Ranking the NBA's 15 Most Charismatic Players

Eric He@@erichesportsContributor IIFebruary 24, 2012

Ranking the NBA's 15 Most Charismatic Players

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    Charisma: It is a trait that most of us can only dream of having.

    According to the Encarta World Dictionary, charisma is properly defined as "the ability to inspire enthusiasm, interest or affection in others by means of personal charm or influence."

    Any NBA player, from a superstar to a benchwarmer, has charisma. They are our role models, the players that we watch and cheer for.

    However, there are a few players that stand out.

    These are the ones who stand out, who are more popular and are envied by their colleagues (think back to your high school days for a connection). Throngs of media and fans follow them on and off the court, hoping for an interview or an autograph. Every move they make is scrutinized to the finest detail, and one wrong move puts them in the national spotlight.

    They are also the most charming and attention-grabbing. We as fans want to follow them, whether we like them or not.

    These are the most charismatic players in the NBA today. Read on...

15. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

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    One of the up-and-coming point guards in the NBA, Golden State's Stephen Curry has established himself as a regular contributor to his team.

    Curry's demeanor on and off the court defines him as "charismatic".

    On the court, he has averaged 18.5 points and about six assists per game. He led the NBA in free-throw shooting percentage in the 2010-2011 season.

    Off the court, he was the recipient of the NBA Sportsmanship Award last season for exemplifying "ethical behavior, fair play, and integrity."

    Curry has something that can't be taught. He simply has a kind of "swagger" on and off the court that draws fans and attention to him.

14. Derek Fisher, Los Angeles Lakers

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    There is no doubt that Los Angeles Lakers' guard Derek Fisher is one of the true warriors and leaders of the game.

    In fact, he is the leader of the NB's players' union, and helped negotiate the deal with the owners that ended the tortuous lockout last year.

    Although he is not the most charismatic player on the Lakers (more on that later), he definitely makes his presence felt, as seen in the above video.

    He is perhaps most well known for his buzzer beater with 0.4 seconds on the clock to defeat the Spurs in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference semifinals, which will go down as one of the most famous shots in NBA history.

    Fisher is a true leader of the game—his qualities are a rarity, and his charisma is plenty.

13. Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks

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    If Derek Fisher is a true veteran, Jason Terry is a true warrior.

    He also takes gutsy and perhaps idiotic risks, such as tattooing a picture of the Larry O'Brien Trophy to his arm before the season.

    Luckily, his Dallas Mavericks did win the championship last season, and he was one of the key factors in their spirited comeback from a 2-0 deficit, winning four straight games and defeating the Miami Heat.

    Now, Terry will never be a superstar, but he simply has a knack of being in the right spot at the right time. When his team needs a clutch shot, the ball seems to find him every time. He is fearless, and not afraid to take the big shots.

    This type of attitude attracts fans and supporters from all over, not to mention his charming demeanor.

    Of course, there are other reasons for is many admirers, just look at his biceps!

    Which is why he ranks as one of the most charismatic players in the league. He is one tough, gutsy and lucky guy—just imagine what would have happened if the Mavericks did not win the championship?

12. Chris Anderson (a.k.a Birdman), Denver Nuggets

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    Chris Anderson, or "Birdman", as they call him, is perhaps better known for his hair and tattoos than his basketball skills (or lack thereof).

    But he provides stellar energy, and is a fan-favorite in the NBA.

    Charisma just comes along with the territory if you have a mohawk to go along with a ridiculous amount of unique and colorful tattoos. Not to mention his flair and passion that he shows on the basketball court.

    Just look at his reaction after his shot goes in (video is above).

11. Brian Scalabrine, Chicago Bulls

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    Now, an NBA benchwarmer would not rank among the most charismatic players in the league—unless it's Brian Scalabrine.

    Wherever he goes he is a fan favorite, mostly because his main job is to warm the bench. But, on the off-chance that he gets some playing time, "MVP" chants can be heard, even from opposing crowds.

    He is so popular around the league that he is nicknamed, "The White Mamba". Whether he outplays his counterpart, Kobe Bryant, is another question.

    It is definitely safe to say that charisma will follow Scalabrine around wherever he goes.

10. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

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    Carmelo, charisma.

    Those words seem to go well together, so it's fitting that Carmelo Anthony is one of the most charismatic players around.

