During the late 1960s, a term that would come to dominate the musical landscape, the “Supergroup” was coined to describe the band “Cream” formed by guitarist Eric Clapton (formerly of the Yardbirds and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers), lead vocalist and bassist Jack Bruce (formerly of Graham Bond Organization and Manfred Mann), and drummer Ginger Baker (also formerly with Graham Bond Organization).
This “Supergroup” would dominate the musical scene for only a short time, putting out such albums as Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears, Wheels of Fire, and Goodbye. The members of the group would go on to even more lasting fame as part of other groups, and in their individual solo careers.
Very soon after, other “Supergroups” began to form. Some of them only lasted for short periods of time, such as Blind Faith, with the aforementioned Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker as members, along with Steve Winwood of Traffic fame and Ric Grech from Family; as well as Humble Pie, which incorporated such artists as Steve Marriott from Small Faces, Peter Frampton of The Herd, Greg Ridley from Spooky Tooth, and Clem Clempson from Colosseum.
Others lasted much longer, such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young composed, of course, of David Crosby of The Byrds, Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield fame, Graham Nash of The Hollies, and sporadically over the decades, Neil Young, also formerly with Buffalo Springfield; as well as Yes, which originally incorporated such artists as Jon Anderson of the Warriors and Gun, Chris Squire and Peter Banks of The Syn, Tony Kaye of the Federals, and Bill Bruford of Savoy Brown.
Both Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Yes have gone through many lineup changes over the years (with CSN&Y being with and without Young over the years), but they’ve both lasted, as have many other “Supergroups” in the same way, such as my favorite, Bad Company, which was originally comprised of artists such as Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell, and the drummer and vocalist from Free, Simon Kirke, and Paul Rodgers, respectively.
Since the time of Cream, the term “Supergroup” itself has undergone changes to its definition. Wikipedia describes the term in the following way: “coined to describe a ‘rock music group whose performers are already famous from having performed individually or in other groups," and goes on to say, “in some cases, an act will later be referred to as a supergroup when multiple members from said group end up securing individual fame later on.
Some of the many groups listed who are generally referred to as “Supergroups” include such musical luminaries as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Firm, The Traveling Wilburys, Asia, Damn Yankees, Whitesnake, Power Station, and The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson), as well as newer acts such as Audioslave, Velvet Revolver, The Dead Weather, and The Reconteurs.
One very pertinent part of the Wikipedia article is the part detailing a 1974 Time magazine article entitled “Return of a Supergroup,” that said the supergroup was a “potent but short-lived rock phenomenon” which was an “amalgam formed by the talented malcontents of other bands.” It goes on to tell how the article acknowledges that groups such as Cream and Blind Faith “played enormous arenas and made megabucks, and sometimes megamusic”, with the performances “fueled by dueling egos.” However, while this “musical infighting built up the excitement…it also made breakups inevitable.”
You’re probably saying to yourself at this moment, did this fool mistakenly post this article on Bleacher Report thinking he’d published it on a musical website? You’re probably asking yourself what any of this has to do with sports at all. Beyond the fact I always love to talk about music (it’s one of my great passions besides sports), and despite the fact this was a rather long-winded introduction to my point, I think it had to be said, and is very important to my contention, which I’ll be getting to. Without further ado, let me get right to the point.
As many of my readers know, I’m a fan of the Miami Heat. As many of them also know, especially if they’ve read the first article I wrote on this site you can read here, I’ve been someone who’s adamantly maintained for over a year that the Heat, and Pat Riley in particular, were targeting LeBron James to pair up with Dwyane Wade. As I wrote in this article, just the idea of LeBron bolting Cleveland gives David Stern nightmares; so you can imagine what all three of these guys pairing up in Miami is doing to him. Can you say nightsweats?
As Pat Riley and the Heat have continued to make moves to clear up cap space, I’ve recently begun to make the prediction that Riles and D-Wade weren’t just looking to pair him with LeBron, but to make it a troika by inviting Chris Bosh along for the ride.
Now, before anyone reading this gets apoplectic, I’d just like to say that whatever you’re thinking of saying, I’ve heard it all hundreds of times already. I’ve heard the mantra from the beginning about how Dwyane Wade and LeBron James can’t possibly team up because they’re both “Alpha Dogs” as some writers here on B/R put it, as well as many other analysts. I’ve heard the endless screeds telling me that neither LeBron nor Dwyane would ever want the other on their team, because they just can’t possibly give the ball to someone else in crunch time.
What I say to all that is, where do you morons get such ideas? It’s certainly not from the evidence in front of your face. For that evidence is crystal clear showing that both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have NO problem whatsoever in allowing their teammates to take “the shot” in crunch time. There have been numerous occasions when both of these players have deferred to other players on their teams (players as lousy as Daequan Cook), for the final shot.
