NBA Best of 2010: The Top 25 Accomplishments Of The Year
The NBA is finally beginning to gain the popularity it enjoyed during the 1990s when Michael Jordan was the king of basketball.
The league is currently filled with a multitude of thrilling superstars, and many title contending teams bringing excitement to their fan bases.
2010 has seen many marvelous stories and accomplishments, and records have been broken, and hall of fame careers made.
The summer was a media circus that had the entire country paying attention to the NBA, even people who typically don't follow basketball.
After the free agent frenzy of July, fans and experts predicted the 2010-11 season could be the most exciting year in a very long time. So far into the new season, the NBA has enjoyed a remarkable year as it nears about one third completion.
Let's review the 25 best accomplishments of 2010, a year the NBA will never forget.
Author's Note: This slideshow will use the calendar year 2010, including January through the NBA Finals of the 2009-10 season, and from October 26 through December 24 of the current 2010-11 season.
Kevin Durant Becomes Youngest NBA Scoring Champion Ever
During the 2009-10 season, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant became an elite player. Throughout the season he gained constant praise for his improved play in all areas.
Durant became a lethal scorer last season, showing he could score from the outside, inside the paint, and shooting around 90 percent from the free throw line.
Durant won the 2010 scoring title with an average of 30.1 points per game, just beating out then Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James.
While Durant has not scored as much this season as last, he is still one of the most dynamic scorers in the NBA.
Los Angeles Lakers Win Back-To-Back Titles
The Los Angeles Lakers are on of the most successful sports franchises, and the 2010 season saw them add to their already impressive list of accomplishments.
The Lakers won the 2010 NBA Finals by defeating the rival Boston Celtics in a seven game series, giving the franchise its sixteenth NBA title.
The Lakers now have an opportunity to do what few teams have ever done, win three championships in a row.
Pat Riley Forms Super Trio Of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh in Miami
Pat Riley's task in assembling the current Miami Heat roster was extremely difficult, and after over a year of careful, smart planning he was able to sign three superstars to one team, all of whom are in their primes.
Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh have formed a super trio in South Beach, and likely have titles in their future.
Riley has once again shown he is not only a hall of fame NBA coach, but a hall of fame caliber executive.
Riley had to manage multiple trades, maximum contracts, and constant media speculation when creating the Heat roster, not to mention he had to do so within the limits of the salary cap.
With all the attention being given to the Miami Heat this season, not enough credit has been given to the architect of it all, Pat Riley.
Celtics on 14-Game Winning Streak (as Of Dec. 24)
The best teams find ways to win games even when they play badly, and the Celtics are examples of that this season.
Faced with a barrage of injuries to key players, Celtics coach Doc Rivers has managed his lineup amazingly, and has the Celtics on their current 14-game winning streak.
The MVP of the Celtics, point guard Rajon Rondo, has missed several games this season, and is likely to miss a few more weeks. In his absence, Nate Robinson has filled in tremendously, and captain Paul Pierce has proved he is a premier all around player.
George Karl Wins His 1,000th Game As Coach
George Karl entered the NBA as a coach in 1984, at the young age of 33. Twenty six years later, he has become the seventh NBA coach in league history to win 1,000 games.
After some coaching jobs in the 1980s, Karl left the NBA to coach in the CBA, and in Spain, before returning to the NBA in the 1990s as the coach of the Seattle Supersonics and Milwaukee Bucks.
Karl is a passionate, and fiery coach, who has earned the respect of every player and fellow coach he's met.
Karl's biggest battle has been his cancer fight he has endured over the last year, and being able to coach at an elite level amidst all his personal struggles exemplifies the amazing coach he is.
2010 NBA All Star Game Earns Dallas Attendance Milestone
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones let the NBA use his new Cowboys Stadium as the host of the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, and the fans filled his new sports palace to a record capacity.
The official attendance for the game was 108,713, and is the all time record for the sport of basketball among every league in the world.
The NBA did a marvelous job using the arena, and the capacity of the stadium allowed many more fans to see their favorite players play than in any previous basketball game.
