Is Jerry West the best NBA executive ever? I would like to hear opinions on this, but the man resume as an NBA executive is impressive. From the trade that brought in Kobe Bryant, the free agents signing of Shaquille O’Neal, the trade for Pau Gasol, the construction of the Memphis Grizzlies, and the signing of Kevin Durant. Jerry West fingerprints are all over these transactions. Now his latest move, that may be the most impressive, is the trade of Blake Griffin.

Blake Griffin is an exciting player to watch, the highlight dunks and alley-oops but the Clippers signed Blake to contract worth 173 million dollars over five years. That is almost $35 million a year. There are only four players who make more money this season there are Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Gordon Hayward, and Paul Millsap. LeBron and Stephen are superstars, so their price tag is acceptable. Millsap and Hayward were going to different teams, therefore the new teams had to increase the amount to make the deal attractive. Now on to Blake, Blake has not played an entire NBA season since the 2010-2011 season, he is often injured, and Blake is not a superstar. Blake does not have the ability to carry a team, he does not make the players around him better, he is not a great defensive player and his games depends on his athleticism. Blake is 29 years old, so towards the end of his contract will he be worth the money?

Now here is why Jerry West may be a genius, he got the Detroit Pistons to agree to a trade for Blake. I do not see many teams taking Blake Griffin based on his history of injuries alone for $35 million. In return, Jerry gets Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and a first-round pick. Tobias and Avery are good players, Tobias can easily average 20 points a game and Avery is still one of the premiers defends in the NBA. These players will make great pieces as the Clippers rebuild their team.

I do not know where Jerry West should rank among NBA executives but he has to be close to the top on everyone’s list.

Do great players win a championship or do great teams win championships? I ask this question because most of the comments I have read and conversion I have had people seem to blame the players for the team’s failures. Before we use to hear the debate which teams were better 1989-90 Detroit Pistons, 1995-96 Chicago Bulls or 1984-1985 Los Angeles Lakers. Now the debate surrounds the players, who are the best point guard, who has the better jump shot or who is the better score? The way the game is viewed has changed but players are being blamed because the team does not live up to the expectations of the fans.

There are two players in particular that in my opinion receive too much criticism for their team’s failures, there are Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.  Chris Paul’s Clippers lost in the first round of the playoffs and Carmelo Anthony’s Knicks did not make the playoffs. Many people are blaming these players for the dismal performance of the teams. I have seen people write that Paul is overrated and Carmelo is overpaid, which I strongly disagree. Basketball is a team sport, no matter how great or good the player is he or she cannot win a championship without being on a good team. Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball but he would not have won a championship without being on a great team. Jordan did not win a championship every year, when his team was not great they lost. I think LeBron James has the fans spoiled because he can go from team to team and that team becomes a contender for the championship. What people do not realize is how he and David Griffin, the Cavaliers general manager, are constantly looking at ways to improve the team. LeBron and David do this because they know it takes a great team to win a championship. Kevin Durant knows no matter how great of a player he is he will never win the championship if he is not on a great team and that is why he signed with Golden State.

Back to Paul and Carmelo, both players give their all on the basketball court, people are delusional if they think these players will not do anything to win. Put them in the right situation with the right team and they will win. Are they best players at their position, no but are they among the best and the answer is yes.

The game of basketball is a team sport and always will be a team sport. One individual can impact a team’s future but one player cannot win the championship. Instead of criticizing a player for the team’s failure how about cheering him for his or her efforts. When listening to past champions talk about winning one of the first things they say is that everyone has to perform at their peak, from the front office to the ball boy.  If you believe one player solely determines a championship then you need to be watching tennis.  Now, do you believe great players win a championship or great teams?