Smith: It’s the real teams that are super in NBA

LeBron James’ team was not good enough for the NBA playoffs. James received the latest superstar that he wanted but the Los Angeles Lakers became The Association’s biggest disappointment in years.

Kevin Durant’s team was easily knocked out of the first round. The same for Kyrie Irving’s team, which failed to record a single postseason win this year, despite possessing two of the biggest combined names in the sport.

James Harden forced his way off of Durant’s and Irving’s team midseason, joining forces with Philadelphia superstar big man Joel Embiid. We easily could have predicted in February how Harden’s latest me-first act was going to turn out, but it’s even more telling with the NBA Finals less than a week away. Harden disappointed as a 76er in the playoff spotlight. Philly was bounced 4-2 in the second round by Miami, which is one defeat away from elimination in 2022.

James, Durant, Irving and Harden all fell short. And let’s be honest: This is refreshing, isn’t it?

No superteam dominating the regular season and the playoffs.

No overblown, hastily constructed basketball monstrosity ruining an eight-month party for everyone else and making the entire season (training camp, preseason, 82 games, playoffs) feel like an overscripted reality show.

The Lakers tried that tired act again this year and they faceplanted, going 33-49, failing to even make the Western Conference’s play-in tournament and getting Frank Vogel fired. Now, Darvin Ham has been hired to…

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