Highlander Hot Take: It takes more than just money to build a successful team

By: Kevin Contreras, Sports Editor

In the world of athletics, there is one thing that each and every sport has in common: Money. In every sport, there is a huge concentration of money week in and week out. Normally this money is directed towards logistics, travel, facilities, athlete and staff uniforms, and marketing. Every so often though, there are brief moments where the money is concentrated towards completing multi-million dollar deals. Oftentimes, these deals are great for the sport and they can bring players together who would never have played together otherwise. But in its current form, team owners are often using money as a way to win championships the easy way. 

via Noble J. Ozogbuda from Pintrest

There are two examples that shed light on the current trend in both basketball and soccer: the Brooklyn Nets and the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)

In basketball, the Nets recently underwent one of the largest deals in basketball history involving four teams and signing some of the biggest names in basketball currently. With this trade, the Brooklyn Nets held the most feared squad. The deal in question, of course, was the one that allowed them to acquire Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Blake Griffin all in the same squad. This was by all accounts a super team and was the team to watch out for. Unfortunately for the Nets, the story ends there. They had back-to-back unsuccessful seasons and since then, James Harden has been traded again. There were high hopes for this team, and while they were fun to watch, this super team got nowhere near the NBA championship trophy. The Brooklyn Nets had unlimited potential, which translated into one of the biggest flukes in NBA history. 

In soccer, PSG has become a big team with aspirations of winning the champions league, coming incredibly close in 2020, ultimately losing in the final. Since then, PSG has been on a path to rebuild and once again return to the trophy. PSG has at its disposal big names in every section of its team. In defense, Sergio Ramos and Presnel Kimpembe. In the midfield, Angel Di Maria. Nothing, though, is as impressive as their offense. Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi — each three of the biggest forwards in soccer history. Yet, PSG has shown no results in the world of soccer. Even though they are fun to watch, they are a super team that keeps falling short. 

Building a team is no easy task. Teams who have the ability and resources to sign big names are expected to do so. The issue is that millionaire and billionaire owners believe they can bring the biggest names together in a room and expect the rest to sort itself out. Becoming a champion and crossing the threshold to join the greats takes more than just skills — it takes years of development and perseverance. Watching these players may be great fun and it is a true joy to see some of the best come together and play ball alongside each other, but money is not a shortcut to winning a trophy.

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