Lebron James Wins 2nd NBA MVP Award
Lebron James won his second consecutive NBA MVP award in 2010, after he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the best record in the NBA.
Lebron simply was the Cavaliers on the court, leading the team in scoring, and playing nearly every imaginable role.
James played point guard at times, played exceptional defense, and rebounded very well. He is a premier player who excels in nearly every phase of the game.
The award was well deserved, but he wasn't able to translate his regular season success into the postseason, as the Cavaliers lost to the Boston Celtics in the eastern semifinals in six games.
Kobe Bryant Wins 5th NBA Title
Kobe Bryant has been compared with Michael Jordan his entire career, and now NBA fans can have a real discussion about comparing the two.
In 2010, Bryant won his fifth NBA championship by defeating the Boston Celtics in seven games.
Kobe won his second NBA Finals MVP too, and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players ever.
Bryant has always been a great offensive player, but his continued defensive prowess is a tribute to his consistent play.
Ray Allen Sets NBA Finals Record For Three Pointers Made in a Single Game
In game two of the NBA Finals, Ray Allen set an NBA Finals record with eight three pointers made in a single game.
Allen is one of the best pure shooters in league history, and will break Reggie Miller's all time threes made in a career record this season.
Ray Allen is an excellent Finals performer, and this Game Two performance was a historic display of how to shoot a basketball.
Dwight Howard Wins Second Defensive Player of The Year
Dwight Howard won his second defensive player of the year award in 2010, after winning the award the previous year too.
Howard is one of the most athletically gifted players in the NBA, and is a rebound and block machine. There is little doubt he'll win at least three more of these awards by the time he retires.
Kevin Love Has First 30-30 Game in 28 Years
This season Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love became the first player in 28 years to have a 30-30 game, where a player records 30 in two stat categories.
Love scored 31 points and grabbed 31 rebounds in an early season game vs. the New York Knicks, showing the talent the Timberwolves saw in him when they acquired him on draft day in 2008.
Paul Pierce Scores 20,000 Career Points
On Nov. 3 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, Paul Pierce became the third Celtics player to score 20,000 career points while playing every game as a Celitc.
Pierce is the third highest scoring Celtics player in history, and will likely pass number two Larry Bird this season or early next year.
Paul Pierce is a model of consistency, a hall of famer, and a proven scorer at the NBA level.
Scott Brooks Wins Coach Of The Year
Scott Brooks won the 2010 NBA coach of the year award for his efforts in guiding the young Oklahoma City Thunder to a playoff berth, and a 50-win season.
Brooks was instrumental in the rapid improvement of superstar Kevin Durant and superstar to be Russell Westbrook.
The Thunder played the Lakers very competitively in the first round of the western playoffs, before losing the series in the sixth game on a last second tip-in by Lakers forward Pau Gasol.
Ron Artest Beats Phoenix in The Last Second, Helps Lakers Win 16th Title
Ron Artest became a NBA champion in 2010, after helping the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA Finals over the Boston Celtics.
Artest had a spectacular game seven of the Finals, outplaying teammate Kobe Bryant.
Artest helped the Lakers get to the NBA Finals with a stunning last second follow up of a Kobe Bryant air ball in game five of the Western Conference Finals vs. Phoenix, helping the Lakers go up 3-2 in the series, which they would win in the next game at Phoenix.
NBA Makes Team USA FIBA Gold Medalists
Kevin Durant and a number of other NBA stars helped Team USA win the 2010 FIBA World Championships this summer, and it was the first gold medal for the United States in this event since 1994.
Durant was the tournament MVP, leading Team USA in scoring.
Spurs Dominate Early 2011 Season
What Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs have done this season is extraordinary. They have the best record in the NBA (25-4 as of Dec. 24, 2010), and were not among the title winners among experts predictions prior to the season.
Tim Duncan leads the all underrated team, a squad that boasts amazing players like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and George Hill, all of whom get little respect for their outstanding play.
The Spurs are once again a legit title team, and may derail the Lakers in the west this season.
