The Warriors might be the latest, but are far from the greatest
When Kevin Durant decided to join with the historically great Warriors this summer, a super-team was instantly created.
But this was far from the first, and it won't be the last.
We take a look back at 10 supert-teams that were formed since 1988, the year that unrestricted free agency began in the NBA. And these Warriors don't even crack the top five on our list.
Getty ImagesEzra Shaw
2013 Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers made one final run at trying to get Kobe Bryant enough help to win that elusive sixth title, but the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash failed spectacularly, but for different reasons.
Howard's personality was the polar opposite of Bryant's, and Nash simply couldn't remain healthy enough to provide meaningful contributions consistently.
Once Bryant suffered an Achilles injury near the end of the regular season, the fate of the team was sealed: L.A. was swept in the first round of the playoffs, and Howard immediately bolted for Houston in free agency.
1997 Houston Rockets
Charles Barkley was two years too late in joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler in Houston to try to chase a ring in the twilight of his career.
The Rockets won titles in 1994 and '95, but Barkley's squad lost to the Jazz in the conference finals in his first year in Houston, and never made it out of the first round of the playoffs the next two seasons.
2012 L.A. Clippers
Chris Paul forced a trade from New Orleans to Los Angeles during the 2011 offseason, and after David Stern's infamous veto of a deal that would have sent him to the Lakers, CP3 ended up alongside Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan with the Clippers.
Paul's first season in L.A. was shortened by the lockout, but the Clippers made it to the second round of the playoffs in their first trip back to the postseason following a five-year absence.
2017 Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant is one of the game's top-three players, and seeing him sign up to play with a team that already featured a unanimous MVP, won an NBA record 73 regular-season games and came within one win of repeating as champions seems unfair on the surface.
While this year's Warriors may eventually blow past plenty of teams on the list, it's going to be a process, and since they're admittedly not yet clicking, we can't justify a higher ranking until something of note is actually accomplished.
2004 Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers had just come off a playoff loss to the eventual champion Spurs, but most people believed that the tandem of Shaq and Kobe wasn't anywhere close to done competing for titles.
That included Gary Payton and Karl Malone, two Hall of Fame talents that wanted one last shot at a ring before their careers were finished.
An injury to Malone is what the majority of observers will point to as the reason L.A. came up short against a very good Pistons team in the 2004 Finals, but go back and watch some of those games, and you'll see that Kobe Bryant's insistence on firing long contested shots over Tayshaun Prince (rather than feeding O'Neal inside) is what ultimately doomed the Lakers in the series.
2008 Boston Celtics
Boston assembled the first Big Three of the modern era by adding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to play alongside Paul Pierce, and the result was a dominant 66-win regular season and a championship in the team's first season together.
This Celtics team is lionized by Boston sports fans, but the reality is they probably should have come away with more than one title given the talent in place on the roster.
- The Boston GlobeBoston Globe via Getty Images
2016 Cleveland Cavaliers
We're choosing to highlight last year's Cavs team that came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors in the NBA Finals to win Cleveland's first-ever title in any sport, but the pieces were in place the previous season.
Once LeBron James made his decision to return to the Cavaliers, the team traded Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota for Kevin Love, and alongside Kyrie Irving, a new Big Three was born.
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY SportsKen Blaze
2004 Detroit Pistons
The Pistons were good enough to reach the conference finals in 2003 because they had a loaded roster that featured Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace.
What changed in 2004? Detroit made a midseason deal at the deadline for Rasheed Wallace, and that was enough to put them over the top. The Pistons stunned the basketball world by upsetting the Lakers to win the 2004 title, and became a sustainable and dominant force in the East, appearing in the conference finals in each of the following four seasons.
2011 Miami Heat
LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami in the summer of 2010, and a dynasty in the East was immediately born.
The Heat made it to the Finals in all four seasons LeBron was in place, and won the championships in 2012 and 2013 that began to solidify LeBron's legacy, before last year's incredible run in Cleveland cemented his place in NBA history.
1996 Chicago Bulls
The first of Michael Jordan's second set of three-peat teams, Chicago added Dennis Rodman -- the league's leading rebounder for the previous four straight seasons -- and proceeded to win 72 regular-season games, which was a record that stood for 20 years.
Unlike last year's 73-wn Warriors, the Bulls finished the job by winning the title in the same season they set the regular season win record. Golden State showed us last year just how difficult that is to accomplish.