Basketball is unique compared to most other professional team sports. Because there are only 5 players from each team on the court at a time, a single great player can have a huge impact. A football quarterback or a baseball pitcher can also have a huge impact on his team, but a basketball player is on the floor for both offense and defense.
Here are the current and upcoming NBA basketball sport stars.
1. LeBron James
Ever since LeBron James was drafted directly out of high school in 2003, he has had an enormous impact on the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was voted Rookie of the year after his first season, he led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007, and he was named MVP of the NBA in 2009. It will be interesting to see if Lebron can begin to win some championships for the Cavs.
2. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant was another player who was drafted directly out of high school. In 1996, he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, but he was immediately traded to the LA Lakers. He picked up 3 championship titles with teammate Shaquille O'Neal during the 2000-2002 seasons. After O'Neal left the Lakers, Kobe has proven that he is capable of leading a team without Shaq. He picked up the MVP trophy in 2008, and led the Lakers to a championship in 2009.
3. Dwight Howard
Howard also decided to forgo college, and he was selected as the # 1 player in the 2004 draft. Within a few short years he has proven himself to be a player everyone should be watching. The 2009 season, in particular, was a huge breakout year for Howard. He was named to the All-NBA First Team, he became the youngest player in NBA history to be named the Defensive Player of the Year, and he stunned everyone by leading the Magic past both the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009 playoffs . The Magic were finally defeated by Kobe and the Lakers in the Finals.
Besides those three, there are many other good players in the NBA. Tim Duncun has won 4 championships for the Spurs and Steve Nash picked up two consecutive MVP trophies. Dwayne Wade, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki have all consistently played at a high level.
Many people have wondered if there will ever be a player as dominant and unstoppable as Michael Jordan. Maybe there has not been yet, but in the near future – Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard will undoubtedly be the players to watch.