Enes Kanter Says 'There Are 5 Teams': Lakers, Warriors, Rockets, 76ers, Celtics

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2018

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 23:  Enes Kanter #00 of the New York Knicks complains about a call during their game against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on January 23, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In the wake of the Golden State Warriors signing DeMarcus Cousins this summer, the conversation over competitive balance—and whether the Warriors were "ruining" the NBA—became a hot topic.

And New York Knicks center Enes Kanter falls in the camp that believes super teams like the Warriors are bad for the league, as he revealed during an interview on the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast (h/t Shane Mickle of ClutchPoints.com):

"They are very good. Very, very good. They aren't doing anything illegal. It's like a chess game. They move the right piece and then they win it all. Everybody else can do it. [But] I wish it wasn't like this. Because now you can already who's going to win. Who's going to play for the East-West Championships [conference finals].

"That's it. There are five teams, Houston, Lakers, Golden State, Philly, Boston, that's it. And there aren't any other teams. People are saying they're kind of ruining the league, I can a little bit agree with that."

Toronto Raptors fans might argue that the acquisition of Kawhi Leonard puts them on that list. Regardless, it's hard to argue that the Warriors have, at the very least, changed the league. 

When the best team from three of the past four years not only retains its four All-Stars but also adds a fifth (Cousin), it's hard to blame fans around the league for perhaps feeling a bit demoralized. The Warriors are the prohibitive favorites to win an NBA title, with all of the major contenders carrying far bigger question marks. 

Out West, Houston lost two major defensive factors, Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. The Los Angeles Lakers have LeBron James, yes, but the rest of the team is made up of young, unproven players and veteran role players who don't seem to fit naturally together.

In the East, Boston has Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward coming off injuries that cut their 2017-18 seasons short. Philadelphia is still seeking a third star to pair with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, with major question marks surrounding second-year man Markelle Fultz. And who knows if Leonard will be happy in Toronto for a season and play the whole year, or any of it, for Toronto?

On the other hand, the NBA has traditionally been a league defined by dynasties. Since 1999, four teams—the Warriors, Lakers, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs—have won 16 of a possible 20 titles. Folks like Kanter might bemoan Golden State's current dominance, but it certainly isn't a new phenomenon in the NBA.


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