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Thursday, November 8, 2012
Do Bulls have enough star power?

By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Do NBA teams need at least two superstars to win a title?

It's the question general managers have been asking themselves on a daily basis for a while. It's the question basketball fans have bounced around ever since the Miami Heat pulled off what was then unthinkable by signing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh two summers ago. It's the question that players wonder about as they sit in locker rooms across the league.

So what's the answer? Well, it depends who you ask.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau only has one star in Derrick Rose, but Rose is going to miss most of the year as he recovers from a knee injury.

"It's different for every team," Thibodeau said before Thursday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. "I think you can win different ways. A lot of people think it's three, three players in the top five. But over the years there have been teams that are deep, two deep at every position, and they've won, so I'd say the one thing that you probably have to have are good players."

Thunder head coach Scott Brooks offered a more humorous approach.

"I was fortunate enough to be on Houston's championship team in '94. They had (Hakeem) Olajuwon and Otis Thorpe and myself as the three stars," he said Thursday morning with a chuckle.

"We had one star, Olajuwon, and everyone knew what we were going to do," he continued. "We were going to give the ball to him in the left block. And we had a bunch of good players. You need good players. You need a bunch of stars. Does it make it easier to have a bunch of stars and All-Stars? Yeah, obviously. But you need good players. Good players win championships."

Obviously, Brooks understands how lucky he is to have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as the leaders of his team, but he believes that the core around both players must step up and do their job.

"One star, two stars, three stars? There's enough stars in this league for everybody to have a chance to win," Brooks said. "I don't look at it that way. We build our team -- obviously we have Kevin and Russell have been All-Stars the last two or three years, and well-deserved -- but for us to win they have to play well, but we have to have our other guys playing well. Everybody has to be a star in their own right."

While both coaches agree that a team must be comprised of good players, Durant knows that it's better to have as many stars as possible.

"I think if you have a good solid team and everybody plays together, plays defense, you always give yourself a chance," he said. "But it's cool to have two very good players on your team. You always go far with talent."

Like most fans, Durant can see that the current trend in the league is to load up with two or stars and see what happens.

"You could say that," he said. "With the Miamis, the Bostons, go down the line, the Brooklyns, there's a lot of teams, Chicago. There's a lot of teams that got two or three guys that could be a star on any team. The league is definitely getting better, and I'm glad I'm playing in it at this time. It's a competitive league and we're looking forward to a long season."

Does he really believe the Bulls have enough star caliber players around Rose?

"D-Rose is out and they've still got Rip (Hamilton) and they've still got Luol (Deng) and Booz (Carlos Boozer) and (Joakim) Noah, he's coming into his own on the offensive end as well, so they've got a tough team," Durant said. "They've got a really tough team. And it's always fun playing against these guys because we know so many players on their team. So it's always a good competitive game."