Superteams Aren’t So Super

Why superteams are detrimental to sports


Henry Brown

Superteam, the ’21-’22 Brooklyn Nets, featuring (left to right) Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant

Nate Locker, Staff Writer

Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA when asked about his opinion of superteams said, “I’ve read several stories suggesting that that’s something that the league wants, this notion of two superteams, that it’s a huge television attraction. I don’t think it’s good for the league, just to be really clear.” 

Living in an era with more box-office superstars in sports than ever, you would think that competition among teams has increased. However, when former NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, have appeared in six of the last eight NBA Finals, and the top team in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, currently have two Cy Young winners, four former MVPs, two former Rookies of the Year, and eight former All MLB Award winners, there seems to be an uneven distribution of talent among the leagues. As these teams create a lack of competition and toxic team chemistry it’s apparent that superteams are not beneficial for sports.

In the modern world of sports, teams have filled their teams with slues of all-stars, MVPs, and future Hall of Famers, all to win a championship. This contributes to leagues being less competitive. Players attempt to boost their legend status by teaming up with other stars to win championships rather than taking time to build team chemistry that leads teams to championships. While this may be good for fanbases and organizations, viewership of the bigger games tends to drop as people begin to lose interest due to fans believing teams “bought” championships.

This can be seen in the Los Angeles Dodgers, who between 2016-21 made it to the NLCS or further five out of the six seasons. During this time, the team, still very young, went from being one of the most respected Championship Series matchups to losing over four million viewers from their 2017 to their 2020 World Series matchups, which only happened once they developed into a super team. Creating a predictable nature that certain teams will continue making it to the championship game gives less incentive for fans to watch the game. Decreased viewership will lead to less exposure to the sport, especially sports that have gained less traction, like baseball. 

Along with the lack of competition and fan interest, there is also a lack of team chemistry that typically exists, best seen in the 2021 Brooklyn Nets. During the 2021 season, the Brooklyn Nets consisted of former MVPs Kevin Durant and James Harden, along with the highly-ranked guard, Kyrie Irving. Despite this monster of a group being on the same team along with many other former all-stars and award winners, the trio only played in a total of 16 games together, largely due to personal conflicts between their group regarding their role. Not only did this riff result in the Nets losing in the postseason, but it also caused the group to express discontent with the team and request to be traded. 

Despite a team’s talent, team chemistry is crucial to how fans view teams. Seeing a team with no chemistry and ability to cooperate will deter fans from wanting to come to or watch their games. This is also detrimental to the future of the sport as younger fans who may look up to teams may catch on to the toxic nature and will either develop those traits since they’ve been exposed to it or may lose interest in the sport altogether seeing it as toxic.

All in all, superteams are the impending doom of sports. Essentially having teams stacked with the best players will create very little incentive for fans to remain engaged. Seeing the same team make it to the championship over and over again will cause fanbases of smaller organizations to lose interest and stop supporting. This will, essentially, lead to a two-team league and zero desire for increased competition from other teams. The only solution to ensure sports remains a fair and well-supported tradition in society is if we disband superteams and make all teams as even as possible. This is the only way to make games and leagues fair and promote competition within the game. If we continue to support the concept of superteams in professional sports, we are supporting the termination of fair play in our athletics.