Time for a little bit of recent basketball history. Remember back when the Miami Heat still had a Big Three, and were discussing ways to bring scoring forward Carmelo Anthony, into the fold? In case you forgot, the news during the 2014 NBA Finals, according to unnamed ESPN sources, was that “Heat officials and the team’s leading players have already started to explore their options for creating sufficient financial flexibility to make an ambitious run at adding New York Knicks scoring machine Carmelo Anthony” Basically that LeBron James, Chis Bosh, and Dwyane Wade would all opt out of their contracts in order to create enough space to sign ‘Melo.
Putting aside the reality that this move, which didn’t happen (obviously), was more or less implausible for a variety of reasons (quickly: the luxury tax would have been brutal, this would be the last significant contract for any of the players involved, the Players Union and their respective agents would have revolted, and there’s no way Udonis Haslem was walking away from his player option, worth $4.6 million), we felt moved to consider the fact that, of all the super teams created in this fashion since the turn of the century, only two of them have actually worked out. As much fun as it is to rip on superstars that play for other teams as often as possible — Kobe signs a massive extension? He’s greedy and doesn’t care about winning. The Heatles take less to win more championships? They lack competitive fire. — a collection of talents that form up to wear the same jerseys is much more likely to be one of the twenty-nine teams not hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the middle of June.
For every 2012 Miami Heat, there is likely to be a 2011 Miami Heat, and even the Boston Celtics, who provided the modern framework for the NBA superteam, only wound up winning one title over their five year span together. And many teams never even make it that far. Here are five teams that were pegged to make noise in the NBA, before they ended up whimpering in defeat.