Shaq Is Still a Force at Age 38
Shaquille O'Neal has embraced the city of Boston, and his teammates and fans have embraced him back.
Shaq has been amazing for the Celtics this season, in a year when they have been decimated by injuries at the center position.
With Kendrick Perkins and Jermaine O'Neal missing significant time, O'Neal has been a quality rebounder and scorer for the minutes he plays.
At age 38, Shaq still plays a ta high level.
Kobe Bryant Reaches 26,000 Career Points Scored
Kobe Bryant is the youngest player ever to score 26,000 career points.
He recently passed John Havlicek for number eleven all time, and could reach the top five if he's healthy for the rest of the season.
Kobe Bryant's consistency is remarkable when you consider the number of years he's played, along with several seasons of playoff games worth as well.
Utah Jazz Accomplish Historic Comebacks
Starting in early November of the current season, the Utah Jazz pulled of two amazing comebacks.
They overcame a 19 point second half deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, then won their next four games by winning from behind.
Two of those great comebacks were against the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, two of the better teams in the NBA,
Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton Have The Knicks a Threat Again
The New York Knicks are a good team again, something the NBA needs. New York City is once again buzzing over their Knicks, and Madison Square Garden is filled with excitement every night.
Two reasons for the excitement at MSG are two Knicks newcomers this season, all star forward Amare Stoudemire and point guard Raymond Felton.
Stoudemire and Felton have formed a great duo in New York, and both are legitimate MVP candidates. The Knicks could make second round of the playoffs this season, which would be a great accomplishment for a team used to losing for years.
Rajon Rondo Breaks Celtics Single Season Assist Record
Rajon Rondo is an elite NBA player, and possibly the best point guard in the NBA.
During the 2010 season, Rondo broke the Celtics franchise record for assists in a season, which was previously held by NBA legend Bob Cousy, who held the record for about 50 years.
Rondo's 715th assist of the 2009-10 season was the record breaker for a player who will re-write the Celtics passing records.
John Wall Records Historic Triple Double
In just his sixth career NBA game, the first pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, John Wall, played his way into the record books.
Against the Houston Rockets, Wall scored 19 points, grabbed 10 boards and made 13 assists.
He became the third youngest player to ever record a triple double (Lebron James, Lamar Odom).
Phil Jackson Wins 11th NBA Title
With Los Angeles Lakers' 2010 NBA Finals triumph over the Boston Celtics, Phil Jackson added to his record for most championships won by an NBA head coach, his 11th.
He is now two titles ahead of the greatest basketball coach ever, Celtics legendary coach Red Auerbach.
Jackson could win his third three-peat of his career this season, something no other coach has ever done.
Kobe Bryant Makes Another All-Defensive First Team
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are regarded as two of the greatest scorers ever, but their defensive abilities are almost as amazing.
Bryant made another all-NBA defensive first team appearance for his play during the 2010 NBA season, his tenth overall selection.
It's quite an accomplishment, and defense continues to be an overlooked part of his game, but is equally as important.
Don Nelson Breaks All Time Coaching Wins Record
Don Nelson became the NBA's all time leader in wins by a head coach during the 2010 season, passing Lenny Wilkens with his 1,334th win.
Nelson has yet to be called to the Hall of Fame, and has even stated he doesn't feel worthy of the honor. But as the all time leader in coaching wins, you have to be in the hall of fame.
He has not won an NBA title as a head coach, but won several as a player for the Boston Celtics. He also has his number retired by Boston.
With Nelson's historic coaching career, and very good playing career, his call to the hall better come soon.
It's Been a Great Year
2010 was a remarkable for the NBA, and 2011 will be even better. Excitement for basketball is as high as its been in a long time, and fans are flocking to each game in each city.
From the All Star Game in Dallas back in February, the NBA Finals showdown between the Lakers and Celtics in June, the summer free agent frenzy, and the great start to the 2011 season, the NBA was filled with great accomplishments.
They say the NBA is, "Where Amazing Happens." 2010 was an example of that.