The discussion around the NBA super team has never been as hot as it has been since Golden State first signed Kevin Durant and ran through the League with a regular season record of 67-15 and a post-season record of 16-1 en route to securing its second title in three years.
Fans have taken sides on this issue. Some (Warriors’ fans) think it’s great while others (every other fan) feel it hurts the competition and that its just not fair. But today we learned that the super team generated huge television ratings during the Finals, giving Commissioner Silver the proof and ammunition he needed to put an emphasis on creating more super teams, further distancing himself from former Commissioner Stern while continuing to cement his vision upon the League.
News: This was the most-watched #NBAFinals since 1998 and in @ABCNetwork history.
2017 #NBAFinals surpasses 2016 NBA Finals as the most-watched since 1998. And last year was seven games compared to just five this year.
Rather than focusing on the top of the league, we should be focusing on the rest of the league, Silver told The Washington Post before Game 4. Rather than talking about how to break up or knock down a championship-caliber team, my focus should be on how we do a better job developing more great players in this league.
Fans who complained about Durant’s move to Golden State need to take a step back and understand the dynamics of the Warriors. The team’s three primary stars were all drafted by the team. Draymond Green was a 35th pick, Klay Thompson a #11 pick and Steph Curry a #7 pick. Curry’s greatness was recognized early on by the Warriors’, who signed him to an extension almost from jump, clearing the way for Golden State to keep the team intact while also adding role players in key positions. So it wasn’t just about Durant coming to the team; it was about the team recognizing how to build a championship squad and keep it a championship team for years to come.
All the focus seems to be on, Theyre too good as opposed to, What is it we should be doing to create more great teams in this league?” said Commissioner Silver. “Thats what my response is.
My answer is, lets create more great teams, rather than completely focus on one incredible team and whether thats seemingly unfair to the other team. I think its the nature of competition. Ultimately, its about raising the bar for all the teams in this league and celebrating excellence.
And celebrating excellence is what fans should be doing in regards to the Warriors and Kevin Durant. He was so good in the Finals that only hate could blind you from appreciating his blistering stat lines and dominating performance at both ends of the floor.
So is the answer to competitiveness just signing players and building a star studded team? With names like Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Gordon Heyward and Paul George being discussed almost daily as possible players on the move, Silver appears to have the opportunity to make more super teams a reality.
But the Commissioner believes other factors are at play, including international players and changing the League’s age-limit rule so more NBA ready players can be developed.
Draymond, four years in college. Steph and Klay spent three years in college, Silver said. So what does that say? The message is, it doesnt mean that we should absolutely raise the minimum age. It just means that what we should is focus on, is there something about the way they were developed that turned them into such great players? My answer is, lets create more great teams.
And there you have it.
Quotes from the 2017 NBA Finals