The NBA today is as much of a copycat league as it's ever been.
It seems like every time a team goes out in search of a coach or a general manager, it ends up hiring someone with ties to the San Antonio Spurs and/or the Oklahoma City Thunder. When one squad starts piling up wins by playing small or another does so by running pick-and-roll ad nauseam, the rest of the league follows suit.
And when sweet-shooting Europeans or quick point guards make waves here and there, it becomes incumbent upon every front office to avoid being left on the outside looking in, as if building a team were equivalent to a high-stakes game of Musical Chairs.
That being said, it's often the novelties that come out on top. The Triangle is arguably the most successful offense in NBA history, but has hardly been heard from since Phil Jackson stepped away.
Teams that build patiently through the NBA draft deserve credit for doing so, but are all too frequently upstaged by others—like the Lakers, the Celtics and the Heat—that count on catching lightning in a bottle as the chief means of improving a roster.
Best of all, though, are the players whose unique on-court stylings lift their teams to new heights and make the game of basketball a joy to watch.
Like, say, these seven stars.