The Brooklyn Nets just made another massive transaction this season by acquiring 7-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge has career averages of 19.4 PPG and 8.3 RPG and even made the All-NBA Team 5 times in his 15-year career. Clearly, Brooklyn has the most talented team in the NBA.
When looking at Brooklyn's roster, they might have the most talented team in NBA history by simply looking at the names. The Big Three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden is now bolstered by Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and DeAndre Jordan. If the Nets don't win the title this year, it would be the biggest disappointment in NBA history, and here's why.
3 Superstars, 6 All-Stars, And a Hall of Fame Coaching Staff
The Brooklyn Nets have a ridiculous team. First of all, Kevin Durant. Durant is an 11-time All-Star and 4-time scoring champion who recently won 2 rings and 2 Finals MVPs with the Warriors. Even before his rings, he might be the most unstoppable offensive force ever thanks to his height and skill. Next, Kyrie Irving. Irving hit the biggest shot of the 2016 Finals and won a chip with the Cavaliers, all while being the greatest ball-handler we have ever seen.
Moving on to James Harden, 9-time All-Star and 3-time scoring champion who won the MVP in 2018. Harden is already in the conversation as the best scoring guard ever, even being mentioned along with the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. That is the most dominant offensive Big Three in NBA history, but that's not all.
Blake Griffin, 6-time All-Star and 5-time All-NBA Team performer is on the team and despite his age and declining athleticism, he has All-Star intangibles. DeAndre Jordan is a 1-time All-Star and 3-time All-NBA Team performer, while LaMarcus Aldridge has made 7 All-Star Teams in his own right. In a nutshell, the talent on this roster is ridiculous. But even the staff have All-Star names.
Steve Nash was a 2-time MVP as a player and one of the best point guards ever, while his assistant Mike D'Antoni is arguably the most innovative offensive coach in NBA history. No team in NBA history had these types of big names leading the franchise, which means they are far and away from the favorites for the NBA title this year. Everything is in place for them to win, all they need to do is do it.
James Harden Needs A Ring, Kyrie Irving Needs To Prove He Can Win Without LeBron James
James Harden has a lot to prove, to himself and his critics. Harden is truly one of the greatest offensive players in NBA history, and his career to this point is a Hall of Fame career. Harden's career averages of 25.5 PPG and 6.5 APG are great, but his accolades are better. He is a 3-time scoring champion, he went from a 6th Man of the Year to an MVP, and he averaged 30.4 PPG, 36.1 PPG, and 34.3 PPG through 2018-2020. The man is unstoppable, but he never shows this type of dominance in the playoffs. With the amount of help he has, now he has a chance to dominate the game and shoot for Finals MVP.
Similarly, Kyrie Irving has a Hall of Fame career with an NBA title to his name but many claims it was because he was LeBron James' sidekick. This is actually true, and Irving took matters into his own hands by joining Boston in 2018 to try to lead a team on his own. Much like Harden, many question his leadership ability and he has yet to carry a team in the postseason with the same dominance he shows in regular seasons.
Harden and Kyrie must dominate the postseason, win the chip, and prove to doubters they can perform at the highest level without a player like LeBron James or Kevin Durant by their side. Because if neither of them do, they are at risk of having their careers tainted for eternity.
Kevin Durant Is One Of The 15 Greatest Players To Have Ever Lived, Cut The Noise And Win Chips To Silence Critics
Kevin Durant might be the most scrutinized player in NBA history because he did the unthinkable in 2017. Despite making the Western Conference Finals with the Thunder and blowing a 3-1 lead to the Warriors in 2016, Durant left the Thunder to join Golden State which is the same team that beat him.
Many doubters went ballistic, calling him soft and bashing his leadership intangibles. Despite all of this, Durant made the Finals for 3 straight years and won 2 rings with 2 Finals MVPs. Still, many regard Durant's rings as tainted. The criticism got so bad, that Durant even created burner accounts to fight off his "online haters".
Now, Durant is once again on a superteam and this might be the best team he has ever been on. There will be critics, but Durant must shrug them off, prove he is arguably a top-two player in the game, dominate the playoffs, and win his 3rd NBA ring. If he wins, he has 3 rings and probably 3 Finals MVPs to his name to which people will look at 20 years from now and be endlessly impressed.
But if Durant doesn't win, and doesn't dominate the playoffs, he is at risk of forever being a tainted superstar. He won 2 rings thanks to Curry, Klay, and Draymond by his side; and couldn't close the deal with 5 other All-Stars beside him in Brooklyn. There is a lot at stake for James Harden and Kyrie Irving, but Kevin Durant cannot afford to not win the chip because it would be the biggest disaster in NBA history if they don't.