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Superteams are just the way of the modern NBA and they are likely here to stay. At least, that seems to be the philosophy of Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George.
“No team has won (a championship) where one single guy was the lone star and it was their team,” George said, via Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. “It’s not that era. I’m not sure how the veterans, the legends, don’t understand that part. It’s a different game now.
“For those guys to chime in and say we’re not built the same, I never understood that, because who would we be fooling if we went out alone and tried to go up against the (Golden State) Warriors?”
After starring for the Indiana Pacers, George was traded to the Thunder last summer and opted to return in July. It came as somewhat of a surprise, as many expected him to bolt for the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.
Instead, he signed a four-year, $137 million deal to remain alongside dazzling point guard Russell Westbrook with OKC.
The Warriors boast four All-Stars in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and former Thunder star Kevin Durant. They somehow landed perennial All-Star DeMarcus Cousins in free agency, too.
Last season, not even then-Cleveland Cavaliers megastar LeBron James could take down the Warriors. According to George, it’s because James didn’t have enough help. It will likely take a superteam to beat a superteam, George suggested.
“The best guy in our league right now couldn’t do it,” George said. “(James) got swept (in the 2018 Finals). So that just goes to show you what it takes to win. Because you need guys that are alike talent-wise and skill-set-wise to win championships.
“Back in the day, guys were stuck on teams. It was up to the front office to build around that one guy, and that one guy was going to bring championships to them. It’s not the same now. (Players) understand that, and we know what it takes.”
George is a 6-foot-9 small forward who averaged 21.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in his first season with the Thunder.
OKC traded away forward Carmelo Anthony (now with the Houston Rockets), and added point guard Dennis Schroder from the Atlanta Hawks and center Nerlens Noel from the Dallas Mavericks since the end of the season.