10 NBA Stars Who Appeal to Every Fan of Basketball

Roy Burton@thebslineContributor IJune 27, 2012

10 NBA Stars Who Appeal to Every Fan of Basketball

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    In the NBA, there are a number of players who transcend the typical allegiances between a fan and a team.

    For example, there are those who consider themselves die-hard Lakers fans who can't help but marvel at the show Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo puts on every night. San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan denied several teams a chance at a title during his career, yet he remains one of the most popular figures in all of professional sports.

    So, with that in mind, let's take a look at 10 NBA stars who appeal to virtually every fan of the sport of basketball.

Kevin Durant

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    Fans of virtually every team are enamored with Kevin Durant, and rightly so. The 23-year-old already has three scoring titles to his credit, and looks to be the heir apparent once LeBron James relinquishes the torch in the NBA.

    Away from the court, Durant has more Twitter followers than most players, and the Oklahoma City star often gives away sneakers to his most avid fans. That is, of course, when they aren't too busy downloading Doodle Jump.

Steve Nash

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    When Steve Nash isn't piling up assists, he's usually playing soccer or doing something productive in the community. Or both.

    Born in South Africa and raised in Canada, Nash has somehow become one of America's most admired athletes. Perhaps it's his underdog mentality. Even with two MVPs and multiple all-star nods to his credit, the 6'3" point guard still plays as if he has something to prove every time he steps out onto the court.

Rajon Rondo

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    His on-court demeanor may suggest otherwise, but Rajon Rondo is one of the most engaging players in the entire NBA.

    The 6'1" point guard has more than 3.7 million subscribers to his Facebook page, and he frequently uses social media to interact with fans all over the world. And while hatred for the Boston Celtics runs deep, admiration for Rondo's skills is almost universal.

Blake Griffin

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    Between the thunderous, highlight-worthy dunks and the...interesting car commercials, Blake Griffin is a staple on television sets for the better part of basketball season.

    The lights shine brighter in L.A., of course, so with all of the attention on Griffin comes the intense scrutiny of his game. Even still, the Clippers power forward remains a fan favorite and will be an all-star fixture for the better part of this decade.

Derrick Rose

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    It was almost heartbreaking to watch Derrick Rose injure his ACL in the first game of the postseason this year. The 23-year-old Rose is an absolute joy to watch, even if you're rooting for the team that he's playing against.

    Rose is special in that he's almost painfully shy, yet has still found a way to connect with NBA fans across the globe. Most of that is due to his stellar play—hopefully, we'll all have the pleasure of seeing him excel for many years to come.

Kevin Love

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    Whatever "it" is exactly, Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love gets it.

    He's one of the rare star players who comes across as someone who would actually interact with his fans if he were to run into them at a coffee shop. He mixes plenty of self-deprecation into his tweets and late-night talk show appearances; unfortunately, some of that gets lost in the shuffle due to the fact that he plays in Minnesota.

Dirk Nowitzki

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    Dirk Nowitzki was always likable, but during the Dallas Mavericks' run to the 2011 NBA title, something changed.

    The fact that Nowitzki (and his teammates) vanquished the villainous Miami Heat was almost heroic in a sense. Millions of fans were overjoyed when Dallas took home the Larry O'Brien Trophy, and Nowitzki went from being a tall, fun-loving foreigner to one of the more popular players in the entire sport. It's funny how things work sometimes.

Tim Duncan

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    It's almost impossible to find someone to say something negative about San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan. The 36-year-old star might be the best power forward in the history of the game, yet you wouldn't know it by looking at him.

    Duncan's appeal is that he appears to be completely unassuming—it's as if the four championship rings and numerous accolades haven't fazed him. Humility is rare in the professional sports world, and Duncan seems to have plenty to spare.

Chris Paul

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    By most accounts, Chris Paul is one of the friendly players in the NBA away from the arena. On the court, however, the Los Angeles Clippers point guard is a stone-cold assassin who happens to be one of the best closers in the game.

    Paul is one of the NBA's best young talents, and fans of all ages are in awe whenever he works his magic on the court. Never one to air out dirty laundry in the media, Paul is a breath of fresh air and one of the best ambassadors that the game of basketball could ever ask for.

Ray Allen

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    The hardest working man in the NBA, Ray Allen—or Jesus Shuttlesworth, if you prefer—goes about his business as a true professional. Simply put, Allen is the dream of every coach and the nightmare of every one of his opponents.

    Following the lead of teammate Rajon Rondo, Allen is also one of the more active players on Facebook, and is also one of the lead spokesmen for the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA programs.