Updated Season Report Card Grades for Every NBA Superstar

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Updated Season Report Card Grades for Every NBA Superstar
USA TODAY Sports

It's tough to nail down what exactly qualifies someone as a "superstar" in the NBA. Such an endeavor might best be approached using the same logic that US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart employed while defining obscenity back in 1964—you'll know it when you see it.

Not that such an ethos would make characterizing basketball superstardom any easier. The label itself implies a certain combination of on-court productivity and overall notoriety as measured on an undisclosed (read: imaginary) sliding scale.

Leaning too heavily on one or the other can jeopardize one's candidacy. For instance, Dwyane Wade soaks up plenty of limelight by way of playing for the defending champion Miami Heat next to reigning MVP LeBron James and is prone to spectacular play from time to time. But age, injuries and a changing role have all conspired to depress D-Wade's overall productivity and limit his typical ceiling to that of a "mere" All-Star.

The same goes for fellow Eastern Conference All-Star starter Kevin Garnett, who can dominate in fits and spurts, particularly on the defensive end, but at the age of 36, is hardly the all-encompassing force of old.

On the other end of the spectrum are youngsters like James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry—budding All-Stars who produce in spectacular fashion but won't truly join the ranks of the league's elite until they lead their respective teams to big wins in meaningful moments.

As for the NBA's most consequential stars, let's have a look at how the 10 best have graded out through the first half of the 2012-13 NBA season. 

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