Every team has one player that has stepped up and became the face of the franchise.
Some players have become the face of a franchise because of sheer skill and game statistics, while others have gotten there from reality television shows and others have made a name for themselves with off-the-court issues.
Let's take a look at the star players that head their respective franchises, and see how they got there.
When you think Atlanta, you think Joe Johnson. He will be back for his seventh season this year and has been putting solid stats up during his time there. He is slowly starting to deteriorate, but for now he is the leader and playmaker of the squad.
I wouldn't be surprised if one of the notables takes this team from him in the near future, though.
Notables: Josh Smith, Al Horford
Paul Pierce has always been a Celtic. He was drafted by Boston and never left.
He is a faithful to his loyal fans and his strong career stats have made it easy to root for him. However, he's getting old, like the rest of the Celtics, and Rajon Rondo is poised to take over this franchise any time now.
But at this moment, when you talk about the Celtics, you have to mention Pierce and what he means to the team.
Notables: Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett
Gerald Wallace was the face of this franchise for many years before the trade with Portland last year that left the Bobcats searching for their identity. D.J Augustin stepped up and became a very good scoring point guard for the team.
Right now he runs the team, but if a rookie like Kemba Walker can show good poise when the season rolls around, he might be in a dog fight for fan favorite.
Notables: Kemba Walker, Corey Maggette
With his sneaky quickness and high-flying dunks, Derrick Rose has become a fan favorite in Chicago, as well as over the rest of the country. He runs this Bulls squad and won MVP honors last year.
Look for Rose to be the face of this franchise for many more years to come.
His Adidas commercials don't hurt either.
Notables: Luol Deng, Joakim Noah
Antawn Jamison is getting old. He doesn't have as many good years left, but he had to do most of the scoring for a pathetic Cleveland team last year. But for being so pathetic, they acquired Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson in the draft.
Look for Kyrie Irving to win Rookie of the Year and make this team more competitive. Right now, Jamison is the playmaker and leader in the post-LeBron era.
Notables: Kyrie Irving, Baron Davis
Dirk Nowitzki brought the trophy home to Dallas and Mark Cuban. He tore up the playoffs and outplayed LeBron every game of the NBA Finals. Everybody in Dallas loves him, which is why he is pictured above throwing out the first pitch for the future World Series champions.
This is his team and everybody knows it.
Notables: Jason Terry
J.R. Smith could not wait to take over this team after Carmelo Anthony finally got his trade wishes. Smith took over the scoring role as best he could to lead this team.
Right now, he is the first person you associate with the team, but he should have some strong competition from a young, talented team.
Notables: Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo
"The Masked Bandit" has been running this team and selling tickets since they were championship contenders. Chauncey Billups and Hamilton made a good one-two, but ever since he started wearing that mask to protect his fragile face, Rip has been the man.
He has been trade bait for a few years now and might lose the franchise in favor of a new face, but it won't be an aging Ben Wallace or Tayshaun Prince.
Notables: Rodney Stuckey, Brandon Knight
The Warriors have been somewhat of a two-man show the last few years between Ellis and Stephen Curry. David Lee was acquired in the offseason last year and helped to shore-up this unit.
However, Ellis still puts up big numbers on a daily basis, and for that, the fans in San Francisco love him. He's young and not going anywhere, so look for him to continue to be the franchise player.
Notables: Stephen Curry, David Lee
The Houston Rockets are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and with Kevin Martin at 28 years old, he is a veteran. That's a little young to be considered a veteran, but his team is really that young.
He is the crunch-time scorer and should continue to pilot this team for a few more years. With the wealth of young talent, this team could be a real contender in the near future behind the poised leadership of Martin.
Notables: Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry
Danny Granger scores the points. Granger got this team to the playoffs again. Granger is the best player on this team.
What else do you have to do to become the face of the franchise in Indiana?
He's simply done everything he needs to do to lead this team for years to come and continue to be the face of the franchise.
Notables: Darren Collison
Blake Griffin is a superstar. After making his fans wait an extra year, Griffin came into the NBA and put on a show. He won Rookie of the Year, the Slam Dunk Contest and made the Clippers competitive.
He's no joke, and his dunks will only get bigger.
Spending time on talk shows and dressing in fancy suits doesn't hurt his celebrity status either.
Griffin will be the face of this franchise over the next decade.
Notables: Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman
Did I even have to tell you who the face of the Lakers is? People who don't watch sports know Kobe, he is just one of those figures. He wins championships, scores 81 points in a game and got caught up in a rape scandal.
Everybody has heard of Kobe Bryant, and with good reason. He is one of the game's greatest players. Look for him to be the face of the Lakers through at least one or two more decent championship runs.
Notables: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom
Rudy Gay is a great basketball player. He and Zach Randolph would have made a great run together in the playoffs for this good Memphis team.
They can contend in the West and right now, Gay is the face of the squad. But with Randolph getting a contract extension and tearing up the playoffs, he could take the reigns of the franchise. History shows Randolph has off-court issues though, and that should keep fans from making Randolph their favorite player.
Notables: Zach Randolph
No, it's not LeBron James.
Wade is the clutch performer. He has been tearing up South Beach for years and won a title with Shaq backing him up. He is still the face of that franchise, even with James starting next to him.
