When the Brooklyn Nets came out as winners of the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes on Saturday, the immediate thought that came into everyone’s minds was: Wow, this team is absolutely loaded with star-level names.
Whether it’s good for the NBA to have teams stack the deck like that is a discussion for another time, but what’s for certain now, following a bit of research on our part, is the fact that the 2020-21 Nets are making history with their star-studded roster.
With the addition of Aldridge, Brooklyn now has an astounding five players with at least six All-Star appearances under their belt in Aldridge (seven-time All-Star), Kevin Durant (11-time All-Star), James Harden (nine-time All-Star), Kyrie Irving (seven-time All-Star) and Blake Griffin (six-time All-Star).
That makes the Nets just the second team ever with a roster boasting five players with six-plus All-Star appearances. The first team to do that was the 2010-11 Boston Celtics, who we’ll talk about more in just a bit.
Even if you factor in that Aldridge and Griffin are no longer the players they were in their primes, it’s still a ridiculous feat for Brooklyn to put together a roster that loaded with stars. Plus, it’s not like the two big men are unplayable – they can still contribute at a high level as role players. What we’re getting at here is: The Nets will be scary come playoff time, health permitting.
This year’s Brooklyn squad can also say they have the most combined All-Star appearances on a single team (41) since the aforementioned 2010-11 Celtics.
If you recall, that Boston teams were led by their Big 3 – Kevin Garnett (15-time All-Star), Paul Pierce (10-time All-Star) and Ray Allen (10-time All-Star) – as well as Rajon Rondo (four-time All-Star), Jermaine O’Neal (six-time All-Star) and Shaquille O’Neal (15-time All-Star) in the final year of his career.
What makes this Nets team extremely unique, however, is the fact that their five six-plus-time All-Stars might actually see the floor together in a single lineup, something that Boston’s five All-Stars never did, since the two O’Neals played the same position.
To be exact, that means we could see an Irving-Harden-Durant-Griffin-Aldridge lineup at some point this season, all players with at least six All-Star appearances on their resume on the floor at the same time together, something that has never happened before in NBA history.
That’s legitimately insane and goes to show how truly loaded the Nets are right now, while also speaking to the problems with the buyout market as presently constructed.
That’s a conversation for another time, though.
Alberto de Roa contributed research to this article.