There is usually that one player in the NBA from time to time who is often talked about most, who becomes the most scrutinized to win and NBA title. Most recently and very publicly was Lebron James, and Kevin Garnett before who was the one player I personally felt deserved it more than anyone finally got his in 2008, but now that he has what I call the Championship Monkey off his back, who did it hop on to now?
There are a number of NBA stars who we want to see win it all but many of them the pressure is not as big to get the job done, yet. Kevin Durant? No, he is only 24 years old (almost 6 months younger than I am) and played in his first NBA Finals this past season. And we expect him to get there again because of his talent level and the fact that he has a great team in OKC. I don’t think many worry about KD right now, we know he will get there again. There is Chris Paul and Deron Williams who are easily 2 of the top 3 point guards in the NBA are 27 and 28 years old at the moment. Both still fairly new with their teams and some of us may not expect either one of those guys to win a ring, that’s just my opinion. With the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics still showing that they can compete, a Chicago Bulls team with a healthy Derrick Rose, it may be tough to D Will out East but only time will tell. Chris Paul and the Clippers have a lot of talent and can really make some noise out west in the coming years but Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder could be a block in the road. And oh yea, their same city rivals, Los Angeles Lakers pose a threat, as well as the Spurs but they have posed a threat to everyone out west the last 100 years it seems like.
The 2 players that come to mind who probably have the Championship Monkey on their back are Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard for obvious reasons, he now has to fill Shaq’s shoes, no matter what way you look at it. Dwight still has a lot of basketball left in him, I’d say another decade but he wanted out of Orlando because he felt he was not going to win there and on top of that went to the Lakers and now is that latest of superstar big men to play for the team. If he does not get the job done, Shaq will have a field day. Carmelo on the other hand, is entering his 10th NBA season and will be 29 next spring. Not saying he is old but time is not exactly on his side and is now and NBA vet. He is one of the 4 players apart of the 2003 draft class that brought in stars like Lebron, D Wade and Chris Bosh, all who have and at least one NBA Championship. He teamed up with Amare in New York to better his chances and they have added a few vets to the team. Some may call the Knicks old but like Doc Rivers said about his Boston Celtics, “When we are winning we are experienced but when we are losing everyone says we are too old.” The same applies here and Carmelo is the best player on the team and will have to perform to get the job done. He is 28 like I said, which is still young enough to have a few good years left before a decline and if he never wins a ring, no matter how great he is as a basketball player, Lebron James and D Wade will always be looked at as a tier above him for getting the job done and winning a title.