“Superteams” have become the latest trend this decade, with players joining competitive teams in a desperate attempt to chase championship glory. There’s debate over who the first real “superteam” in the NBA was, but the 2017-18 season is set to be an all-out weapons race, with teams signing or trading for superstars in order to bolster their chances of winning a ring. Ever since Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors, teams in the NBA have tried to find solutions as to how to stop this superteam from dominating the league in the years to come. The Rockets have paired James Harden with Chris Paul, the Thunder have done the same with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, while the Timberwolves have added Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague to a side containing up-and-coming stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
But does a “superteam” really work? This week, courtesy of Fadeaway World, we look at ten superteams who failed to win a championship due to a lack of chemistry, lack of patience or just bad luck. These sides failed to live up to the hype and ultimately, were a complete disappointment.
10) 2013-14 Brooklyn Nets
With a starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez, as well as veterans off the bench in Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry, the Nets gave up a plethora of future draft picks in an attempt to bring a championship to Brooklyn.
Unfortunately, the Nets got nothing out of these washed-up veterans and there seemed to be a lack of chemistry, which led to a lousy start to the season. Even though they managed to turn it around, they were beaten easily in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals 4-1 by the Miami Heat.
9) 2004-05 Indiana Pacers
The Pacers looked to win a championship in Reggie Miller’s last NBA season with a squad containing Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson. But somehow, they only managed a 44-38 record after going 61-21 the year before.
Indiana failed to reach the Eastern Conference Finals after going down to the Detroit Pistons 4-2. During the series, the “Malice in the Palace” brawl, which led to several suspensions, took place and killed any hopes the Pacers had of sending Reggie Miller out on top.
8) 2009-10 Cleveland Cavaliers
Before joining the Miami Heat, LeBron James attempted to form a superteam of his own back in Cleveland, pairing with Shaq. The rest of the roster included Mo Williams, Delonte West, Anderson Varejao, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Antawn Jamison and JJ Hickson.
However, the LeBron-Shaq experiment never took off. Even though LeBron won his 2nd MVP award and the Cavs finished as the top seed in the East with a 61-21 record, they couldn’t get past the powerful Boston Celtics in the 2nd round of the playoffs.
7) 1994-95 Orlando Magic
A brilliant Shaquille O’Neal led the Orlando Magic to a 57-25 record alongside Penny Hardaway and Horace Grant, with Shaq averaging 29.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.4 blocks per game.
The Magic reached the NBA Finals against Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets, but were swept 4-0 in the Finals thanks to the 32 PPG “The Dream” averaged in the matchup.
6) 1996-97 Houston Rockets
Charles Barkley teamed up with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler in an attempt to chase that elusive championship ring that’s avoided him throughout his career. The Rockets had won the NBA Championship a couple of years earlier as well, which meant Houston had a really good chance to win with their new Big 3.
Houston finished as the 3rd seed in the Western Conference with a 57-25 record, but were ultimately defeated in the Western Conference Finals by the Utah Jazz 4-2.
5) 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers
The “Fab Four” were one of the biggest flops in NBA history, with the team consisting of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton and Karl Malone becoming a disaster.
A lack of chemistry was already evident between Kobe and Shaq, but Bryant also had his issues with Malone. A heartbreaking 4-1 loss to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals left Karl Malone without a championship in his long and illustrious career.
4) 2010-11 Miami Heat
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh kicked off their first season together with a respectable 58-24 record, finishing 2nd in the Eastern Conference standings.
After a dominant run towards the NBA Finals, the Miami Big Three ran into a brick wall in the form of the Dallas Mavericks, who defeated them 4-2. LeBron would have to wait another year to win that elusive first ring.
3) 2006-07 Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks seemed like a lock to win the NBA Championship after a 67-15 regular season record. Dirk Nowitzki was the league’s MVP with averages of 24.6 points and 8.9 boards on over 50% shooting.
However, even with a side containing Jason Terry and Jerry Stackhouse, the Mavs fell victim to the biggest playoff upset in NBA history, losing to the 8th-seeded Golden State Warriors in the 1st-round.
2) 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers attempted to re-create the “Fab Four”, combining Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash together. Their bench contained Metta World Peace, Derek Fisher, Antawn Jamison and Steve Blake. But yet again, things quickly became a disaster in LA.
Coaching changes, injuries and the lack of chemistry between Kobe and Dwight made life a living hell for everyone involved with the Lakers franchise. The nightmare ended with the Lakers getting swept by the Spurs in the 1st-round of the playoffs.
1) 2015-16 Golden State Warriors
We all know this story. The Warriors, before KD arrived on the scene, broke the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls regular season record, dominating the league with a 73-9 record. But as Michael Jordan put it: “73-9 don’t mean a thing without the ring”.
The Warriors struggled mightily in the Western Conference Finals, having to overcome a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, they would blow that exact same lead in the Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, flushing their historic season down the toilet.