Tuesday, May 4, 2010

NBA Superstar Realignment

This past weekend, LeBron James was named the 2009-2010 NBA MVP. This is LeBron's second consecutive time being named the NBA's MVP.

As significant as the honor is in itself, the way the ballots were cast signifies a change in who are considered the NBA's elite players of this contemporary era.

The sixties was the era of Wilt, Bill, and the Big O. The seventies were dominated by Kareem Abdul-Jabber with a bridge to the next decade bolstered by Moses Malone and Dr. J. The eighties were known as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson's time. The nineties were all about Jordan. Shaquille O'Neal bridged nineties to the most recent decade. It remains unclear who will epitomize the past decade, but it seems that Kobe Bryant has been widely considered the best basketball player amongst a group headlined by Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Steve Nash.

There is no question who the best player in the NBA is right now. He has won the last two MVP awards. He has led his team to the top of the Eastern Conference again. And he will be the most prized free agent in Sports History; not only because of his talent but also the fiscal denominations that are tied to his name and the enterprise for which he has come to represent.

However, as Kobe prepares to pass the torch to LeBron as the face of the NBA, will anybody join him in bearing this honor? Many pundits have already acclaimed Kevin Durant as the next embodiment of this exemplar player. Anyone who has seen Durant play since his time at Texas will surely agree with this assessment.

Now where is the line drawn? Will Dwayne Wade be considered part of this echelon once he is catapulted to this pedestal that will accompany the success impending by the addition of another great player in Miami? Will Dwight Howard join this group once he perfects his skill-set? And will this wave of dominant, young point guards produce anyone that is on par with the likes of James and Durant?

Regardless of whom joins him, Congratulations to LeBron James as the 2009-2010 NBA MVP.

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