Further evidence that destroys this “Ego” argument made by so many, is the way these two have played together on numerous All-Star and Olympics teams, where they’ve basically enjoyed destroying the competition. As one commenter on a recent piece said to this ridiculous argument, and I’m paraphrasing here, “How many times do you truly anticipate a team with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James on it is going to have a ‘crunch time’ situation where someone needs to hit a buzzer-beater to win the game? Most of the time they’ll be blowing teams out.”
Precisely, people. And now let me get to my further point, which I hinted at above; namely that Pat Riley isn’t just looking to bring in LeBron James to pair with Dwyane Wade, but is looking to make it a three-man posse with Chris Bosh manning the post in this “Supergroup” or “Superteam” he’s trying to form.
Yes, yes, I know, I know, many of you are already laughing up a storm. I’ve heard it all hundreds of times since I first proposed it could happen. In fact, I’ve been lambasted by some commenters on B/R so badly, I began to wonder if their apoplexy was more due to something I’d done to them in real life rather than just a reaction to my comments and articles. Perhaps they were enemies of mine from real life who were logging on here to voice their venom? Nah, just morons.
Anyway, as I said above, save your breath, or in this case, your fingers, and don’t type any comments like some I’ve read from the likes of a certain poster on B/R named, Joe Tait, who not only lambasted me for declaring the idea of Wade, James, and Bosh playing together is a possibility, but actually went out and came back to post lame links to blogs written by nobodies in order to try and prove his point.
When I pointed out to him that there were stories by respected journalists for the Miami Herald detailing that Miami not only has the cap room to sign three max free agents (and is the ONLY team in the NBA who does), but that it’s likely that those free agents will be Wade, James, and Bosh, he dismissed it with as much rancor and arrogant idiocy as I’ve come to expect from those responding to my claims.
Amazingly, another article just came out today discussing the very same thing, written by my own personal nemesis, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, and I would welcome anyone stupid enough to believe, as Joe Tait does, that Miami CAN’T sign all three of them to read it here. Also, Stephen A. Smith has just come out and made the claim that Miami not only CAN sign Wade, James, and Bosh, but that it’s a done deal.
Now, of course nothing is a done deal. We all know that because free agency doesn’t even begin for two days, and no signings can be formalized until July 8. However, I think Smith has gotten wind of the truth behind all this. Dwyane Wade has said on numerous occasions that he’s staying in Miami, and that he’s intent on drawing talent to him to play for the Heat. He’s further said that he intends to have a sit-down with James and Bosh to discuss their futures. I’m of the opinion that meeting is merely a formality.
I believe Wade, James, and Bosh have already made the decision, and have simply decided to hold the meeting so they can claim everything was formulated in the meeting, and not beforehand, in order to avoid any form of tampering that could be leveled against them by the NBA (and trust me, Stern isn’t going to like them teaming up, and if he can find a way, will try and prevent it).
Thankfully for the Heat, these three are smart cookies, and aren’t going to give Stern anything to bite into in his desire to break up this dynasty before it’s begun.
That being said, there are a number of things that could make this not happen. However, I’m of the opinion none of them are very likely.
As for all the talk that James is headed to this team or that team, or Bosh is headed here or there, or both together are headed to this city or that city, if it doesn’t include Miami, in my view, it’s just wishful thinking. Come next year, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh are going to be playing for the Miami Heat. They will comprise a “Superteam” if you will, that will dwarf the popularity of any team that’s ever come before. They will, in essence, rewrite basketball, as the entire game will change with their formation.
Above and beyond the fact they will be an almost unstoppable force, their charismatic appeal “together” as a group will far surpass anything they could have enjoyed individually. I’m of the opinion, and trust me, I’ve worked in the accounting field so I’m not just speaking out of my ass, this troika, this dynasty, could easily earn $2-3 BILLION in endorsements between them over the next decade if they team up.
The Boston Celtics troika of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen can be seen as the Cream of the basketball world, but the Heat troika of Wade, James, and Bosh will live on and succeed in a way they never could. They’ll be something even beyond the bands like Yes and Bad Company, which enjoyed numerous hits and great longevity. They’ll be something we’ve never seen before.
The championships will be a given. What is yet to be seen, is just how different the NBA will be when they’re through. I imagine every one of them owning an NBA franchise of their own in about 15 years, which would drastically alter the ownership landscape, and would certainly alter how ownership and players interact.
Despite David Stern’s management (which to some is praiseworthy, and to many others is anything but), the NBA hasn’t blossomed as much as it could. It’s still far behind Baseball and Football in revenue. When these three team up, contrary to David Stern’s ridiculous fears, it’s going to turn basketball into THE premier sport in America.
As the progressive-rock “Supergroups” fueled a change in music in the late 1960s and early 1970s that has continued on through the present, the formation of the “Superteam” of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh is going to fuel a change in sports and sports marketing that we can’t even begin to fully imagine.
I can’t wait.
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