“Meanwhile, back at the Ball of Justice…”

By: Rob Botts
Cue up the cool DC comics narrator voice as we, the audience, swoop down through some long halls coming to a large wooden table where our newly forged super team heroes are seated. The King, Flash, Melo and Cliff. To you mere mortals that would be Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. Poof! Then Mr. James woke up.
With all the “Batman vs Superman” talk that has been flying around lately, it’s no wonder that it got LBJ thinking. He probably saw an early screening of the new superhero blockbuster movie and it probably frustrated the heck out of him. Why are Batman and Superman fighting? Imagine what they could do together? Then he sat back in his large 2 time, championship crusted throne and was reminded of the good old days in Miami years ago. Two superheroes not competing against one another but teaming up for glory. It’s fun being the main superhero in Metropolis or Gotham but Cleveland? Ugh.
Lebron James gave a recent interview and said the following:

“I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together,” James said. “At least one, maybe one or two seasons—me, Melo, D-Wade, CP—we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that.”

“It would be pretty cool,” James said. “I’ve definitely had thoughts about it.”

Then, like a good Lex Luthor(Gene Hackman, not Kevin Spacey, Jesse Eisenberg or Michael Rosenbaum) scheme, the new upgraded Fantastic Four superhero team proposal was born. The problem with this proposal is that a super team already exists. The championship Golden State Warriors. Ask the ’03-’04 Los Angeles Lakers, who loaded up with stars and lost 4 games to 1 to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals that year how that worked out. Yes, Shaq and Kobe’s feud was a large part of why they lost, but so was Karl Malone, A.KA. “The Mailman” and Gary Peyton, A.K.A “The Glove” and how they all fit in together.
A true super team needs the prerequisite stars of course, but it also needs the role players, specialists, glue men and above all CHEMISTRY to make it all work. The Warriors of Golden State have that in spades and also have the supreme confidence born of guys going through that championship fight and coming out victorious. Yes, Wade and James have that, but Melo and Paul do not. The only “super team” of the NBA ever assembled was appropriately called “The Dream Team.” Only case where the best of the best came together and the the “WE” was truly bigger than the “ME.”  Even if these current core of dudes apply that same thinking, they are not gonna beat Golden State who is going to be good for years to come if that team’s nucleus stays intact.
We live in a different competitive era of the NBA. Dudes from different teams are a bit more friendly with each other than in eras past. We all recall LeBron James spotting flash on some dips or nose breakers down in a South Beach gym. I’m not going all “old guy” here with this stuff but it was way more fun when dudes really hated each other and coaches forbid any before or after fraternizing. I can only imagine what Pat Riley would have done to Magic if he played today and was texting it up with Isaiah Thomas and Larry Bird. But, I really don’t have a problem with the friendly stuff. These guys play hard and they really do want to win. Current players just believe that a resolute hatred for an opposing team during the months of competition and winning the ultimate goal is not mutually exclusive.
This new possible super alliance of the near future wouldn’t be a total disaster. Mr. State Farm himself would handle the ball distribution and play set up. Him and LeBron would really be co-point guards. That ball would be zipping around like a hot potato and guys would be moving and cutting because they would know they would be getting the ball. That would put Melo into easy and optimal scoring positions. One of Melo’s biggest problems is that he pounds and pounds the ball endlessly and then finally shoots. Wade would be the closer.
But, as Robert De Niro’s character from the 1990’s crime drama “Heat” tells Al Pacino’s character in one of the greatest sit down, one on one scenes in movie history, “There’s a flip side to that coin.” This super friends collaboration effort consists of two guys who have rings and two guys who don’t. The two that do have the rings have true chemistry together that was born of a finals collapse and eventual finals win later on, that ended up bringing them closer together. The two who don’t have the rings, haven’t felt that hell fire of true heartbreak and breakthrough to glory yet. Getting bounced in any round that isn’t the conference or league finals just doesn’t count and doesn’t build up that ultra thick callus that you can only completely scrape off with the sharpest edge of the championship trophy. Their skill sets may have worked with other stars on the Olympic team before but that wasn’t against other NBA squads.
Anyway, I selfishly hope this happens very soon. Just when “Batman VS. Superman II” is coming out in a year or two, it will have some serious box office competition with “The Ball of Justice VS. The Dubs.”
Rob Botts
About Rob Botts 107 Articles
How’s it going? I’m Rob Botts, a Boston native currently living in Los Angeles California. I’m a published writer, cartoonist, actor, former college basketball player (Div. III… don’t get too excited), and former coach of summer sports camps back in New England. I’m incredibly passionate about sports and in particular the National Basketball Association (NBA). I publish a weekly comic strip entitled “Boston Bobby” that follows the daily trials and tribulations of this crazy Boston sports fan. I may be very level headed, but my cartoon alter ego is not. My favorite teams are, of course, the Pats, Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and the Revs…Yes, I follow soccer too—from afar. Let’s talk some sports!!!

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