In the olden days, a lot of things fell to chance. You could get lucky with a team if you had great draft picks. Like New Orleans selecting Anthony Davis, who turned into an all-star, or if you had tenacious GM, like a Kevin Costner from Draft Day, or if you had a coach who made things happen like Phil Jackson acquiring Dennis Rodman. That was how a team was built, but nowadays players are taking their teams and championship hopes into their own hands.
It makes sense in theory. Good players want to play on a winning team. And no matter how good you are, you can’t win alone. ESPN admits Jordan couldn’t win without Pippen. Teammates are the key for good players, and nowadays every team is built to have a Big 3.
15 Million that’s the amount of money Lebron, D-Wade, and Bosh lost according to an NBC Sports article by Matt Moore when they all decided to sign with Miami.
15 Million could buy a whole lotta things at the dollar store. Additionally, the contract allowed for opt-outs in the fifth and sixth year. “The amount of power this contract yields for the three is simply staggering.” And it’s true. They didn’t just have power over their own destiny, but the destiny of the entire team.
Lebron said this at the time:
What's up yall. Just landed in my new home. Thanks to all the fans and Miami organization who greeted me. The Road to History starts now!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 9, 2010
And history was definitely made. More so King James as he calls himself left behind money in Cleveland in addition to his salary cut. The Wall Street Journal reported that Lebron had “a maximum of $125 million over six seasons [offer with Cleveland]. The most the Heat [could] pay him [was] $96 million over five seasons.”
96 million and 125 million, they are both ridiculous numbers for the average person, and either salary would make one rich. But, James chose winning over money.
And win he did…
James Harden the MVP Runner-Up and undisputed team leader for Houston was the second to follow James footsteps.
Harden didn’t leave money to go to the Houston though. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Oklahoma City failed to give Harden a max contract.
Harden was the sixth man of the year, and unofficially a key player in OKC’s top three including Durant and Westbrook. “The small-market Thunder had already signed Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to long-term deals,” solidifying those three as their BIG three.
As we all know OKC is at home and the Rockets have a real chance this year, so who is to say who was right in that situation.
Harden wanted more than sixth man. He wanted a team, so did Dwight Howard.
Howard who was previously with the Lakers turned down 30 million dollars, to sign with the Rockets. Howard and Harden wanted to make a team. And surprisingly they’ve made a BIG two which is somewhat of a novelty in powerhouse teams.
Although he suffered a severe financial drop , albeit his 88 million is more than enough to live on, Howard also got opt-out and percentage clauses that gave him immense control.
According to a dreamshake.com article, Howard has the ability to leave the team after some years if they are failing or struggling or he can stay if doing well.
“With the trade kicker, his deal could become prohibitively expensive to move, allowing Dwight security to stay in Houston or compensation if he is traded.” He has got funds shored up no matter the outcome. But, if Houston does well, which they have, he can re-sign for even more. “Essentially, he’s setting himself up for one last big payday in 2016, when he will still be just 30.”
It seems the designer NBA team is working as the Rockets are in the Western Conference Finals.
Second Time’s the Charm
Matter of fact, “trading those two No. 1 picks for Kevin Love was part of bringing LeBron James back to Cleveland,” according to NBA.com.
As a result, Cleveland is now in a position to win a title.
Designing your own team is a player’s prerogative now, and once you get good enough you can call the shots. There are rumors of K. D. going to Washington to do the same. It’s a new age where the players make the team, and as long as they keep winning championships that way, I don’t think anyone is going to try and stop them.