Friday, May 20, 2011

Today's Superstars

I'm watching "The Best of Mike & Mike in the Morning" right now (for my money, M&M is the best show ESPN currently airs), which is actually "Mike & Jalen Rose" today because Golic is out for some reason. Anyway, they're discussing what an NBA "superstar" is, how many there there are in today's league, and who they are. Before they gave their answers, I paused the show and wanted to come up with my own list. Here's who I've got, in no particular order:

1. Derrick Rose
2. Dwyane Wade
3. LeBron James
4. Dwight Howard
5. Kevin Durant
6. Kobe Bryant
7. Dirk Nowitzki
8. Chris Paul

How did I come up with those names? I looked at the list of teams, thought about the players that came to mind, and said "if I have to debate with myself about whether to include them or not, then they don't belong on that list." I did go back and forth just a bit on Chris Paul, but decided that was only because he was hurt, and if he plays next year like he played this year's playoffs, then there's no doubt about it. Here's the list of guys I thought about and ultimately decided "star, but not SUPERstar." (Note: some of these guys were superstars, and some of them will be, but this is just the NBA's superstars right now.)

1. Paul Pierce
2. Kevin Garnett (without a doubt he was a superstar, I just think he's too far past his prime now.)
3. Rajon Rondo
(Ray Allen didn't even get a "maybe" from me. Sorry, Boston fans.)
4. Deron Williams
5. Carmelo Anthony (this is the one that surprised my most that I didn't throw him in the above list, but really... his career so far just hasn't done it for me. I think he'll join the above list while he's on the Knicks, but for now, I gave him a "not yet.")
6. Amare Stoudemire
7. Chris Bosh
8. Russell Westbrook
9. Brandon Roy (when he's healthy)
10. Pau Gasol
11. Steve Nash (same as Garnett)
12. Tim Duncan (see the Nash and Garnett comments)
(Maybe Ginobili and Parker? I got to the point here where I would never even think of calling them superstars but I feel like they're in the same class as the above guys, so I felt like I should mention them. Gasol might be in the same boat as them, too.)

Here's who Jalen Rose listed:
1. James
2. Wade
3. Bryant
4. Rose
5. Nowitzki
6. Howard
7. Pierce
8. Paul

I'm actually really surprised how closely this matches my own list. Although I have no idea how he included Pierce and not Durant... (There wasn't a limit of eight, it just worked out that way.) I'd like to try to figure out a formula/equation to determine superstardom, but I don't know if that'll be possible, since it's something that evaluates someone's status "right now," so you can't really use past stats and career accomplishments to figure that out.


  1. Nice list...I agree with yours except for Paul... You kind of contradicted your self by saying right now when he's hurt, and I don't think Paul is there yet.

    Hate to say this, but Pierce isn't a superstar. A superstar, by my defintion, is someone who completely dominates.

  2. That's true about Chris Paul - it is a bit of a contradiction. Based on his regular season performance, I would've said no. Based on his postseason performance, I would say definitely.