10 Most Hyped Super Teams in NBA History

Peter Emerick@@peteremerickSenior Writer IIAugust 13, 2012

10 Most Hyped Super Teams in NBA History

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    Super teams in the NBA are all the craze right now, ranging from the Miami Heat to the Brooklyn Nets to the L.A. Lakers.

    In all reality, though, there have been a number of super teams formed in the NBA over the past few decades that have yielded differing results.

    From the 1985-86 Houston Rockets to the 2007-08 Boston Celtics, to the 2012-13 L.A. Lakers, there are a number of super teams that were hyped beyond belief.

    Ahead is a list of the 10 most hyped super teams in NBA history. 

10. 2012-13 Brooklyn Nets

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    Reason for the Hype: The Nets form the "Core Four."

    The Nets haven't played a game in Brooklyn yet, but they've already transformed from a lottery team last year to a title contender coming out of the East this upcoming season.

    With the "Core Four" of Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez, the Nets have extremely high expectations for the 2012-13 season. Anything but a playoff-series win will be a disappointment for the Nets.

    The hype surrounding the new-look Nets is in large part due to the money that owner Mikhail Prokhorov has thrown into the team, and the move from Jersey to Brooklyn.

    It's not often that without stepping foot on the court a team becomes a title contender, but that's exactly what they've done, and it's a major reason why the 2012-13 season is going to be so exciting.

9. 1985-86 Houston Rockets

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    Reason for the Hype: The Rockets look to build around the Twin Towers of Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon

    Entering the 1985-86 season, the Houston Rockets had still not been able to win that all-elusive first NBA title.

    With Ralph Sampson, the 1984 Rookie of the Year, and Hakeem Olajuwon on the same team though, many thought the Rockets had the franchise players they needed to form the next great dynasty in the NBA.

    Unfortunately the "twin towers" weren't able to get it done. They made it all the way to the 1986 NBA Finals, but they fell short at the hands of the mighty Boston Celtics.

    Surprisingly enough, the Rockets wouldn't go on to win an NBA title until one of the two twin towers, Sampson, was gone. Their first NBA title came in 1994, when Olajuwon won the regular season and NBA Finals MVP trophies.

    This team initially lived up to the hype in the 1985-86 season, but they plateaued too early, only making it past the first round of the playoffs one more time with the dynamic duo. 

8. 1994-95 Orlando Magic

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    Reason for the Hype: The Magic put their title hopes on the shoulders of Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway and Horace Grant. 

    With two years of experience, two consecutive All-Star appearances and the 1993 Rookie of the Year trophy under his belt, many thought it was time for Shaquille O'Neal to finally carry the Magic to that next level.

    With Penny Hardaway and Ho Grant beside him, the Magic were riding the hype train all the way into the 1994-95 season.

    The beauty of this team though, is that they actually lived up to the hype.

    Shaq led the Magic to their first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history, and he did so by putting up some of the best production of his career.

    This super team increased their domination on the Eastern Conference during the next season, but they failed to reach the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.

    That meant the departure of Shaq, and the disbanding of this team that certainly could have been much more dominant.

    Shockingly enough, the Magic have lost another franchise center to the L.A. Lakers. Let's hope this time it doesn't hurt their franchise so much. 

7. 2001-02 Sacramento Kings

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    Reason for the Hype: Chris Webber leads one of the most well-balanced super teams in NBA history. 

    The Sacramento Kings might not be the first team that comes to mind when you hear the term super team, but when you look at the talent they had and how their rotation worked, it's clear to see they were just that.

    With players like Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby and Vlade Divac in the starting rotation, the Kings were a very dangerous team heading into the 2001-02 season.

    They were even poised to be the team that would take down the mighty Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

    With seven players averaging double digits in points throughout the season, the Kings' hype train was out in full force, but unfortunately that train was derailed by the Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

    2002 looked like the year that Webber would finally get that elusive title, but he just couldn't get it done. C. Webb failed in the clutch for the Kings, and it ultimately led to the beginning of the end for the "glory days" of the Kings' franchise. 

6. 1996-97 Houston Rockets

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    Reason for the Hype: Round Mound of Rebound teams up with Clyde the Glide and Hakeem the Dream.

    While super teamsare rapidly forming today, back in the day they were much harder to come by, and that's why the 1996-97 Houston Rockets were such a special team.

    Anytime you have three guys with memorable nicknames on the same team you're bound to do great things and that is what the Rockets had in Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.

    After failing to win his first NBA ring with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns, Charles Barkley got one more chance when he was traded to the Rockets, where he teamed up with Olajuwon and Drexler.

    With Barkley, the Rockets, who had won the NBA title in 1994 and 1995 were a near lock to three-peat as NBA Champions.

    Unfortunately, Barkley didn't exactly live up to the hype, and he held the Rockets back more than he actually helped them.

    Barkley never won an NBA title, and he certainly didn't help the 1996 Rockets' super team live up to the massive hype surrounding them. 

