We are living in the era of superteams. It seems every year, there are teams with incredible talent that are expected to win it all. Until more recently, there was little to no parity in the league. And it has been the case since the Boston Celtics pulled off the biggest heist in NBA history to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2008.
The Big Three of Pierce, Garnett, and Allen made it to the NBA Finals the same year and won the NBA title. Not to be outdone and hungry for his first NBA title, LeBron James left Cleveland in free agency to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. Clearly the favorites every single year, LeBron won 2 NBA titles in 4 years with the Heat. LeBron then took the trend further by joining Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in Cleveland.
Of course, Kevin Durant took that trend to a different level by joining the 73-9 Golden State Warriors to make them unbeatable. Today, we have Kevin Durant once again in the mix of things alongside James Harden and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. The amount of superteams we have seen in recent years is unprecedented, and looking back at NBA history, what if there was a similar trend back then?
All-time great Reggie Miller scoffed at the notion of ever joining forces with competitor Michael Jordan because he wanted to beat the best and not join him. It seems the era of pride and competitive spirit is long gone, and if things were similar back then, the superteams created would have been the best ever.
By pairing the greatest players from the ’90s into 5 separate superteams, here is how the competitive legends would fare today.
5. Seattle SuperSonics Superteam
Superstars: Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway, Shawn Kemp, Alonzo Mourning
The SuperSonics had a deadly duo with Payton and Kemp, even reaching the NBA Finals in 1996 in a losing effort to Jordan and the Bulls. But imagine if they had the chance to snag point guard Tim Hardaway from the Warriors and All-Star center Alonzo Mourning from the Miami Heat?
Kemp and Payton were already dominant, averaging 16.7 PPG and 16.3 PPG respectively while making a combined 11 All-Star Teams in the ’90s. During that period, Payton also won the Defensive Player of the Year and made 6 All-NBA Defensive Teams.
Tim Hardaway is one of the most underrated stars in NBA history, as he was a dominant point guard with exceptional handles and scoring ability. Over 10 seasons with the Warriors, he averaged 19.4 PPG and 9.0 APG which he would have brought to the duo of Payton and Kemp.
Adding in All-Star Alonzo Mourning, who averaged 21.0 PPG and 10.2 RPG to go along with 3.0 BPG, the Sonics would be unbeatable. If superteams were the norm back then, the Bulls would not have gone 6-0 in the NBA Finals and the SuperSonics would have been NBA champions at least a few times.