The National Basketball Association (NBA) has experienced a significant change in recent years as the idea of a “superteam” has gained more traction. Superteams are made up of several outstanding players on one team, frequently through free agency or trades, to win a championship. Due to several elite players on their rosters, these clubs often have a significant edge over the rest of the league.
The formation of the Big Three in Miami by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh in 2010 marked the beginning of the current age of superteams. The Heat was led by these three to four straight NBA Finals, where they won two titles in 2012 and 2013. The Golden State Warrior’s 2016 addition of Kevin Durant and the “Hamptons Five” to their already-stacked roster resulted in significant success, encouraging other top athletes to create their superteams.
Superteams have significantly impacted the NBA both on and off the court. From a competitive standpoint, they have made it much harder for teams without multiple superstars to compete for a championship. In the past, teams could build through the draft, develop their players, and eventually compete for a title. However, with superteams, the margin for error is much slimmer, and even a talented team with one or two-star players is unlikely to win a championship.
Superteams have also significantly impacted the NBA’s popularity and profitability off the field. For nationally broadcasted games, these teams draw more viewers and provide higher ratings, which boosts income for the league and its franchises. Superteams, according to some, are detrimental to the league because they create an uneven playing field and make it more difficult for small-market clubs to compete.
Superteams have established themselves as a staple of the NBA despite these concerns. Players joining forces to compete for titles has become increasingly prevalent. The NFL, whose elite players routinely swap clubs and create new “dream teams” each year, has been compared to the NBA due to the growth of superteams.
What’s clear is that superteams have profoundly altered the NBA, changing the balance of competition in the league and bringing in a sizable amount of money. Superteams have some legitimate critics, but it is obvious that they are here to stay and will influence the NBA for years to come.