He has to be careful though, LeBron will figure out how to show up in the fourth quarter and he could take this team from right under Wade's feet.
Notables: LeBron James, "The Big Three"
Brandon Jennings is only 22 years old, yet he is exploding onto the scene and becoming a phenomenal basketball player. He has the skills to be a great player for a long time. Jennings is scoring the points for the Bucks and selling jerseys in Milwaukee.
By giving the fans hope again, he will be the face of this franchise for many more years.
Notables: Stephen Jackson, Michael Redd
Edit: Andrew Bogut deserves to be a notable
Kevin Love pulls down rebounds like it's nobody's business. He also averaged 20 PPG and 15 RPG last year.
This 2011 All-Star gives this team hope next year with a very talented rookie, Derrick Williams, coming in to add good defense and stellar late-game scoring.
This team will have a new identity this year, but Love will still be pulling down rebounds for the fans' enjoyment for many more years to come. That's why he is the face of Minnesota.
Notables: Michael Beasley, Derrick Williams
Deron Williams might not play in the NBA this year, even if there is a season. Knowing this and seeing Kris Humphries all over television made me want to say Humphries was the face of their franchise—but he really isn't when Williams is on the court.
Williams joined the team last year and continues to be one of the best point guards in the game. All the hype surrounding his move to New Jersey made him the franchise player immediately.
If Williams doesn't play this year, look for the soon-to-be Kim Kardashian divorcee to be the face of the Nets.
Notables: Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez
Chris Paul is arguably the best all-around point guard in the NBA. CP3 sells himself and his on-court abilities make him New Orleans' star.
Yeah, there is a good chance they lose him once the season starts, but right now, he is the face of the Hornets.
If he leaves the Hornets, David West takes over the team.
Notables: David West
Amare Stoudemire has been on this team about a half-season longer than Carmelo Anthony. This is the reason Stoudemire gets the nod. He was running the team before 'Melo arrived and will continue to be the face of the franchise because Anthony slacks on defense.
The sweet safety glasses don't hurt his reputation either.
Notables: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups
Kevin Durant can score from anywhere on the floor—and he scores a lot. Durant wins scoring titles and he plays with a lot of energy.
Ever since he was drafted second overall by the Seattle SuperSonics, Durant has never looked back and gets better every year. He will win a title with Oklahoma in his future.
Notables: Russell Westbrook
Dwight Howard is the best defensive player in the NBA. Superman No. 2 (Shaq is No. 1) has been tearing up offenses. Howard is faithful to his fans and will not say he is leaving. I'm guessing he wants to stay and win with the Magic.
Howard has been the face of the Magic since he arrived and right now, nobody has the ability to take away his team.
Notables: Hedo Turkoglu, Gilbert Arenas
The Sixers have a new AI, and that's Andre Iguodala.
He was a better player last year than his 14.1 points a game show. He was clutch all year long and made himself the face of the Sixers. If you watched highlights of the Sixers on ESPN, you saw Iguodala, and that's how he got to be where he is.
Elton Brand was solid again last year, but Iguodala has taken over.
Notables: Elton Brand
Another easy one. The Canadian does not know how to miss a free throw and knows exactly how to play his role. If he needs to score, then he scores. If he needs to hit his open player under the hoop, he does just that.
For being so great over his career in Phoenix, he has easily become the face of their franchise.
Notables: Channing Frye, Aaron Brooks
Brandon Roy took over a Blazers team in Portland that was hard to root for. He was drafted and immediately had an impact that put the "Jail-Blazers" era in the past.
He won Rookie of the Year and honored Portland in the All-Star game. Unfortunately, knee problems have plagued Roy and hampered the career of what might have been the best Trail Blazer in history.
Roy is turning into a role player, but he won't go down without a fight, proving Portland still needs him to win playoff games. LaMarcus Aldridge is poised to be the new leader of the franchise soon.
Notables: LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden
Tyreke Evans was the lone bright spot for a city fighting to keep its team. He put up solid numbers and is the fan favorite right now. He is about to get some competition from some rookies and young teammates, but I believe he will remain the leader of the Kings.
Notables: DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmer Fredette
Tim Duncan has been around banking in shots forever. He still makes All-Star games, and will be the face of San Antonio until he retires. Duncan is a favorite all around the country, and with the rest of his team aging, I find it hard someone will supplant him before he gets out of the league.
Manu Ginobili is a close second, as he continues to be a clutch scorer in his career.
Notables: Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker
DeMar DeRozan is a USC product and the best player on the Raptors. He fills the scoring void left by Chris Bosh, and is making a name for himself by participating in the dunk contest.
DeRozan is good and will continue to improve. By taking over for Chris Bosh, DeRozan has become the face of the young Raptors squad.
Notables: Leandro Barbosa
Al Jefferson took over for Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams when they left. I don't think it will last too long if Enes Kanter can live up to his expectations, but you just never know how well a rookie will play in his first year.
Jefferson will run this team for a few more years before losing the franchise to a free-agent pickup, or Kanter, in the future.
Notables: Enes Kanter
John Wall was easily the second-best rookie behind Griffin last year and put up great numbers. He was a highly anticipated draft product and should continue to develop into an elite point guard in the NBA.
Ever since he was drafted, he has been the face of the Wizards. Barring trade or injury, he will be the franchise player over the next decade.
Notables: Rashard Lewis