This has got to be one of the most exciting offseasons the NBA, opens a new window has ever seen. The idea of building a "superteam" is not only an obvious desire these days, but if your team is in the NBA's Western Conference, opens a new window, then it might be a necessity if you are trying to sell overpriced t-shirts with the words Post Season on them. But hey, as a fan of the sport, I think this era of putting together a group of top-shelf players that get to play on the same team is pretty awesome. It's why we watch the All-Star Game, opens a new window every year, right? We like to see the best of the best play together. And you can't tell me that you never custom built a team of your favorite players so that you could completely cream the computer on easy mode - cause I'm pretty sure that's why sports video games exist.
Now let's talk about some of these roster moves. The Cleveland Cavaliers, opens a new window - on the heels of an upsetting Finals rematch against a certain team that this writer may or may not think is the best team ever to step foot on a basketball court - maybe had the most exciting offseason of all. They traded away one of the faces of their franchise in Kyrie Irving, opens a new window (4x All-Star) in return for a not-as-good-but-I-guess-kinda-worth-it Isaiah Thomas, opens a new window (2x All-Star) to the Boston Celtics, opens a new window. But it didn't end there for the Cavs. To add to their already feared starting lineup of LeBron James, opens a new window (13x All-Star), Kevin Love, opens a new window (4x All-Star) and now Isaiah Thomas, the Cavs also signed both Derrick Rose, opens a new window (3x All-Star) and Dwyane Wade, opens a new window (12x All-Star) to make sure they will be selling a bunch of those overpriced t-shirts. And speaking of the Boston Celtics, not only did they acquire one of the best point guards in the league (Kyrie Irving), but they also doubled down by signing Gordon Hayward, opens a new window (also an All-Star) to better round out their revamped lineup.
But wait...there's more! Maybe the first big splash this offseason was made when the Houston Rockets, opens a new window acquired Chris Paul, opens a new window (9x All-Star) from the Los Angeles Clippers, opens a new window in a trade for 8 different players. Yeah, EIGHT. And please do not let all this madness distract you from the fact that the Oklahoma City Thunder, opens a new window also love writing long numbers on checks, because they too stacked up their roster with the addition of both Paul George, opens a new window (4x All-Star) and Carmelo Anthony, opens a new window (10x All-Star) to compliment their reigning MVP of the league, Russell Westbrook, opens a new window (6x All-Star). No one really saw that one coming, but after the Thunder lost one of their franchise players and were inches away from making it to the NBA Finals two years ago, it was only a matter of time until they were able to finally recover from that nightmare of figuring out what to do with a room full of Kevin Durant bobbleheads.
I'm sure there are plenty of different reasons why this became the new norm for the NBA. However, the Golden State Warriors, opens a new window are definitely partly to blame. After taking home the Larry O'Brien Trophy, opens a new window twice within the last three years, their star-studded cast of Stephen Curry, opens a new window (4x All-Star), Kevin Durant, opens a new window (8x All-Star), Klay Thompson, opens a new window (3x All-Star) and Draymond Green, opens a new window (2x All-Star) make many people in the league believe that they won't be slowing down any time soon. And we all know the saying: if you can't beat them, join another team with a bunch of other All-Stars so that you can maybe have a fighting chance.
So who won the arms race this offseason, you ask? The fans did. Regardless of which team is your team, if you are a fan of basketball, you are stoked for this season to start. You will be at the edge of your seat every time the Cavs play the Celtics for the same reason you will be every time the Warriors play the Thunder. The narrative is too juicy not to be excited: best friends who are no longer best friends competing against each other with a group of really really talented players behind them. Sure, if your team wasn't mentioned in this blog post I can see how you might be a little bummed. But remember, there's always next offseason. And if these past few months have taught me anything, it's that most NBA owners and general managers played a lot of video games growing up. So in the meantime, enjoy Kyrie Irving crossing up LeBron James and watching everyone lose their minds.
While we wait for the season to unfold, here are a few books and movies to hold you down.
Which team are you rooting for? Let us know below.