5. 2009-10 Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Reason for the Hype: The Cavaliers finally get LeBron the help he's needed—or do they?

    Shaquille O'Neal was an NBA Championship magnet. It seemed that wherever he went, championships followed, and that was exactly why he was brought into Cleveland.

    With Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams and Shaq, the Cavaliers' front office thought they finally brought in the talent that would help LeBron establish his legacy in Cleveland, all while bringing championships back to the city.

    Instead of doing just that, things fell apart for the Cavaliers. Not only did Shaq prove to be too old to make a legitimate difference on the court. Jamison and Williams proved that they weren't even close to being the talent that LeBron needed to get his first ring.

    The Cavaliers would fail to even make the NBA Finals, which they did the previous year, and that would lead to LeBron's exit.

    An exciting super team in Cleveland ended up falling apart. Little did we know at the time that it would lead to another super team forming. 

4. 2007-08 Boston Celtics

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    Reason for the Hype: The Celtics form the "Boston Three Party."

    After winning the 1985-86 NBA Championship, the Celtics went on a 20-plus year title drought.

    The hopes of ending that drought reached an historically high level when the Celtics landed Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

    They had found the point guard of the future in Rajon Rondo, and they had a franchise player in Paul Pierce. All they really needed was veteran talent in the frontcourt and offensive production on the wing, and that's what they got with Garnett and Allen.

    When the Celtics formed one of the NBA's first "Big Threes," championship talk started swirling in Boston, and rightfully so.

    The Celtics would go on to have a 44-game turnaround, winning 66 games during the regular season, and to make that even sweeter, they managed to win the 2008 NBA title by knocking off Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers.

    It's not often a super team reaches its full potential in their first year, but that's exactly what the Celtics did. That first-year success is something that might never be replicated again.

3. 2003-04 L.A. Lakers

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    Reason for the Hype: Karl Malone and Gary Payton join the Lakers in pursuit of first NBA titles. 

    After winning three straight NBA titles, from 2000 to 2002, the Lakers fell off the championship wagon in 2003, when they were eliminated from the playoffs in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs.

    Even after failing to win their fourth straight title, with Shaq and Kobe still leading the way, the Lakers weren't going anywhere in the West, and guys like Karl Malone and Gary Payton knew that.

    Payton and Malone decided that they were the talent the Lakers needed to grab another NBA title. In doing that, both of those players would also get their first rings.

    With four legitimate Hall of Famers on their roster, the 2004 NBA title didn't seem that far out of reach, and the media certainly created a fair amount of hype surrounding this Lakers team.

    The Lakers would cruise to an appearance in the Finals, but they were ultimately taken down by the mighty Detroit Pistons, which at the time was quite an upset.

    While Payton would go on to win a title with the Miami Heat in 2006, Karl Malone's title dreams would never be fulfilled. It was truly championship or bust in L.A. in 2004, and all the hype led to a big bust. 

2. 2012-13 L.A. Lakers

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    Reason for the Hype: The Lakers form the NBA's first Big Four. 

    The L.A. Lakers transitioned from a team on the verge of imploding at the end of the 2011-12 season, to arguably the best team in the entire NBA heading into the 2012-13 season.

    That's what happens when you sign a two-time NBA MVP point guard, and you trade away a temperamental and immature center for one of the most athletically gifted centers in NBA history.

    With Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol leading the way, the 2012-13 season has quickly become championship or bust for the Lake Show.

    In theory, the Lakers are an extremely dangerous team. But we've seen super teams fall apart after the media hypes them up to an unrealistic level.

    Having four NBA All-Stars in the same starting lineup is something that doesn't happen all that often though, and it's certainly hard to believe that the Lakers will be anything less than a championship-caliber team next year.

    As we move toward the 2012-13 season, the hype surrounding Kobe, Nash, Howard and the Lakers is going to be absolutely unreal, and that is at the foundation of why the NBA will be so fun to watch next season. 

1. 2010-11 Miami Heat

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    Reason for the Hype: LeBron, Wade and Bosh form the NBA's most hated super team.

    Sure, LeBron didn't handle the whole "leaving Cleveland" thing all that well, but it doesn't change the fact that when he and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami, the NBA's most fearsome super team was formed.

    Before the 2010 offseason, the NBA had never seen players in free agency work together to form a super team, and that's exactly what LeBron and Co. did.

    Not only did this create the Big Three, it also helped the Miami Heat transition into the role of being the NBA's most hated team.

    The hype around the 2010-11 Heat was astounding, because on one hand everyone wanted to see how great they could be, but on the other hand, everyone wanted to see them fail because of how they would change the landscape of the NBA forever.

    The season ended in tears for LeBron, Wade and Bosh, and aptly displayed just how important chemistry is in the NBA.

    While a number of other super teams have formed and disbanded in the NBA, it appears that this epic team is around for the long haul, which means the hype will only continue to grow. 


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