Beyond the Arc
by Ben Fiore
Yesterday, the sports world was shocked by the news that yet ANOTHER NBA star would be joining the budding Brooklyn Nets squad. This time it came by way of Blake Griffin. He is a 6-time all star, dunk contest champion, and one of the most versatile players in the game.
Griffin created the reputation for himself during his time with the Los Angeles Clippers during their “Lob City”. After both point guard Chris Paul and center DeAndre Jordan had left, he was traded to Detroit two seasons ago and had trouble getting much going there, essentially being their only talent.
Obvious frustration sunk in and the Pistons agreed to a contract buyout with Griffin, making him an unrestricted free agent earlier in the week.
A lot of speculation circled the power forward about where he would look to go, and ultimately he signed with the Nets joining an already stacked roster.
Here is where things could turn sour however…
Let’s think about this for a second. You have a bench that includes Joe Harris, Jeff Green, Tyler Johnson, Chris Chiozza, Landry Shamet, Spencer Dinwiddie and others. Then you go to their starters which are DeAndre Jordan, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant and now BLAKE GRIFFIN?! This is the definition of a super team. Which puts an insane amount of pressure on not only the players involved, but also the coaching staff lead by first year head coach and NBA legend Steve Nash.
It HAS to be title or bust at this point right? My talking point is what if they DON’T win?
If they lose to one of the several other competitive teams out there, will the players value decrease? If they can’t get it done with all of that talent on one roster, that could maybe make GM’s, coaches and fans think “maybe they really aren’t all that”. The Nets not winning the title this year could make ALL of the players involved less marketable for contract negotiations and their legacies in the future. Teams don’t just want talent, they want winners. What if the heap of pressure on Steve Nash’s shoulders, costs him a job after just one season because who couldn’t coach that team to a title right? They are putting TWICE the amount of pressure on themselves that the Clippers did last year and look what happened to them.
I am intrigued to see how this plays out. I hope for their sakes that these guys can get it done. If not, would they possibly be the biggest let down in team sports history? One could certainly argue that is the case. The rest of the league should be on watch and bring their A-game, but the team that should be the most prepared and most cautious moving forward is the Brooklyn Nets.