How many guys in your NBA superstar list? pic.twitter.com/7uG58vuVA1
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) August 22, 2022
The word Superstar is completely overused in the NBA. Yes there are many good players, many great players. To be considered a Superstar in the NBA you have to standout amongst the competition. You have to be the one of the many that goes beyond the norm. Here is my list of Superstar(s) in the NBA:
Stephen Curry, in my opinion, is the best player in the league right now. He has a relatively limitless range, and is lethal with or without the ball in his hands. We have seen time and time again defensive game plans dissipate in playoff series.
The argument could be said that he can not be the best because he lacks on the defensive side. I say that he is a capable defender that competes. His offensive dominance fully makes up for any inability on the defensive end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most imposing force in the NBA. Everything he does is with authority, and when he absolutely has to be unstoppable he will be. I have yet to see an answer for when he drives the ball puts his head down and shrugs off any would-be defenders.
The argument against this pick would be his mediocre game from mid-range or the three point line. To which I would argue that he is a defensive anchor and a relentless scorer. His game never needs to develop range and he will continue to thrive.
Short List? Yeah, that is exactly the way it is supposed to be. What am I basing this off of then?
I believe there are three factors that go into superstar status:
- What have you done for me lately?
- The argument will be that LeBron James and/or Kevin Durant should be on the list. Both are great players with great legacies. With Curry’s win in this years finals he not only advanced his legacy, but he also lessened Durant’s relativeness in this conversation. LeBron last won a ring in 2020, but was not the main guy on that Laker team. Additionally, over the last two years the Lakers have struggled to be competitive for the playoffs let alone any championships.
- Are they the only player doing what they are doing?
- Giannis is the king of the Restricted Area. He made the most shots from the Restricted Area 82 more made field goals than the player with the next highest, LeBron James. Yes, players can score in the area, but nobody is doing it like him.
- Curry on the other hand is a great shooter. So was Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Kyle Korver etc. It has been discussed that Curry has changed the game. It is not just his ability to shoot, it is so much more. Here are some reasons why his game is different.
- Will that player be there when they are needed?
- Injuries are a part of the game, there is nothing that anyone can do to completely avoid injury. Yet, that is not the only thing that keeps a player from being present when needed. When we are young everyone wants the ball at the end of the game, everyone wants to be a hero. The greatest ability is availability, both of these players have proven to be there in the biggest moments and the hardest moments.
I also believe that you have to have won a championship in order to be considered a superstar. To be given the highest honors you have to have achieved at the highest level.
Everyone has a different belief in what is required to be considered a Superstar in the NBA. I believe these are the most important factors in determining a true Superstar.