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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Get in line Warriors with your ‘super team’

Syndicated columnist

The 2016-17 NBA season has a single overwhelming story line: Will the Golden State Warriors – 73-9 and almost-NBA champions last season – go 74-10 or better and become actual NBA champions this season?

(The NBA’s secondary story line, as always: Why do the Knicks stink?)

With Kevin Durant coming to Golden State, we are told the Warriors have rounded up a super team for the ages. Indeed, Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Dramond Green arguably are four of the NBA’s top 20 players; Durant and Curry might be two of the league’s top three.

We are also told – if you listen to talk radio or shout TV, or click on any one of 728 web sites – that this is unfair, that the Warriors have assembled the greatest array of talent under one non-taxpayer-funded roof in human history.

Not so fast, Stu from Teaneck.

“Super teams” have dotted the landscape, in all shapes and forms, for a long, long time:

Harlem Globetrotters, 1970s. Remember the big deal everyone made over the original, post-modern Big Three in Boston in 2007 – Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen? Well, a generation earlier, the Globetrotters had Meadowlark Lemon, Marques Haynes and Curly Neal. If these two ensembles played three-on-three, the Globetrotters would win, 212-93.

In addition – and we’re crisscrossing other eras here – Abe Saperstein would’ve coached the pants off of Red Auerbach.

George Washington’s cabinet, 1789. Attorney general, Edmund Randolph (former governor of Virginia, future secretary of state); secretary of war, military hero Henry Knox; secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson (yeah, that Thomas Jefferson); secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton – uh, how many public servants front a record-breaking Broadway musical a couple of centuries later?

That’s some star power right there – in fact, Knox was considered such a B-lister in that group, Jefferson wouldn’t even return his phone calls.

“Your Show of Shows” writing staff, 1950s. Let’s start with Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner – that’s an un-guardable Big Three. Then there was also Mel Tolkin, Lucille Kallen, Neil Simon and Danny Simon. Uh huh – both Simon brothers; that’s a lot of laughter coming out of the 23rd floor.

“Your Show of Shows” makes “Saturday Night Live” look like “Tales from the Crypt.”

“A Bridge Too Far,” 1977. I don’t want to step on anyone’s ego, so I’ll just list the cast of this epic war film alphabetically: James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell, Liv Ullmann.

I left out John Ratzenberger. Yep – Cliff from “Cheers” also had a small part.

McDonald’s menu, 1983. Sure, at the moment we’re all into health food and organic-fed beef, but, back in the day, you’d walk under the Golden Arches and marvel at the myriad, hall of fame fast-food choices – Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Egg McMuffin, Filet-o-Fish, Chicken McNuggets and, to indoctrinate the next batch of obese customers, the deliriously Happy Meal.

O.J. Simpson’s defense team, 1995. We may never see a legal dream team like this again. There was no salary cap in those days – O.J. had an unlimited budget, because he had no plans on paying – so, millions of dollars later, the highest-profile cast of lawyers was gathered:

Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Kardashian and, of course, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro. Plus, the O.J. trial made a star out of Barry Scheck, basically a utility player then who came off the bench with DNA stuff.

Louvre Museum in Paris. Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Old Masters, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism; Bosch, Caravaggio, Delacroix, Goya, Matisse, Manet, Monet, Michelangelo, Picasso, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Ribera, Rubens, Titian, Van Eyck, Vermeer. And the “Mona Lisa.”

They’ve got it all, other than “Dogs Playing Poker.”

Ask The Slouch

Q. If. Bob Dylan can win a Nobel Prize for literature, can’t The Slouch win a Nobel Prize for non-literature? (David Kane; Bethesda, Maryland)

A. I see no reason to turn another person’s gain into my personal pain.

Q. Is it really possible Dez Bryant cut his fingers while chopping carrots? (Doug R. Smith; Spokane)

A. If he wasn’t using a knife, no.

Q. Last week you wrote that Trey Wingo’s real name is Trey Wingo. But I looked it up and you’re wrong. (Chris Nichols; San Antonio)

A. Okay, his real name is Hal Chapman Wingo III – thus, Trey Wingo. There goes my Pulitzer.

Q. The R*dsk*ns’ Vernon Davis drew a 15-yard penalty for shooting a jump shot (with a football) over the goal posts after scoring last week. However, if he was outside the 3-point line, shouldn’t the penalty have been 22½ yards? (Graham Vink; Vienna, Virginia)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

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