If you want to win an NBA championship these days, you’re probably going to need to put together a super team. Whether you want to say that it started with the 2007 Boston Celtics who formed the trio of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, or LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh working it out for the Miami Heat in 2010, the league has followed this trend till today. And it will probably continue as long as the super team of the Golden State Warriors is still intact.
As we progress through the offseason where superstar players look to link up with other superstars with the hopes of capturing a title, Charles Barkley is making it clear that you can miss him with all that talk. During his appearance on the Unnecessary Roughness Podcast, Barkley said that he would prefer to not win if it meant he had to follow along with this league-wide trend. "I’d rather have no rings than join a super team," he said.
Barkley expressed his admiration for some superstars around his time who were so motivated by their competitive spirit that they couldn’t allow themselves to seek out help from another superstar in order to reach the mountaintop. "It doesn’t matter what option you are, sports are about competition," he said. "Like, I admire Patrick Ewing for trying to bring a championship to New York. I admire Reggie Miller for trying to bring a championship to Indiana. I admire Michael Jordan for not leaving when they were getting beat by the Pistons every year. He didn’t pack up and say, 'Let me go play with Magic or Bird,' there’s something to be said about that. When Dirk Nowitzki finally won the championship he could be like, ‘Yes, I did this.'"
As much as Barkley may be bashing the current mentality of the league's superstars, they need to take this approach in order to even stand a chance against the Warriors' Big 4, which was actually formulated almost entirely from homegrown talent. It may not be the perceived way to go about winning a championship, but it is what it is.