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What Every Top NBA Star Has on the Line During 2013-14 Season

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What Every Top NBA Star Has on the Line During 2013-14 Season
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James always have something on the line

LeBron James has won two titles in a row and back-to-back MVPs, but does the best player in the NBA have more at stake than any other player—not just in 2013-14, but since Michael Jordan himself?

Carmelo Anthony is the reigning scoring champion. Why, then, is he under so much pressure to do even more? Partly because the upcoming season is the most important of his career—it is the pivot on which his legacy will turn.

There’s always a title on the line out in Los Angeles. The Lakers have made the postseason in 60 of their 65 seasons. Now Chris Paul and the Clippers are making a bid, too.

Kobe Bryant’s legacy is similarly always on the linethose comparisons to Jordan (unfounded, but that’s another story) and his place among the all-time rankings. But this year it’s something else—two other important matters at stake—along with a title, naturally.

Derrick Rose has something to prove after his unusually long ACL recovery, which is still ongoing.

Other stars are making their way back from injuryor, like Dwight Howard, injured reputations.

What about expiring contracts?

Playoff aspirations…or expectations?

Things don’t get any easier at the top. In fact, they get tougher and a lot more noticeable. The higher you rise, the greater the stakes—the more to lose.

Once you’re a top star like these guys, there’s always something on the line for all the world to see.

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