Tony Parker, LeBron James and 10 NBA Stars Who Have Shined Despite Distractions
Something about the NBA seems to make players more prone to distractions. Whether it's a divorce, trade rumors, contract disputes, or finding yourself playing in a new place, players can either get over the distractions, or, stumble and fall.
This list is the top 10 guys who have gotten over such distractions to thrive this season.
Read on, and please be sure to let us know what you think.
10. Wilson Chandler, SF, New York Knicks
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Distraction: Expiring contract and trade rumors
This season, Wilson Chandler has really emerged as one of the league's best, young, small forwards. He may not be an elite, but he is definitely looking nice for a younger player.
Chandler has been mentioned as a possible trade piece in a potential deal that would bring Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.
Chandler is also dealing with playing in a contract year; despite the fact that he could be playing for a new team tomorrow, Chandler is averaging a career-high 16.8 points per game.
9. Zach Randolph, PF, Memphis Grizzlies
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Distraction: Expiring contract and boneheaded teammates
Zach Randolph has had some ups and downs during his career, but the Memphis Grizzlies decided to take a chance on the former Michigan State Spartan and give him a second chance.
Zach Randolph has certainly been a great player for the Grizzlies—one of just four players in the NBA to average over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.
However, the power forward has been dealing with uncertainty concerning where he could be playing in 2011-12, and a group of teammates who behave less-than-professionally off the court—teammates who fight on airplanes and get suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Through it all though, Randolph is as steady as ever.
8. Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers
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Distraction: Has Kobe lost it, will the Lakers three-peat?
Kobe Bryant has always had ice running through his veins. Ever since his court case in 2003, Bryant has shown his ability to play through distraction.
After back-to-back championships and a slow Lakers' start in 2010-11, Kobe has yet again had to show the ability to play though distraction.
This season, he has also had to play through the distractions of those who comment that he's lost a step.
He is currently sixth in the NBA in scoring and just passed Hakeem Olajuwon for the eighth spot on the NBA's all-time scoring list. How's that for washed up?
7. Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns
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Distraction: Rebuilding team and trade rumors
Steve Nash has had an interesting NBA career. He is regarded as one of the best players from the last decade of basketball.
However, he has never won a championship and his NBA career is starting to wind down.
The Suns are headed nowhere this season, but that hasn't stopped Nash from playing as hard as he can.
Nash has also been named in possible trade rumors to help the Suns rebuilding process.
6. Amare Stoudemire, PF, New York Knicks
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Destraction: New team, changing roster
Amare Stoudemire signed with the New York Knicks as a free agent this offseason, and has effectively revitalized the Knicks roster.
Stoudemire is second in NBA scoring at 26.2 points per game despite playing in a new city, with new teammates.
Speaking of teammates, the Knicks have been rumored as a possible landing spot for Carmelo Anthony, and many of the Knicks' players have been rumored to be on the move.
Despite such rumors, Amare's play is outstanding.
5. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Portland Trail Blazers
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Distraction: New role
LaMarcus Aldridge has made a leap this season. He is suddenly one of the best power forwards in the Western Conference, averaging career highs in points and rebounds.
The Blazers' best player for most of Aldridge's career has been Brandon Roy. However, Roy's absence—sidelined for most of the year dealing with knee problems, has forced Aldridge had to step into that role.
I'd say he's doing a bang-up job.
4. Dwyane Wade, SG, Miami Heat
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Distractions: New teammates, new image, and injury
Dwyane Wade has gone through a more interesting transformation than any other player in the NBA this season. Before this year, he was a fan-favorite (and not just in Miami), but now he is on the most hated team and his image is now that of a rather-unliked player.
Wade also has the distraction of playing with a bunch of new teammates in what could be called a traveling circus.
Throw in the fact that Wade has been struggling with injury over the past few weeks, it's easy to see the success he's had this year is pretty incredible.
3. Tony Parker, PG, San Antonio Spurs
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Distraction: Divorce from celebrity wife for rumored affair with teammates wife
Tony Parker definitely wins for the biggest distraction. I mean, what he has been playing through is absolutely amazing. How are his teammates even able to trust him?
The Spurs have the best record in the NBA this season, and Parker has been a huge reason for that success.
2. Carmelo Anthony, SF, Denver Nuggets
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Distraction: Constant trade rumors
Carmelo Anthony has been on the trading block all season, and the trade rumors have been springing up left and right. Just a few weeks ago, it looked like he was on his way to the Nets and now it's unknown where he will end up, or if he will even move on at all.
Anthony has been just as good as he is every game—despite the constant rumors.
1. LeBron James, SF, Miami Heat
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Distraction: New team, expectations, most hated player in the league
LeBron James deserves a lot of MVP consideration after taking his talents to South Beach. He has really embraced the bad guy mentality and used it to his advantage—which resulted in the Miami Heat's rise back to the top of the Eastern Conference.
In every city the Heat play, James could succumb to distractions, but he has been able to overcome them at every turn.
To see just what James means to a team, look at just how far the Cleveland Cavaliers have dropped this year.