NBA's "True" Superstars and "So Called" Superstars

Marcel SmithSenior Analyst INovember 15, 2008

The following is a list of who truly are superstars in the NBA and who are considered to be superstars, but in reality aren't.

"True" Superstars:

Kobe Bryant: Kobe is the best player in the NBA, as he is dominant at both ends of the floor. He is without a doubt the most feared player in the league today. He has no weakness, as he is flawless offensively, one of the best perimeter defenders ever and one of the most clutch players of all time.

LeBron James: LeBron is the most athletically gifted player ever, as he is too strong, quick, and skilled for anyone to guard one on one. He is not just a great scorer, as he is also a fantastic rebounder and passer.

Tim Duncan: Duncan is just a winner. He is a dominant low post player, one of the best rebounders and one of the best interior defenders. He is also a great passer and most importantly a fantastic leader and teammate.

Deron Williams: Williams has proven in three short years that he is already a superstar, as he is one of the very few players who can score 20 and get 10 assists. He is also one of the best leaders in the game, a solid defensive player and one of the best playoff performers, as he has already led the Jazz to the West Finals.

Chris Paul: Paul is right up there with Williams as the two best point guards in the league. He is an exceptional scorer, passer, and rebounder, as well as a solid defensive player. Finally, he proved last year he could dominate in the playoffs.

Dwyane Wade: Wade is probably the best at getting and finishing at the rim in the league besides LeBron. He is also a very good passer, rebounder, and solid defensive player. Finally, he's one of the most clutch players.

Paul Pierce: Pierce has always been a great offensive player, but last year he proved he is also a good defensive player and one of the most clutch players. He led the Celtics to a championship with great performances in game 7 vs. the Cavaliers and in the Finals.

"So-Called" Superstars:

Kevin Garnett: This one may shock you, but KG isn't a superstar to me. While he has no weakness in terms of skill as he is great offensively, a very good rebounder, passer, and defender, he is not a winner or a clutch player. In his career with the Timberwolves, they only made it past the first round once, and the only reason the Celtics won it all was because of Pierce's great play in the clutch. In last year's finals, he shot a mere 42.8 percent from the field and never stepped up during clutch moments, as he settled for way too many jumpshots.

Allen Iverson: AI has consistently been one of the best offensive players during his career, but he isn't a great team player. He also is a below average defensive player and hasn't proven that he can make other players around him better, the most important trait of a superstar.

Dwight Howard: Dwight is beast in the middle at both ends of the floor, but he still isn't skilled enough to be a superstar. He still hasn't proven he can lead a team deep into the playoffs and is average at making his teammates better. He is a poor passer and decision maker, as he is at the top of the turnover leaders.

Carmelo Anthony: Carmelo is just a good scorer, and that is all he will ever be. He is a bad passer, decision maker, and defender. He is also a very bad playoff performer, as he has a career 4-20 record and hasn't led his team past the first round.

Amare Stoudemire: Amare is a great fantasy player, but not a superstar in the NBA. He is a fantastic scorer, but he is helped a lot by the offense he plays in and with Nash's great passing. He is an average rebounder for his size, a bad defender and doesn't make his teammates better, as he is a below average passer.

Steve Nash: Nash has been one of the league's best passers over the last few years, but that is all he is. He is an average scorer, one of the worst defensive players in the history of the league, and is a huge beneficiary of a great supporting cast and an extremely up-tempo offense.

Chris Bosh: Bosh is a fantastic offensive player and rebounder. He is also a solid passer, but he hasn't proven he can lead a team deep into the postseason. He is also an average defensive player who has trouble defending bigger and more physical big men inside.

Dirk Nowitzki: Dirk has an MVP award, but isn't a superstar, as he isn't tough enough physically or mentally. He is a great scorer and solid passer, but he is a soft player defensively and a weak rebounder. Finally, he has proven he can't lead a talented team all the way.

Vince Carter: Carter could have been a superstar, but he never had the desire and will to become one. Physically, there haven't been many as gifted, as he is one of the most athletic. He has always been a great offensive player, but has also proven he can't be the man of the contending team or a great defender.

Tracy McGrady: T Mac has always been able to put the ball in the basket a lot, but that is all he has been able to do. He is a bad defensive player, an average passer and has showed he can't lead a team even past the first round of the playoffs because he isn't mentally strong enough to execute when it matters most.


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