Up until this year, championship teams have always been put together by general managers and team executives. But this is the first year that players are trying to do it themselves, while the executives dance around them tossing money as if it were confetti at a Kardashian wedding.
But if it were simply a matter of money, purely money, these three superstars would all stay put.
Unless there is a sign-and-trade deal like Bosh and his manager are trying to negotiate, the maximum contract a player can wrangle is from his current team.
If a player signs with another team, the most he can get is a five-year contract for $96 million. But if he stays put, he can sign a six-year deal worth an additional $29 million.
I don’t know how many of you would be willing to turn down $29 million just for staying put, but I wouldn’t.
So all this hype and maneuvering must be about something else.
Rings, that’s what this is all about. Of the three superstars only one, Dwayne Wade, has an NBA Title ring. Three superstars and just one ring between them.
Meanwhile, other players like Adam Morrison, D.J. Mbenga, and Josh Powell already have two rings. So do free agents Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown.
All of the aforementioned, of course, are players that the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers consider expendable.
If you look at the Lakers, it is a team that Mitch Kupchak put together; with considerable monetary help from owner Dr. Jerry Buss and his family.
This wasn’t about several star players getting together to see if they could hijack an NBA Championship.
Yes, things did come to them like the Pau Gasol trade with the Grizzlies and later Ron Artest wanting to join the team for the mid-level exemption. But even signing Artest meant that Kupchak had to part with a wonderful hometown player and a fan favorite, Trevor Ariza.
And before the Lakers, it was Danny Ainge putting together the old Big Three in Boston to win a championship. Although the old Big Three is even older today, they still just missed winning their second NBA Championship by three minutes.
So, the new Big Three are showing the entire NBA nation just how strong and powerful they feel the Los Angeles Lakers truly are. Neither one wants to make a move without the other two for fear that he cannot power a team past the Lakers simply with role players around him.
Since all of the teams involved in negotiations to acquire the new Big Three are in the Eastern Conference, I’m not convinced that the new Big Three can even beat out the old Big Three in a best of seven series.
Of course, the Celtics still must re-sign Ray Allen, and pundits will point out that Kevin Garnett is a year older, which they have been pointing out for the past four years. But if Allen does re-sign and Kendrick Perkins recovers from ligament surgery, the Celtics still could be the force to beat in the East.
But in the end, this is all about besting the Lakers and Phil Jackson. This is Jackson’s last stand—his chance to win four three-peat championships. That’s an incredible feat for any coach in any sport and would no doubt make Jackson the greatest coach in the history of professional sports.
Maybe just as important as stopping Phil Jackson, the new Big Three want to stop Kobe Bryant from getting that sixth ring and tying Michael Jordan. They know all too well, if Bryant gets Number Six next season, can Number Seven be all that far away?