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The Giant Foam Finger: Who's Afraid Of A Superteam?

Kevin Durant (right) will play alongside Stephen Curry (left) after deciding to join the Golden State Warriors.
Ezra Shaw
/
Getty Images
Kevin Durant (right) will play alongside Stephen Curry (left) after deciding to join the Golden State Warriors.

It's been a while since Code Switch correspondent Gene Demby and I gathered in a studio to talk sports for the Pop Culture Happy Hour spinoff we call The Giant Foam Finger. But the stars aligned perfectly this week – thanks, in large part, to the Golden State Warriors' July 4 signing of superstar small forward Kevin Durant, which has led to prolific hand-wringing about the short-term future of pro basketball.

In addition to weakening Durant's former employer, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the move cements the Warriors' place as a veritable Superteam – a collection of players that, at least on paper, sounds like an inevitable NBA champion. (Durant is joining two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry, as well as all-stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, though the remaining roster has holes that will need to be filled using precious little salary-cap space.)

After a few words about the reigning NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, Gene and I dig into some philosophical questions: Is it fair to have this many transcendent players in one place? Is it good for basketball? Is this the wave of the mercenary future? And is there any point in paying attention to the NBA this fall if you're a fan of, say, the Milwaukee Bucks (me) or the Philadelphia 76ers (Gene)?

Naturally, we'd love to hear what listeners think. Are you pro- or anti-Superteam? Will you root for it, or against it? Have at it in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)

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