Former NFL Star Roasts Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Dwyane Wade and Other Legends to Show How LeBron James Redefined the NBA

Published 12/23/2021, 5:30 PM EST
14 March 2012: Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) talks to Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the Chicago Bulls 106-102 victory over the Miami Heat at the United Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA. (Photo by Mark Halmas/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Super Teams are not a new thing in the NBA. However, because of his involvement in one, LeBron James has recently been blamed for “ruining basketball”. His former teammate, Iman Shumpert, recently accused him of intentionally moving to Miami Heat and creating an imbalance in the league. However, LeBron is not the first to form a super team. Several teams before and after the Miami Heat have tried to form super teams.

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Former NFL Stars Marcellus Wiley and Emmanuel Acho sat down for their show ‘Speak For Yourself’ to discuss Shumpert’s comments on LeBron. Wiley pointed out that even before LeBron decided to join the Heat, teams had tried to form super teams.

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NBA legends like Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley formed super teams like LeBron James

While talking about super teams formed before LeBron moved to the Heat, Wiley said, “When you look back in the 70s and you see teams that have a combined 27 All NBA performance players in Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West… The Rockets when they had Hakeem and Barkley. How about when you look back and you see Shaq and Payton, Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade.” 

DALLAS – JUNE 20: Series MVP Dwyane Wade #3 and Shaquille O’Neal #32 of the Miami Heat celebrate together after the Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks in game six of the 2006 NBA Finals on June 20, 2006 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

He further added, “Go back to the Lakers. Let’s go back to the Celtics. I like loyalty. You mean you like to win every year was a baton and a coin flip between LA! Boston! LA! Boston! Now, if you really look at it, all these different franchises at different locations are plugged in to help us grow this game. LeBron James activated that.” 

He pointed out how the concept of loyalty gets blown out of proportion because of revisionist history and how people like to hark back to a time when things were better, even if that time never really existed.

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What does this mean for LeBron’s NBA legacy?

LeBron James undoubtedly revolutionized the game, as he was the pioneer of the player empowerment movement in the NBA. However, just because he was successful doing something that many teams failed at, does not make him responsible for “ruining basketball”. Players like Barkley, Wade, and O’Neal may have also been responsible for forming a super team long before LeBron did.

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Sometimes forming a super team does not turn out as expected. For instance, the Lakers are currently struggling with injuries and morale issues even though they have so many future Hall of Famers in their roster. Therefore, instead of hating LeBron, it is better to respect him for being able to pull off what he did. What do you make of the situation?

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

493 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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