Who will be the next 'Big Three'?
by Alex King
Jun 09, 2011 | 3863 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Paul. Deron Williams. Dwight Howard. What’s the common thread among these NBA athletes? Each will be an unrestricted free agent come the summer of 2012. Each will have a huge payday. But where? With the “Big Three” of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Miami seeing immediate results from their collaboration, and the Celtics of Allen, Garnett and Pierce before them, there is precedent for stars to join forces to compete for a championship.

When James announced his decision to play for the Heat, the makings of a Carmelo Anthony-to-New York deal gained momentum. Now that Carmelo wears the blue, white and orange, the Knicks have positioned themselves to form the next “Big Three.” Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo form a dynamic duo, even if they need a bit more time to adapt their offenses.

If you’re a fan of the Knicks or one of the few other NBA teams that could pay for a Heat-like trio (Bulls, Celtics, Lakers, Magic and Mavericks), there are few downsides to having all that talent on your team. But there are obvious drawbacks if you’re a small-market team such as the Charlotte Bobcats or the Sacramento Kings, both rumored to be on the verge of relocating. Teams without a strong fan base or financial resources will be on the losing end, as will the teams who now have to face the Heat for a chance to play in the NBA Finals.

With the apparent lack of depth in the league, along with the watered-down talent, the amount of parity will rapidly decrease and a select number of super-teams will dominate for a minimum of four or five seasons. The NBA itself may not be averse to a handful of talent-heavy teams as long as they’re in the right cities. Commissioner David Stern has not indicated his preferences, but he must be salivating at the thought of large-market teams like the Knicks and the Heat becoming the face of his brand.

For the fans, bragging rights and the desire for a winning product fuel them. League officials have their own corporate agenda. Although no one knows exactly how the triple-teaming up of stars will play itself out, one thing is certain: the number of people watching the championship series – either rooting for the Heat or for them to get beaten – is huge, potentially creating vastly increased loyalty to - and revenues for - the league. That might be enough to elevate the NBA to being the premier league in the country, and maybe – just maybe – the world.

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