With Kevin Durant opting to sign with the already great Golden State Warriors, talk of Superteams keeps coming up. Even NBA commish Adam Silver has implied that Durant’s signing probably isn’t good for the league, even though it makes the Warriors an Olympics-like Superteam — adding fire to a team that already set the regular season victory record last year with 73. But Superteams have happened before — indeed, NBA history is loaded with attempts to stack talent. Remember when Wilt Chamberlain joined Jerry West on the Lakers? Big Threes at the Celtics and Heat are some recent versions.
But probably the best analogy to the Durant move is when Moses Malone left Houston to join the talent-loaded 76ers for the 1982-83 season. Like Golden State the 76ers had lost in the NBA Finals the year before (Lakers, 4-2). The 76ers already had Julius Erving, who like the Warriors’ Steph Curry, was a recent NBA MVP. Malone, like Durant, had won the NBA MVP, too. (Twice already.) But also like Durant’s Thunder, Malone’s Houston Rockets teams hadn’t been able to win a championship. Current Warriors fans hope the analogies continue. In Malone’s first year in Philly, the 76ers won the championship while losing just a single playoff game and avenging the Lakers’ defeat in the Finals with a 4-0 sweep. Moses Malone collected his third NBA MVP Award for the champs.