and second best player on each NBA champion since 1956 as well nearly every player who qualified as the best player on the losing team in the finals. As you can see it is heavily weighted toward the top 10-15 on the list.

There are some qualifications: Rather than give half points, I gave an extra points for the best player in a few seasons (NY with Reed & Frazier in 1970; the Bucks with Big O and Kareem in 1971; The Lakers with West and Wilt in 1972; The 76ers with Moses and Dr. J in 1983). I give Dwyane Wade a full point as Shaq’s partner in crime this year. (I suspect he will be in the top 20 in a decade, barring injury. The sky is the limit.) When, as in these cases, I gave two points for co-best players, I did not award a point for second best player for the team that year. I also did not award a 2nd best player on a champion for the '75 Warriors or for the '94 Rockets. Those teams really had no one worthy of such recognition. Hence the second best list does not approach 50.

I gave Stockton and Malone each a point as the best player on a runner-up in the 90s and Baylor and West each a point as best runner-up for several of the Lakers teams in the 60s. So there are more than 50 points in that column.

The remaining unaccounted “best player” votes -- Seattle as runner-up in '78 and champion in '79; Detroit 2nd best in '89 and '90; Detroit 2nd best in '04; San Antonio 2nd best in '05 – all were difficult to determine or went to players who failed to get 10 points. Except for San Antonio, these were the “ensemble” teams that are the exception that prove the rule.

And the rule is now clear: The teams with superduperstars win titles. No one else need apply. The top 69 players over the past 50 years account for around 140 of the 150 possible points in my table above, and the vast majority of those 140 are in the top third of the list.

Of the first 34 players on the list, only George Gervin, Kevin Garnett and Bill Sharman do not have marks next to their names. Gervin is an anomaly. Maybe this scoring machine racked up a lot of first-team all-NBA slots because the guard position was down during his prime. At any rate his Spurs were always good but never great. Garnett should have gotten a flag in 2004, or at least to the finals, and Sharman was the best 2 guard in the 1950s, but third behind Russell and Cousy on the Celtics champions of the late 50s, so a casualty of my scoring system. But 31 of first 34 were in the finals, and these 31 guys account for the best player on 43 of the last 50 titles, and the best player on 39 of the losing teams in the finals.

But what about ensemble teams?

Ensemble teams are those teams that do not have a superduperstar (or two) and rely on having a balanced core of quality veterans. The two clear ensemble championship teams in NBA history are the '79 Sonics and the '04 Pistons. The Sonics had a great unit of Jack Sikma, Dennis Johnson, Gus Williams, Paul Silas and Fred Brown. It was a lovely team. But the truth is that had Walton not been injured and had the 76ers not been dysfunctional at the time, the Sonics never would have won a title. When Magic came along their window of opportunity closed immediately.

The '04 Pistons were a similarly admirable and balanced team. Their win in retrospect was also flukish. The Lakers were in a dysfunctional funk and the Timberwolves, who by all rights should have delivered Kevin Garnett his first title, simply ran out of gas in the playoffs.

Three other champions combined have had a supersduperstar while demonstrating some ensemble characteristics, because their superduperstars were not as great as all the other 43 NBA champions of the past 50 years. The '78 Bullets had Elvin Hayes, true, but Hayes and Unseld were past their primes, and this was not a very good championship team. This was a down period for NBA hoops. The Knicks of '70 and especially '73 were ensemble teams in the sense that their two best players – Frazier and Reed – were not dramatically better than the next few guys on the roster, but they were both genuine superstars. Injuries derailed Reed from having a much more dominating career.

And probably the greatest ensemble team of all-time might be the Bad Boy Pistons of '89 and '90. In the list above I put Isiah as their best player but in fact Isiah was less dominating by those years than he had been earlier in his career. Those teams, more than almost any other, had four or five guys – Dumars, Thomas, Laimbeer, Rodman come to mind – who were pretty much comparable in impact on the game and value to the team. And as much as I admired the Bad Boy Pistons, they got through past the crippled and aging Celtics and Lakers teams and just before the Bulls exploded. They took the ensemble approach further than anyone, to two consecutive titles, and, in the end, Isiah was capable of superduperstardom in the 4th quarter of any playoff game. So the Bad Boys straddle the fence.

