1. LeBron James
Yes he doesn't have a championship ring yet, and he is not a clutch player in crunch time (like Peyton Manning and John Elway both were before they finally won championships). However, he is hands down the best athlete in the game, and makes his teammates around him better. He can score, play above average defense, and he has his own unique game. He has already been to two NBA Finals. He will not be denied a ring forever.
2. Dirk Nowitzki
It's hard to ignore arguably the best all around big man in the game right now who can hit the 3, gets his teammates involved and finally got a championship of his own, beating LeBron's Heat. The Mavs contend every year for one simple reason: Dirk. An awesome player and defender that's soo hard to contain.
3. Dwight Howard
Superman has to make the top 3. He's a great big man far as blocks and rebounds, and being a game changer. Like LeBron, his legacy will be incomplete without a ring. However, like Dirk, he is so dominant and hard to contain. Dirk's jump shot and championship ring, puts him above Howard though.
4. Kobe Bryant
Although he's aging and has dropped off a little, he's still a dominant player, and the person you want having the ball in the closing minutes with the game on the line. He's the most accomplished player on this list, from scoring to defense to even championships (appeared in 7, won 5). Say what you will about his character, but his legacy, ability, and game play are not issues.
5. Chris Paul.
CP3 is easily the best PG in the game right now. He's never seen the NBA finals, but his fortitude and beastly statistics assure he can get there with the right teammates around him. He can score, steal, dish the ball off to set the offense,and his rebounding and foul shots aren't bad.
6. Derrick Rose
Many folks, including Jesef, would flip flop D Rose and CP3. Derrick Rose is phenomenal, and has a great team around him. He has resurrected Chicago, a team long down since Jordan's departure. However, he is not as polished, nor does he have the ability and experience of Paul. He cannot be dismissed though as a prime time player.
7. Kevin Durant
Another awesome player, best swingman in the game. He scores, hits the 3, and with PG Russell Westbrook, have given the Thunder quite a reputation. No one wants to face KD35 or OKC in the NBA playoffs. This team, of which Durant is the centerpiece, is only a couple of playmakers away from being like the Mavs, Heat, or Bulls
8. Dwayne Wade
I realize he is ranked low, especially for someone who has an NBA ring (albeit earned when Shaq was with the Heat). However, he is top 10 worthy because of his skills, and his ability to gell with a superteam in just 1 season. He has flaws in his game, such as his shooting, that keeps him from being ranked higher.
9. Carmelo Anthony
I'm biased in this choice being a Knicks fan. Melo is awesome and can drop 25-30 points on a given night. However, he is not multi-dimensional, and doesn't play a lot of defense. He has also proven that is almost useless without a healthy, dominant big man.
10.(tie) Deron Williams and Amare Stoudemare
One player is a PG that's only a 2nd tier compared to CP3 and D. Rose, another is a NY Knick who is dominant and makes his teammates better. Both players, however, haven't been anywhere near the finals. They are great at their position, including Stoudemare, who can play either C or PF with ease like Dirk. Stoudemare may get a slighter edge because he's more dominant and has more talented teammates, while Williams is more explosive.
I wish the NBA season would start already, so we can see how good these guys really do!
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