The 2012-13 season is going to be a special one. It's going to be a season that fans look back on and talk about for years to come.
From the emergence of new superstars, to the constant battle between the newly-formed super teams and the small market teams, this season will be the beginning of new trends in the NBA.
While it's impossible to predict what the future holds for the NBA over the span of the decade, this season will certainly be a special one.
Ahead are seven reasons why the 2012-13 season will be the best of the decade.
Kobe vs. LeBron is always a ridiculously exciting matchup to watch, and a playoff series between the two legends would be unbelievable for fans.
It would also add a new level to debate on which player reigns supreme. Either way, the 2012-13 season is both player's best shot at giving fans what they want.
If the Lakers and Heat meet in the 2013 NBA Finals, it will be the culmination of an amazing season and the beginning of one of the most memorable Finals' series in NBA history.
To be fair, there have been a number of "super teams" in the NBA before this season.
From the L.A. Lakers of old with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabar and James Worthy, to the Boston "three party" of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But now there are now more super teams than ever before.
The Lakers have Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. The Heat have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen. Without killing you with more of the same, it's clear that the start of the "super team generation" has officially begun in the NBA.
With the dawn of the super team age in the NBA, it is also an opportunity for smaller-market teams to rise to the top and compete with the big boys, and that is going to be thrilling to watch.
Instead of being a balanced league, it is now defined by super teams battling against each other and "davids" going up against goliaths.
The 2012-13 season is the beginning of a new NBA. A league now defined by an imbalance in power that in all honesty will create more enticing storylines and more memorable matchups.
Before I get ahead of myself, let me clearly point out that James Harden's early season explosion isn't all my opinion of him is based on.
Now that we've cleared the air—James Harden will be the NBA's next legitimate superstar. He may not reach the level of a player like LeBron James, but he's well on his way to meaning as much to the Houston Rockets as Dwyane Wade meant to the Heat before LeBron and company came to town.
Harden no longer has to live in the shadow of Kevin Durant, Russel Westbrook and even Serge Ibaka. He has his own team, and it's his time to shine—and shining he is.
As the NBA begins to lose superstars like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant, there is going to be a need for players to rise up and pick up where the players before them have left off.
Harden is one of those players, and the 2012-13 season is going to be his stage to show just how great he truly is.
Over the next few seasons, fans are going to see a number of veteran NBA stars hang up their laces.
While it may not exactly start this season, there's no doubt that the careers of players like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki are starting to come to an end.
The 2012-13 season may be the last season where all of those players are still able to play at the high level that fans have grown accustomed to in the past.
The players that have defined the last 10 years in the NBA have paved the way for the next generation of talent to take over, and while they certainly will, NBA fans certainly aren't ready to let that happen.
It's the beginning of the end for the stars of the early 2000s, and that means this season is one that NBA fans should treasure.
Whether you love them or hate them, there's no debating the fact that the Miami Heat have quite an opportunity this season to begin what could be the NBA's next great dynasty.
The Heat have a massive target on their back this season. Any time a team beats them, it's going to be a major point of discussion the next day. That kind of focus on one team shows just how special they are.
It's not often that a team has a legitimate chance of having a monopoly on NBA titles, but the Heat have that chance, and it starts this season.
If the Heat hadn't acquired Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But the fact that they've only gotten stronger and deeper since winning the title last year goes to show that they are serious about establishing the franchise as the NBA's first dynasty since Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s.
The 2012-13 season could be the start of something truly great for the Heat. Even if you're not a Heat fan, you have to respect the greatness that exists on their team and the chance they have to be something truly special.
Rivalries make professional sports go round, that holds true for the NBA.
The 2012-13 season welcomes the beginning of a new rivalry that will certainly ignite the league, the New York rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks.
The Knicks are one of the most storied franchises in the NBA, and now that they have an in-state rival, in the Brooklyn Nets, the lure of their franchise simply increases.
A rivalry between two teams playing in the city that most consider the basketball mecha of the world, is something extremely special, and it's a reason why the 2012-13 season will be remembered as one of the best in the decade.
At some point, names like Kobe, LeBron, Garnett, Carmelo and Duncan are going to be a part of the basketball history books. When that time comes, there will need to be players ready to be the stars of the next generation.
Now is the time for a number of those players to start their rise to stardom.
Whether it's James Harden, Greg Monroe, Kevin Love, or a some of the newer guys, like Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving, the 2012-13 season is going to be their stage.
It is going to be the beginning of the transition from the veteran stars, to the younger stars in the NBA, and while that may be hard to accept for some long-time fans, it's just a part of the process of transitioning talent in the NBA.
This season will signify the beginning of a new wave of talent in the NBA. Fans will look back on the 2012-13 season as a place where a new core of talented youth began to prove themselves in the ranks of the NBA.