    Part of the reason is that he plays in New York City, the country's biggest media market. Or perhaps it is because of his "superstar" status.

    But it is mostly because he requested a trade from the Denver Nuggets, and ended up in New York. Whenever a new player comes to Madison Square Garden, especially a player of Anthony's stature, he's bound to have media and fans all over him, scrutinizing his every move.

9. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    It is definitely an arguable opinion that Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA—so charisma just comes with the territory.

    But add in the way he acts on top of his skill level, and that makes him one of the most charismatic in the league.

    Watch the video above. During the NBA lockout, Durant played in an exhibition game in New York City, and he was unstoppable.

    He made three pointer after three pointer, stunning the crowd, and prompting unnecessary "I am the best" quotes from the announcer. But notice his reaction as the fans storm the court following his 66th point of the night.

    He doesn't even break a smile as he is mobbed by fans wanting to just touch this basketball legend.

    Durant is incredibly humble, almost embarrassed that he is so good. It is this reason that attracts his many fans and supporters.

8. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Chris Paul is the definition of "charming". His smile, attitude and character have earned him the adoration of fans across the league.

    Not to mention that he is the best point guard in the NBA.

    He has earned himself even more "charisma" by being traded to the L.A. Clippers, where the media throng is always alive and harsh.

    Paul should get a good number of assists playing with the next player on this list.

7. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

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    May I present to you, Chris Paul's teammate, and the second half of "Lob City," Blake Griffin.

    Perhaps the most emphatic and dynamic "dunker" in NBA history, and he is only in his second year. Griffin won the NBA Slam Dunk Competition last season by jumping over a car, earning himself instant popularity and charisma.

    It doesn't get any better for opponents as he now has Chris Paul on his team to toss him lob after lob after lob.

6. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

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    The above video is perhaps the most creative and greatest performance in NBA Dunk Contest history.

    Dwight Howard, a.k.a. Superman, earned himself instant charisma when he entered the NBA as a No. 1 draft pick.

    Add in a dunk contest win, monster dunks in games and a pending trade request and you have one of the most charismatic players in the league.

    Howard has repeatedly requested a trade out of Orlando, but has yet to have his demands met. It is safe to say that wherever he ends up, so will throngs of media and fans.

5. Kris Humphries, New Jersey Nets

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    Kris Humphries is charismatic for the wrong reason. His real job is a power forward for the NBA's New Jersey Nets.

    His former job: reality TV star, with his wife of 72 days, Kim Kardashian.

    Anybody who marries a Kardashian earns himself instant hate, but Humphries made it worse by filing for divorce just 72 days later.

    He is the perfect example of being popular for the wrong reasons.

4. Metta World Peace, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Anybody who changes their name to Metta World Peace acquires instant charisma.

    Add the fact that he is an NBA player who was suspended for fighting with fans, and his random answers to questions (see video), and he becomes an instant "Mr. Popularity for the wrong reasons."

    Formerly Ron Artest, World Peace was once one of the NBA's top players. Now, he's averaging four points a game with the Los Angeles Lakers, and is better known for his charisma off the court than his skill on the court (or lack thereof).

3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

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    This is a no-brainer, so I'll keep it short.

    "The Black Mamba," or Kobe Bryant, is an NBA legend. 81 points in a game, perennial all-star, five-time NBA champion—what else is left?

    His production in the NBA is phenomenal, and he may just contend to be the second coming of the great Michael Jordan.

2. LeBron James, Miami Heat

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    LeBron James is perhaps the most hated player in the NBA, due to his decision to leave Cleveland and take his talents to the Miami Heat. Even worse, his decision was televised in a highly controversial ESPN telecast.

    There is no doubt that he is one of the best players in the NBA, but his reputation will forever be tarnished by the way he left Cleveland.

    There is no need to explain how all this leads up to him being the second most charismatic player in the NBA.

1. Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks

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    There is no player in with more charisma the NBA right now than Jeremy Lin, the sensational point guard for the New York Knicks who came out of nowhere.

    Cut by two teams, Lin burst onto the scene at Madison Square Garden, averaging around 20 points a game since starting for the Knicks.

    Keep in mind that he is Asian, and is a graduate from Harvard.

    The media and fans have been all over him, calling it "Linsanity."

    And that's a wrap—Jeremy Lin, the most charismatic player in the NBA.

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