How the NBA Stars Align
When examining each position in the NBA (Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward, and Center) it becomes apparent that not all positions are created equal and that some offer a larger amount of talented players than others. Although each position tends to play a different role on the court, it seems that most of the players we consider stars fall into certain positions.
NBA stars have a certain way about about them. They have a sort of swagger that other players do not. They are players more popular than the rest and have a knack for igniting the crowd when they make great plays on the court. They are not just known in their teams city, but known all over the country. I could sit here and talk statistics about each player, but that does not define if a player is a star or not in this league. When you see a player who is a star in this league, you just know they are a star.
The center position is by far the most lacking position in the NBA in terms of star power. But, at least its star player is one of the best players in the NBA.
Dwight Howard is the lone sure fire star player at the center position in the league. There is no other center that can truly be considered a star player. Andrew Bogut and Andrew Bynum are both players who are close to becoming stars, but it is obvious they don’t hold the same popularity as the other stars around the NBA.
Al Horford is a great player in Atlanta for the Hawks, but is obviously not a star. Javale McGee, Roy Hibbert and Greg Monroe are all young players with tremendous upside, but they are all at least a season or two away from being star players in the NBA. Demarcus Cousins looked like he had potential to become a big time star player, but has slipped and his attitude has caused his stock to drop substantially.
4. Shooting Guard
Besides Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade, the shooting guard position is lacking in star power. The position has a lot of potential to become full of stars with young players like Tyreke Evans, James Harden and Marcus Thornton, all players with promising futures, but not quite there yet.
Monta Ellis has the capabilities to put up big numbers, but is not quite a premier NBA player yet. Joe Johnson seems to be losing popularity and seemed as though he was once on the cusp of super stardom. Manu Ginobili was once a prime time player in this league, but with his injury riddled aging body, Ginobili is a mere shadow of what he once was. If Ginobili could stay healthy he has the potential to be a star player in the league, but staying healthy has been a problem for Ginobili as of late.
3. Small Forward
LeBron James and Kevin Durant are the two best players in the NBA hands down.
With both playing the small forward position, you may be wondering why the the small forward position has fallen in the middle of the pack. But aside from Carmelo Anthony, the small forward position offers very little in star power.
Danny Granger is a good player and so is Luol Deng, but neither have much star power. Granger is on the verge of becoming a star in this league, but has not taken the leap into stardom yet and although Deng is a great scorer and defender, he is not considered a premier player in the league.
2. Power Forward
The power forward position offers a lot of great players in the NBA. They have great talent in Dirk Nowitzki, Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol, Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Chris Bosh, but it’s hard to call all of these players stars.
Dirk Nowitzki is a shoe in, especially after his performance last year and his continued great play this season. Pau Gasol has grown into a star player playing next to Kobe Bryant for the Los Angeles Lakers and has continued to put up great numbers over the past handful of seasons.
Blake Griffin has become one of the most popular players in the league, but it is largely due to his ability to make the highlight reel and not his ability to be a great player. I am skeptical of calling him a star player, but will give it to him. If he continues to play as well as he has been doing this season, then he will definitely be considered a star player in this league by everyone.
Like Griffin, I am a little skeptical of calling Amare a star right now. He is athletic and plays well on the offensive end of the court, but sometimes it seems that his popularity this season and last has been due more to the fact that he plays in New York, rather than for his performance on the basketball court. It also does not help that he plays next to Carmelo Anthony, a player that has become the star for the Knicks. But ultimately he is a star in the NBA.
Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge are great players and are players that could go either way. I consider them to be great players, but it is hard for me to call them stars, because they do not seem to carry the same sort of popularity as Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Amare Stoudemire and Blake Griffin do. But, by the end of this season, that may all change.
When Chris Bosh was in Toronto playing for the Raptors he definitely had star power, but after his move to South Beach, Bosh seems to have sank into the shadow of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. The once “Big Three” of LeBron, Wade and Bosh has become the duo of “Batman and Robin” and Bosh has fallen to the way side.
1. Point Guard
The NBA has a plethora of talented young point guards, many of which are definite stars. Derrick Rose won the MVP award last season and has continued where he left off. He has climbed almost instantly in popularity around the league and is now one of the most popular players at any position.
Chris Paul is also a superstar player like Rose and are the two best point guards in the league. There really is not much drop off between the top two point guards in the league and the next handful of point guard stars.
Rondo has proven he is a superstar player and is the best player on a team full of future hall of famers. Deron Williams is a lone bright spot for a weak New Jersey Nets team, but is still a star player in the NBA.
Along with these players, the point guard position has other stars like Russell Westbrook and Stephan Curry.
But not only does the point guard position have the most current stars, but they have the most depth and potential stars of the future with young talent like John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Kyle Lowry, Raymond Felton, Jeff Teague, Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette and Jrue Holiday.
Don’t’ get me wrong, I am not saying all of these young players will be stars, but they all do have the potential to be. It is clear that the NBA is a point guard happy league. There are more stars who are point guards than stars at any other single position in the NBA and with the looks of the young talent around the league at the point guard position; I do not expect this to change any time soon.