Can An NBA Superstar Win a Championship Alone?

Perhaps it’s a generational thing or maybe it’s something in the water because it seems like today’s young NBA superstars have developed the mindset that they can’t win a championship without significant help. Starting with Shaquille O’Neal’s departure from tinsel town in 2003, Kobe Bryant began moaning and pouting that he wanted out unless the Lakers brought in all-star level talent to play alongside him.


Bryant was so disgruntled after another early playoff exit in 2007 that when asked where he wanted to play, he responded, “At this point I’ll go play on Pluto.” Fast track to the present; LeBron James’ decision to abandon his hometown team for the chance to play with superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has intensified the echo chamber chorus that today’s superstars are nothing like the stars of the past.


We couldn’t imagine Wilt Chamberlain teaming with Bill Russell for the sake of not being on the losing side of the championships. Think about it. For 10 years Chamberlain battled Russell for ultimate NBA supremacy and he came up short nine out of 10 times. Was Russell surrounded by a better cast of teammates or did Wilt lack the know-how of winning in the finals? Regardless of how these questions are answered the fact remains that Wilt did not align himself with his ultimate rival. As Michael Jordan so eloquently put it in his analysis of LeBron James’ decision to go to Miami, Jordan said, “There’s no way I would have called up Bird and Magic and said let’s play together. I was trying to beat those guys.”


Shortly after the airing of LeBron James’ “The Decision” came the revelation that arguably the best point guard in the league, Chris Paul was aligning himself with LBJ’s marketing firm LRMR. Within days news began to lea...

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