Steve Nash on Nets adding Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, James Harden: ‘Not like we did anything illegal’

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The Brooklyn Nets are being dubbed the NBA‘s newest “villain” for the many big-named acquisitions they’ve made this season. They recently signed former All-Stars Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge on the buyout market after both were made available by their previous teams. Those moves, however, pale in comparison to the trade made toward the start of the season that landed them former league MVP James Harden to pair with superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, creating a Big Three out in Brooklyn. 

Most of the dislike of the Nets building a superteam has come from fans who think it dilutes the competitiveness in the league, and to that the team is just giving everyone one big unbothered shrug. After the Nets’ win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night, head coach Steve Nash responded to those who say the Nets are making the game unfair after their latest marquee additions. 

via Yahoo:

“It’s not like we did anything illegal,” Nash said. “So I don’t know what we’re supposed to do. Not try to add to our roster and stand pat? That’s the idea of this league, to try to put together the best team you can put together, and that doesn’t guarantee you anything. Like my experience with the Lakers, when I joined the Lakers, little did I know I was an All-Star the year before I came there, broke my knee my first or second game with the Lakers. My body’s never been the same.”

He’s not wrong. The Nets simply used the system to their advantage. The Pistons didn’t have to buy out Griffin of his contract, nor did the Spurs with Aldridge. Both teams could’ve tried to find trades with other teams that would’ve likely offered far better packages than the Nets, who are strapped for assets after trading for Harden. But that’s not what happened. Who could blame two aging former All-Stars for joining a team that could win a championship this year? It’s something that’s been done in the league for decades.

To Nash’s second point, trading for a bunch of great players doesn’t always mean success is going to happen right away due to failed chemistry or injuries. The latter is plaguing the Nets right now. Durant has only played in 19 games this season dealing with hamstring issues, and is coming off an Achilles tear from 2019 which kept him out all of last season. Then there’s Irving, who has also had his fair share of injuries, including this season.

The Nets, or any other team in the league that does this, can’t be faulted for gaming the system that the NBA set up. If a player wants to sign for a league minimum contract in order to chase a championship, there’s no rule that says a player or team can’t do that. 

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