The Golden State Warriors are bracing for life without Kevin Durant after he suffered a sprained MCL and bone bruise in a loss to the Wizards on Tuesday night. The Warriors will re-evaluate Durant in four weeks.
On Wednesday's episode of "The Herd," Colin Cowherd explained how the Warriors could become the latest superteam to fall victim to the downside of being a superteam.
Cowherd: Superteams are not sustainable
“Every single time in the NBA we create a superteam, everybody freaks out. ‘Oh my God the big three in Boston! It’s not fair! Can’t believe LeBron’s going to Miami, this is not fair! Kevin Durant’s going to the Warriors, this is unfair! Kyrie and LeBron in Cleveland!’
"Miami Heat, four years, only two titles and were a Ray Allen jumper away from one. Celtics -- KG, Allen, Pierce, Rondo -- five years, one title. LeBron and Kyrie and Love together, didn’t win the first year. Lakers with Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Shaq and Kobe, never won a final.
"… These superteams are not sustainable, and the reason they not sustainable is because the superteams -- we should re-label them and call them the super-old teams.”
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Cowherd: Superteams, in general, are full of veteran players who are more susceptible to injuries
"Remember, in the NBA, to be a star you’ve got to be around a while. Even LeBron took a while to come into the league and become LeBron, right? So most of the superteams are a collection of veteran players who have been in the league, who have been multiple All-Stars, who have $100 million of net worth, who have shoe deals. They’re 27, they’re 28 years old, they’ve got a lot of miles on those tires. They’ve often played in multiple playoff series. They’ve often been to Finals themselves before [joining] the superteam.
"Superteams are super-old teams, and I’ll prove it to you. Look at the five superteams that have been put together. The exact same thing has happened to all five superteams."
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The 2003-04 Lakers
“Let’s start with the Lakers. Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Shaq and Kobe. ‘Totally unfair!’ What was their undoing? They went into the Finals as a favorite and Karl Malone got hurt. Why? Because he was old.”
The 2007-12 Celtics
“Let’s get to the next superteam, the Celtics. KG, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce. ‘It’s unfair!’
"They won a title Year 1, ‘it’s going to last forever!’
By the second year -- and they were great the first two years -- the second year they were 62-20, the first year they were 66-16. But whathappened in that second year? Kevin Garnett got hurt, and they were never the same because they got old.”
The 2010-14 Miami Heat
“Let’s go to the Miami Heat. Do you remember the Miami Heat? Where Dwyane Wade was constantly hurt? Chris Bosh was constantly hurt, and their last year in Miami, do you remember what they looked like against the Spurs? Old, tired, beat up and slow. And LeBron knew it and left.”
The current Cleveland Cavaliers
“Let’s go to LeBron, Kyrie and Love. ‘This is outrageous, I can’t believe it!’ First year, what happens? Kyrie and Love get hurt in the Finals.”
The current Golden State Warriors
“Now let’s go look at the Warriors. Well what do you know? They’re all beat up and hurt. Steph’s had multiple injuries. Kevin Durant had three surgeries in six months two years ago, and now he’s hurt again.
"We’re petrified of superteams. We do this all the time. Life’s never … it may be awful for a moment, but take a deep breath. Life’s never as great or horrific as it feels in the moment. These superteams are super-old teams. That Miami Heat team? Got old, fast. Celtics got old, fast. Lakers got old, fast.
"This Cavs team, this Warriors team … it’s not sustainable.”
Cowherd: It’s impossible to have a balanced superteam that has depth
“And the other thing is, to create a superteam you’ve got to give stuff up. Miami - LeBron, Bosh, Wade - what did they give up? They couldn’t get a center. They couldn’t afford one. They had no bench. They couldn’t get an elite point guard.
"That Laker team that had all those guys, Payton, Malone, Shaq, Kobe. Didn’t have a great bench. Got to the Finals, Malone was hurt, they got clobbered by the Pistons.
"This Warriors team. To [become] a superteam, what happened to this Warriors team? They gave up Mo Speights, they gave up David Lee, they gave up Andrew Bogut. [Leandro] Barbosa. They have no bench. They gave up all their size.
"So to create, in a salary cap league, a superteam, you’ve got to give up bench players that are valuable. Never forget, the Warriors won that final, does anyone remember who was great? Andre Iguodala. Do you know how many Finals a player off the bench has been valuable? Go ask Lakers fans, go ask Bulls fans. It’s not just Jordan and Pippen, Kobe and Shaq.”
Cary EdmondsonCary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cowherd: After a superteam’s championship window closes, the franchise falls apart
“And here’s the two other things to remember about these superteams. When you put them together, they may win a title or two, but it doesn’t last because they’re old, and when the band breaks up, they go into the tank.
"How were the Lakers when the band broke up, Shaq left? They were bad for several years. How were the Celtics when the big three broke up? Irrelevant for four years. How are the Miami Heat post-LeBron and Wade and Bosh? They missed the playoffs.”