Since the summer of 2010, there has been a lot of player movement following “The Decision” by LeBron James to take his talents to South Beach and formed the original Big Three with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. The trio went to four straight NBA Finals appearances and winning two out of four of them.
During that time frame from 2011- 2019 there have been numerous super teams formed which include teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Brooklyn Nets, and the Golden State Warriors just to name a few. Some have been built through the draft in the case of the 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder team, who drafted Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka. The Thunder were able to reach the NBA Finals, but lost a LeBron James lead Heat team that would eliminate them in five games. After the season, the Thunder opted to trade Harden to the Rockets in the off-season. The Heat would repeat the following year against the San Antonio Spurs due to a clutch shot from Hall of Famer Ray Allen to send the series to a seventh game, where the Heat would finish off the Spurs in seven games. A year later the Spurs would get their revenge by sweeping the Heat in four games on their way to their 5th title in franchise history.
During the summer of 2014, LeBron decided to return to Cleveland and join forces with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love forming another big three, but they would fall short the Golden State Warriors in 2015. Giving the Warriors their first championship since 1975. The Cavaliers would get their revenge as they beat the Warriors in seven games in 2016. The Warriors would recruit Kevin Durant a year after the Warriors were trailing Thunder 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors would go on to win the back to back championships in 2017 and 2018.
Over the past couple of years superstar players such as LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard has discussed teaming up with each other in different places in order to give one another the best chance to win championships.
Dallas Mavericks’ general manager and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, recently held a press after the trade deadline had passed to discuss the Mavericks plans moving forward and to thank former Maverick Harrison Barnes for his contributions to the team.
During the media scrum I asked Nelson about the players taken control of their own destinies in today’s NBA free agency.
“Great players do great things, whether it is on the court, taken advantage of the rules. I don’t think anyone is doing anything illegal out there. That is what great management, great players, and great business people do. So, there are opportunities and they are taking full advantage of it. This is America,” says Nelson.