After the Pistons win in 2004 there was talk that ensemble teams like the Pistons and Sacramento would become the wave of the future. There is no evidence that that is the case. I would take Dwyane Wade or LeBron James over Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon and Ben Wallace any day of the week. That is, I would if the goal is to win NBA titles.

What does this mean for NBA teams?

Nothing would make an NBA GM who did not have a superduperstar on his roster happier than to have a new era where ensemble teams could regularly win NBA titles. It is darned hard to get a superduperstar. They generally go very high in the draft, if not first overall. With younger players and international players in the draft, it is possible to sneak one further down, but the odds of ever getting one are slim. They are only rarely traded or become free agents. What is a GM to do?

Not much, which is why most GMs simply try to build ensemble teams and hope they get lucky. Either one of their very good young players pulls a Steve Nash and gets sensational, or else they have enough cap space or attractive assets to get a free agent supersuperstar as a free agent or in a trade. Like both the Lakers and the Heat did to get Shaq.

This prospect tends to be limited to a handful of teams in desirable markets. I suspect the Knicks or Nets might be looking for ways to acquire LeBron in 2010. He is worth the labor and the wait if history teaches us anything.

My own conclusion is that a secure GM would continually be trading away assets to get a crop of unprotected No. 1 picks, even if they are down the road. This is the most fertile place to get superduperstars. The price, though, is that your team will be weaker in the short term, and that can lead a GM to have a short career. So it takes a surgical touch, a visionary owner, and smart fans to pull this off.

The Bulls did it brilliantly with the Knicks in the Curry trade; the Bulls have a legitimate shot at Greg Oden now. If they get him, and he is indeed as good as advertised, Chicago is in store for some amazing times. There may be other superduperstar prospects in the 07 draft—it is supposed to be as strong as any in memory.

The Suns did a similar fleecing of the Hawks in the Joe Johnson deal. If the Hawks end up in the 07 or 08 lottery (O.J. Mayo), the Suns may have a chance at a superduperstar. Put that player with a Nash, Marion, Diaw and Stoudemire, and extraordinary hoops will result.

My favorite GM of all time was Red Auerbach. Red always understood the central importance of getting a superduperstar, more than anyone else before or since. He always thought two moves ahead of everyone else. He lucked into Cousy but brilliantly and boldly traded for Russell in 1956. He stole Havlicek in the 62 draft because Hondo was planning to play football for the Cleveland Browns. He grabbed Cowens in 1970 when he was not well known and then he stole Bird in the 78 draft, because he was willing to wait a year before Bird left college. His final stroke of genius was parlaying journeyman Gerald Henderson into the future draft pick that became Len Bias, only to see his final superduperstar kill himself in a cloud of cocaine two days after the 86 draft. It has never been the same for my beloved Celtics since that fateful day. But at least the franchise went down swinging for the fences.

birdsanctuary
07-28-2006, 08:12 PM
superduperstar = marketable player

Unfortunately, at #38 Dirk's just a superstar...

Windmill360
07-28-2006, 08:56 PM
awww shucks...

nashtymavsfan13
07-28-2006, 09:15 PM
Wow, interesting article.

nah-vit-ski
07-28-2006, 09:30 PM
Uhhh.........don't they put thier teams over the hump?

spreedom
07-28-2006, 09:33 PM
Sounds like a conspiracy theory that Mavs apologists can use as a crutch.. Guys like Michael Jordan dominated the game because they are far and away the class of the league..

Tokey41
07-28-2006, 11:56 PM
Those numbers are kind of convincing.... I wouldnt be suprised if Lebron and Wade win some more titles because the NBA is marketing them so damn much.

chumdawg
07-29-2006, 12:18 AM
It's an interesting article, but it does very little to address the climatic changes that happen in the NBA. If anything, we are deeply entrenched right now in an era where "superduperstars" canNOT win championships--on their own, that is. Or, we are at least in an era where there are several superduperstars, and you need to get deeper than that (or luckier than that) to win a title.

Take it back four years. In 2003, all of the Kings, Mavericks, and Spurs could have won the title. All were led by superduperstar power forwards, and all had all-star quality supporting casts. Ultimately, two of them didn't finish the season, and the one who did won it all. But even as such, he wouldn't have done so without the benefit of two other strongly effective players around him.

Go to 2004, and the superduperstars got their asses kicked.

