Take it the Court is a new weekly column on SCH featuring the arguments, opinions, and random musing of a Utah Jazz fanatic.
In the preseason, Big Al Jefferson stated that he hoped to be the “Robin” to D-Will’s “Batman.” As any kid who has spent time watching Saturday morning cartoons can attest, Robin was never Batman’s greatest teammate. Recall that Batman teamed up with Superman, Wonder-woman, Aquaman – even Scooby Doo. For all the arrogance of Ironman (née Tony Stark), his greatest allies were Thor, Captain America, and Nick Fury (to name a few). Would the X-Men be as popular/successful as the X-man? For all of Batman’s prowess in policing Gotham, he had greater impact and magnified his influence by teaming up with other superheroes. So you ask, what do these comics have to do with the NBA? Observe:
During this off-season, we all watched in abject horror (or amazement) as LeBron announced his decision to take his talents to South Beach. One of the best basketball talents of all time, ‘Bron essentially espoused the Batman model (or, as some may say, the Legion of Doom model) of teaming up with other superheros (Dwayne “don’t call me Flash” Wade & Chris Bosh) in order to chase his championship. As impressive as the Heat experiment has been in the opening weeks of the season, not all is right in south Florida.
As has been discussed ad nauseum (here and elsewhere), earlier this week, Paul Millsap exposed the weakness of Miami’s front-line (I’m looking at you Bosh). The Jazz somehow overcame a HUGE deficit and 39 points from the basketball-player-formerly-known-as-Flash. A fluke? Perhaps.
But Miami’s other losses in the young season (two at the hands of the Boston Senior Citizens, and one to CP3 – the other best PG in the league) demonstrated just what is wrong with throwing a bunch of superstars together…a lack of chemistry. Against the Hornets, Miami allowed CP3 to put up 19 dimes and 13 points – Okafor posted a double-double – three other players scored in double figures. In two games against the Shamrocks, Miami has looked the part of the pretender – not the contender that was promised. In an alpha-dog league, no one is quite sure where their place is in the Heat-pack.
When ‘Bron decided to go to Miami, many (myself included) thought him a coward for teaming up with his “Super Friends.” What would this mean for the future of free agency? Would Carmelo and CP3 make good on Paul’s toast to NYC and joining Amar’e with the Knicks? Was parity in the NBA a thing of the past? How could the Utahs and San Antonios of the league compete with the NY Yankee model being copied in the NBA (hard cap)? Perhaps the league could consolidate into 6-8 “super-teams,” and leave the “average” NBA talent in the D-League (and send the D-Leaguers off to find work in the “real world”).
In today’s megalithic NBA, superstar Free Agents have the ability to demand outlandish salaries. Granted, the value of a dollar is the same for me as for LeBron James – but what can he buy with $125 million that he can’t buy for $115 million? Really? If you have the basketball talents of Kobe Bryant, LeBron, Dwayne (and to a lesser extent, Deron Williams), why not simply pick a home and have your similarly talented friends come play with you? I’m sure games of H.O.R.S.E after Miami’s practice are much more spirited with Dwayne Wade and LeBron James going at it…I mean really, who wants to face off against Lazar Hayward in Minnesota when you could be playing the King just steps from the beach? Continue Reading…