Derrick Rose or Blake Griffin?
It's a question that you may not have asked yourself yet but you soon will.
The 1st round picks of the 2008 and 2009 NBA drafts are undeniably two of the most exciting players in the NBA.
But who is more exciting?
Is it the lightning quick point guard Derrick Rose? He has led his Chicago Bulls back to prominence with back to back playoff appearances and is considered arguably the best point guard in the NBA.
Or is it the bruising, yet graceful power forward, Blake Griffin? He has taken the league by storm with his nightly highlights and out-of-this-world stats. He leads the resurgence of the lowly Clippers and has made them relevant once again.
With them both being back to back number one picks and leading their franchises to wins they will undoubtedly be compared as they have epic clashes in the future.
This debate will rage on for the better part of the next decade as these two players will be superstars in the league very soon if they aren't already, so why not start now?
A very select few basketball players in the world have the skill to be an elite player in the NBA today.
Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose are two such players.
Whether it's Blake Griffin embarassing opponents with his superhuman vertical leaps to throw down earthquaking dunks or Derrick Rose making a fool of someone for guarding him too closely with his speed, agility, and crafty dribbling maneuvers...
It's easy to see that these two players are special.
The most obvious thing that makes them special are the god-given abilities they have as athletes.
But something less visible and arguably more important is the real cause for their status among the NBA's best at such a young age.
Vinny Del Negro, the current coach of the Los Angeles Clippers and past coach of the Chicago Bulls, has a unique perspective.
Having coached Derrick Rose in his first two seasons and coached Griffin in his would be rookie season and the current one, he had this to say.
"What's similar is they're great guys and they work," Del Negro said. "As a coach, when you have those two components, it makes your job that much easier. Like I said when I was here with Derrick, he's setting off the alarm at the Berto Center to get in there and shoot. Same work ethic with Blake."
Having been the head coach and monitored progress and development for both players, Del Negro's opinion shouldn't be taken lightly.
Early mornings and late nights in the gym are what set these players apart from the rest of their fellow draft classmates.
A humble, receptive attitude, above average work ethic, and not just relying on being faster or jumping higher than their opponents are the traits that make them truly special and have allowed them to polish their skills.
Now they shine brighter than their peers and have vaulted themselves into the conversation with much more established NBA stars.
The first place one usually looks when comparing two different players is the stat sheet.
Stats can give you a ton of information, but they can also be misleading, depending on the way they are interpreted.
A player's season averages can tell you alot about that player's game but they are certainly not the final word on who is better currently or has the higher ceiling.
Also, there are inherent problems when comparing the stats of a point guard to a power forward. A point guard should obviously have more assists while the forward should dominate in rebounding.
The point guard should have a better 3PT% as they are more inclined to put up good shots from the perimeter while the forward should have a higher overall FG% as they tend to operate closer to the basket.
The offense and defense a team uses and the philosophy of the coach also will have a major impact on any given player's box scores.
But we can't simply ignore the stats altogether either, so here they are.
Both are playing outstanding basketball for their respective positions...but who's doing better?
Derrick Rose has already won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in the 2008-2009 season.
He stood head and shoulders above his peers as a rookie and was rewarded for it.
He has also taken his Chicago Bulls to the playoffs in back to back years and has just garnered his second selection to the NBA All-Star team, this year as a starter.
And with all due respect to the talent of Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins, Evan Turner, and surprise talent Landry Fields, I think it's more than fair to say that Griffin has already unanimously won this season's Rookie of the Year award with his transcendent abilities.
He may also get his first NBA All-Star nod this year as well if the coaches are willing to overlook his team's horrible 1-13 start.
But who will be more successful in the future? Derrick Rose is in his third year and has already been able to insert himself in league MVP talks.
Matching a feat like that will not be easy, but if anyone is up to the challenge, it's Blake Griffin.
He has the Clippers winning basketball games and it may not be too much of a reach for him to be in league MVP conversations himself in the next few years.
Both of the players are phenoms who have proven themselves to be franchise players in the small amount of time that they have been in the league. But who has more potential?
Rose is currently one of the best players at attacking the basket off the dribble. He has the ability to take an ungodly amount of punishment on his way to the hoop while maintaining balance and control, enabling him to finish shots through opponents that would be impossible for all but the greatest players in the NBA today.
Rose showed his ability to get better this summer by adding range to his jump shot.
Now able to pull up from three, it's not possible to just back off of him and hope he doesn't blow by you anymore. To do such is to commit basketball suicide.
Griffin is a hard working, never say die super-athlete who uses his explosiveness and leaping ability to finish over opponents.
Girffin has shown his ability to improve even in the short time he's been in the NBA. One look at his stats from month to month as he's grown accustomed to the NBA is all you need to prove that his ceiling is very, very high.
It is hard to compare the two as they both play different positions and different styles of play.
But one thing is for certain.
Both of these players have unbounded potential.
So we've been through some of the things that will make these two basketball players the most exciting players in the league for years to come.
They are both on young and exciting teams with tons of potential.
They both fill up the stat sheets with eye popping numbers that have to be seen to be believed.
Anyone worried about the future of the league when the Kobe's, Duncan's, Garnett's, and Shaq's of the league retire needn't worry anymore. The NBA is in great hands.
But who comes out on top for now and in the future?
Derrick Rose or Blake Griffin . . . ?
That is for you to decide in the comments below. Let the debate begin!