This off-season has validated that the new collective bargaining agreement has done very little, if not nothing to prevent stars from teaming up. Dwight to Houston, Greg Oden, even though he’s still has yet to prove himself, gives an already unbeatable Miami, an even bigger advantage to dominant nearly every team in the NBA. Additionally, Josh Smith and Brandon Knight to the Pistons shows that Detroit is trying its best to stack up on very talented high volume shooters that will make them hard to defend, and lastly the Brooklyn Nets. With the Addition Hall of Famers Paul Pierce (who I always thought was severely under-appreciated in the NBA), Kevin Garnett, and Andrei Kirilenko who can give you a good 12 points a night, and be a solid long defender. The Nets have catapulted their way to the up echelon of the East.
So where does this leave players like Derrick Rose, and Kobe Bryant to pride themselves on being the lone star? One of the reason why the Lakers super team experiment didn’t work was because Kobe Bryant, is well, Kobe Bryant. He has and will always view himself as THE guy on the team, he will has never embraced having a co-star so having a co-star like Dwight Howard was destined to fail from the beginning. Kobe wants help not a co-star. Steve Nash at this point in his career is “help”, but certainly not a co-star on the Lakers. As for Derrick Rose, Rose has made it clear that he’s not recruiting anyone. His view is, if you want to play in Chicago and play with me then by all means come join in but I’m not chasing you down or begging you to be my teammate. As a native and fellow South side Chicagoan I say that that is a very normal reaction and mentality. The mentality being, we don’t chase or beg you to be with us, we don’t care how “big” you are. It’s a mentality I respect Rose for, but it could be a huge barrier win trying to build a championship team.
The bottom is that today’s game there is no Lone star. You’ve have a superstar such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, then you have stars like Chris Bosh, and lastly you have the role players (like Mike Miller and Bird Man). Players like Rose and Bryant have to realize the superstar and role player days are over! There is no one alfa-male dominating and leading the team, there are multiple superstars forming a team, simply because that’s the only way one can compete for a title!
Granted Jordan, Johnson, and Shaq didn’t win championships by themselves they played with other hall of famers, and but i would argue the teammates that they played were not alfa-males, they were beta. Yes, their teammates were great players but the weren’t players that could carry a team to a championship by themselves. Even in the Shaq and Kobe era, Shaq was the leader. Kobe at the time couldn’t carry a team to the Championship; because as Phil summarized in his book, Kobe didn’t have the trust of his teammates to do so. The players that are taming up now are players that are players that are franchise players, that were at one point the face of the franchise. But the pressure to win a championship, and with the general impatience of our generation players are realizing they don’t have time to be the Lone Star. They want to wolfs with other wolfs. It’s as simple as that.
As much as I love Derrick Rose, and I want my Bulls, to win a championship more than anybody; we won’t unless Derrick Rose and the Bulls organization changes their mentality about how to build a Championship team. And if Kobe wants to win his 6th ring and be tied with Jordan he is going to have to compromise and begin willing to share the spotlight, but as any true basketball fan knows, that’s very unlikely to happen. So the question Bryant and Rose need to ask themselves is, is it worth it being a Lone Star?