4 NBA Super Teams Who Never Won a Title

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LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley plays against the Cavaliers.
(Wikimedia Commons/Erik Drost)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Aug 06, 2023, 8:47 PM
  • Here are the four NBA super teams who never won a title.
  • The Lakers lead the list.

In today’s NBA era, where a player can demand a trade away from his current team when he is unhappy anymore and the enormous power to choose their preferred destination, super teams can be easily formed, as multiple superstars can play together in one team. These types of teams can easily be favorites in the NBA odds.

The primary purpose of superstars playing alongside other superstars is to capture the ultimate prize of lifting the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and avoid ending their careers to be ringless, just like top NBA players with no NBA title. This formula has worked several times but doesn’t always guarantee an automatic championship win.

Today, we will look into four NBA super teams that were formed yet failed to deliver the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to their city and never won the title.

2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers

When Karl Malone and Gary Payton decided to join Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles in the 2003-04 season, there was a heavy expectation of taking home the championship in a dominant fashion. Sure enough, in the regular season, they finished as the number two seed team in the Western Conference with a 56-26 record and became the Western Conference Champions after beating Houston (4-1), San Antonio (4-2), and Minnesota (4-2), respectively.

However, when they collided with the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals, they could not finish the job as they bowed to the underdog team, 4-1. The Pistons’ defense was too much for the offensive-loaded Lakers team after limiting them to just 81.8 points per game. After the failed season, the group disbanded, and only Kobe Bryant stayed on the roster from the four superstars.

2010-2011 Miami Heat

Another super team formed in the 2010-11 season was Miami’s big three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The team came together after Bosh signed with Miami and when James decided to join them to pursue multiple championships to South Beach as they promised to the fans. During the regular season and the start of the playoffs, they seemed genuine to the pledge after a dominant run. They finished as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference and the eventual representatives of the conference in the NBA Finals.

They only lost one game in each playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, the Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals and the Chicago Bulls in the conference finals. But another underdog, in the form of the Dallas Mavericks, has crashed their dream season, beating them in the NBA Finals, 4-2. The team, though stayed for another three more seasons together, ran it back and captured two of the three titles in the process.

2021-2022 Los Angeles Lakers

Two seasons removed from their championship run in 2020 and an early playoff exit in the 2020-21 season, the Los Angeles Lakers were looking for a revenge tour in the 2021-2022 season as they pulled off a massive trade to acquire Russell Westbrook. But this move got them into a much worse situation because they failed to reach the postseason even with a star-studded roster.

One of the biggest reasons they terribly miss the playoffs and only record 33 wins is the injuries that Anthony Davis and LeBron James suffered during the season. But with decent players such as Malik Monk, Carmelo Anthony, Talen Horton-Tucker and Dwight Howard on the team, they should have at least qualified for the postseason.

2021-22 Brooklyn Nets

Another super team who is expected to go on a deep postseason run and even punch their way to the NBA Finals during the 2021-22 season is the Brooklyn Nets. But due to several factors, they failed to do so. First is the Kyrie Irving vaccination saga, which prevented Irving from playing for the team for most of the season as he failed to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Second is the James Harden trade demands, which they solved when they traded him away to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons.

Lastly, the injury to Kevin Durant, who was sidelined for weeks and hampered his momentum. In the end, they barely made it to the playoffs as the seven-seeded team in the East. They faced the Boston Celtics and were rudely swept in the opening round to reach the peak of that season’s forgettable campaign.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.