August 30, 2010
Of all the complaints lobbied against LeBron James'(notes) signing with the Miami Heat, perhaps the most valid was that joining forces with two star teammates wasn't good for the competition around the NBA. After all, with so much talent on one team, that leaves other teams playing an almost impossible game of catch-up. There are only so many franchise players to go around, and if they're all on the same team the NBA is worse off. At least that's the argument by fans of the league and maybe, just maybe, the players feel the same way too. We just haven't heard that yet.
Thankfully, TMZ exists to accost some of our favorite athletes on the streets and ask them questions we're all curious to have answered. Like, for instance, Brandon Jennings(notes) who was asked about the plethora of NBA players exploring Judaism, which somehow turned into a dissertation on the trouble with superstars playing together.
Everybody's doing different stuff now. You know, everybody teaming up now, trying to beat Kobe. Like Miami, you got the Big Three there. You got the big three in Boston. So I guess me, Tyreke Evans(notes) and Stephen Curry(notes) should all call each other in the next two years and try to hook up and play on the same team, I guess. [...]
You lose a lot of competition down there. Everybody's teaming up, so there's not going to be no more competing. Everybody's playing for each other. I guess in three years, like I said, me and Steph and Tyreke should do the same thing.
Zing? Zing, I think. You don't often see young players calling out league MVPs, just a year into their NBA careers. But Brandon Jennings isn't your typical young player. I mean, a lot of guys don't dance to Lady Gaga alone, then put it on the Internet, but Jennings did that too. He's an iconoclast, I suppose.
He does make a good point, though. No, not about teaming up "to beat Kobe," considering Boston put its three Hall of Famers together in the summer following a season in which the Lakers went 42-40, only to see Los Angeles acquire Pau Gasol(notes) in order to compete against Boston. The good point he does make is about how NBA players are going to feel when they see their peers choosing to play together, rather than against each other. Kind of a "Hey, if those guys can do it, so should we" sort of thing that you've already seen happening with Chris Paul(notes) and Carmelo Anthony's(notes) trade requests, not to mention Amar'e Stoudemire's(notes) beckoning for them to join him in New York.
On the other hand, sooner or later übertalents will run out and teams that think they're getting a bunch of stars together will turn out to have tremendously disappointing teams. Like, you know, if Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry teamed up. All three are great players, but those as your Big Three — or Little Three, rather — wouldn't be as awesome as it sounds unless you've been a big fan of the Warriors experiments that have been going on the last few years.
Nonetheless, it's good to see an NBA player point out how ridiculous it is that these guys are teaming up all over the league. It's good to see that the competitiveness we expect from the NBA still exists. But most of all, it's good to see Brandon Jennings with his shirt on because that Lady Gaga video revealed a little too much Young Money.