In 2005, the superduperstar did win, but you can make a strong case that Tim Duncan is not the kind of player to take playoff series over on his own, a la Jordan or Magic or Bird. I think history bears this out. If anything, you might be able to paint that Spurs team as an ensemble cast.

Go to 2006, and you have a guy in Wade who doesn't meet this guy's definition of a superduperstar, in that he has never been there before. If anything, the superduperstar in that series was Dirk. Who didn't win. Ultimately, what won it for Miami was not the superduperness of Wade, but the overall depth and consistency of the rest of their lineup.

His formula may have looked good at one point--or, an after-the-fact view of may have seemed to fit the reality. But in the modern context, it means nothing.

Tokey41
07-29-2006, 12:44 AM
Shaq was the superduperstar... he is the general publics most recognized face in the NBA... hell he was in Scary Movie 4, Americans will recognize the guy holding that championship. Hes won titles in LA (definitely marketable for obvious reasons) and Miami, I really dont think Miami is that good but maybe Shaq is just that marketable as the most dominant big guy in the history of the NBA. Wade is just starting his superduperstardom, but after his championship I think hes there as well.

birdsanctuary
06-19-2008, 12:41 PM
I bumped this article to point out that Garnett the highest ranking "superduperstar" just got the monkey off his back. Interestingly, JKidd and Iverson are the next two on the list without a title?

aquaadverse
06-19-2008, 01:28 PM
He missed a bit by not adding coaches into his theory. Some of his exceptions like the 80's and 90's Pistons with Chuck Daly and Larry Brown who had a lot to do with these ensemble teams winning. And you can make a case that bad coaching will keep an otherwise superduperstar ringless. The number of coaches with rings is a pretty small group as well.

Usually Lurkin
06-19-2008, 02:27 PM
I bumped this article to point out that Garnett the highest ranking "superduperstar" just got the monkey off his back. Interestingly, JKidd and Iverson are the next two on the list without a title?
would you put Garnett at 1st or 2nd best on his team? Or would you split up the points to include Allen, and maybe Powe and maybe Rondo?
The Celtics this year is an ensamble.

This article is almost dumb, with how much the guy practically argues against himself, and so poorly rationalizes his own inconsistencies.

MavsX
06-19-2008, 03:05 PM
dirk at 38!? boooooooooooo

birdsanctuary
06-19-2008, 09:32 PM
would you put Garnett at 1st or 2nd best on his team? Or would you split up the points to include Allen, and maybe Powe and maybe Rondo?
The Celtics this year is an ensamble.

This article is almost dumb, with how much the guy practically argues against himself, and so poorly rationalizes his own inconsistencies.

I think clearly Garnet would be a #2 based on PP's efficient play in the playoffs this year.

Remember MavsX this article came out in 2006, the numbers may have changed slightly?

BGMaverick9
06-20-2008, 09:55 AM
I'm almost even surprised Dirk is on the list in the first place, lol.
Outside of Texas, Dirk gets NOOOO Love.

It's slowly starting to turn around though.

bgarrett
06-20-2008, 01:30 PM
The playing field as far as talent has become much more level over the years. The majority of doods on that list are from back in the day. There's no doubt things have changed super duper stars do not dominate the championships. S.A., Detriot, recent proof.

Underdog
06-20-2008, 04:09 PM
There's no doubt things have changed super duper stars do not dominate the championships. S.A., Detriot, recent proof.

Tim Duncan might have something to say regarding that statement...

ghazi
06-20-2008, 07:59 PM
Detroit of 2004 is especially odd, considering they didn't even have the TWO best players in the series.

birdsanctuary
06-21-2008, 12:04 PM
Detroit of 2004 is especially odd, considering they didn't even have the TWO best players in the series.

Was 04 the series against LA, during the Kobe rape incident. If the NBA would fix the SAC/LA series and 06 to make Wade into the next coming of Jordan, then they certainly were willing to live with the freethrow disparity which led to Detroit smoking LA. Kobe at that time was bad for their image, and arguably may still be given Boston's victory this year and Kobe's lack of love around the basket...

That LA team had the Zen Master, Shaq, Kobe and Malone who is practically at the top of the superduperstar list... Go figure...?


Why do superstars need help at the charity stripe? They don't need help, they're superstars!