DAR Sports Roundtable: The NBA Leaders of the New School
The NBA has gone through many eras. The Showtime and Bad Boys Era. The Jordan era. The Kobe, Iverson, and Duncan era (in some ways). More recently the LeBron, Wade, and Melo era was in effect, but that's been winding down for a while. Over the last 3-4 seasons, newer stars have truly arose and showcased themselves as the solid forces to be reckoned with going forward in the NBA. Today, we look at who dominates the sport and their role as the leader of the new school in the NBA.
Steph Curry is one of my favorite players to watch. He's got his own style and he's not overly dramatic with it. The boy is nice - plain and simple. He's leading the Warriors to have one of the best seasons in NBA history.
Curry's averaging 30 points per game and he makes it look easy. Watching him make it rain threes and not be a ball hog is enjoyable for me. He shows leadership on the court and that's dope.
I also like watching Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play. This OKC duo are definitely making their mark in the league. They're both very competitive on the court yet they make sure to play with discipline. They also average about 26 points a game each.
I appreciate these players as leaders of the new generation. Hopefully, I'll get to see them play in person sooner than later.
In terms of players of the new era, you really can't go without mentioning Steph Curry, Paul George, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and all the other young stars in the league. However, in my opinion, the new era will see the heaviest emphasis placed on bench play ever. Teams such as the Knicks have already displayed how a good bench performance, not necessarily just good reserve players, can lead to wins. These role players will be important as the NBA changes, older stars retire and new talent enters the league. There are plenty of stars in the NBA who can be called the leaders of the new school, but I have to mention those who seem to have hit their ceiling in terms of what they can do at their current teams. Specifically OKC with KD and Westbrook and maybe Houston with Harden and Howard. It will be interesting to see who can stop Golden State this season.
The new era of NBA is very interesting. Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook. All are the leaders of this era, while AD is on the rise. From these players, we have witnessed some very good pure shooting, especially from that guy who wears #30 and plays for the Golden State Warriors. These guys are all about scoring, with some having other important attributes. For Westbrook, it's his rebounding and his athletic ability. KD has rebounding, ability to create a shot, etc. AD has rebounding, post game, etc. Harden might be the least important player in this era. To me, he's a sorry excuse for an NBA superstar. But since he is one of the superstars, it's leaving me no choice to include him. He scores alot of points and has helped improved the Houston Rockets, so I'll give him that. The other possible players that can help add on or even create their own era is Jimmy Butler, Dame Lillard, and Andre Drummond. These guys have proven themselves as some of the top players of the NBA, and can possibly become in that top 5 conversation. This era compared to Jordan's era, or Magic/Bird era, or even LBJ/Melo/Wade era, can prove to be one of the best eras basketball has ever seen. No, I'm not saying the players themselves will be better, because we all know we're never gonna get another Kobe, another A.I, another MJ, or T-Mac, etc. But the Era as a whole can become really competitive, entertaining, and really dominant.
So far, Steph Curry has control, as this guy is an absolute monster who doesn't seem like he is going to be stopped soon. Unless of course, he goes back to old Curry, and starts doing that stupid crossover where he fell to one knee on purpose to try to fool the defender (which worked) and turn the other way. He ended up getting hurt all the time from that crossover. We all thought he was Derrick Rose 2.0 or Brandon Roy 2.0, but glad he's turned it around. NBA fans, enjoy this new Era of basketball. Yes, it may be soft, it may not be the same, but we might witness some of the best scorers this league has ever seen.
Where do I start?
My pick for the true leader of the new school is Steph Curry. Have we seen someone shoot as amazing as him ever? Steph is a beast with the shot, his three point shooting is damn near flawless. He's a great point guard, and his passing and crossover ability is pretty fun to watch as well. He needs a bit of work on his defense, but he's certainly improved on that from previous seasons. Many claim Steph to be the best player today and there's definitely a case to be made.
Russell Westbrook is an aggressive player, and to me he is in a way, the heart and soul of the Thunder team. He possessed the killer instinct that another leader of the new school, Kevin Durant lacks to an extent. Both Westbrook and Durant are leaders and with the right amount of focus, these two could bring the Thunder a title.
James Harden is someone I'm not a fan of much, but his improvement can't be denied. He has emerged as a leader of this era and one of the top faces. The young and still learning Anthony Davis has also moved into that lane, though he's currently not having the best season. With Ant letting his game continue to develop, he could remain to be a problem in the years going forward. Once he finds the perfection he seeks, he may be unstoppable.
As far as two other leaders, I see Paul George and Jimmy Butler as possible leaders going forward. Jimmy is building his name still, but it could very well be a career year for him this season. Paul has regained form after a nasty injury, and the Pacers seem to be a playoff contender once again this year, and Paul is definitely the leader of the team in this regard. One final leader of the new school I see is Demarcus Cousins, who is a young aggressive center who plays a great game, but one thing holding him back is the fact that he isn't truly happy with the Kings. Once he gets to a place he enjoys being, the rest of the NBA will need to watch out.
As far as potential standouts and future leaders, the Raptors have Derozan and Lowry, the Timberwolves have Wiggins, the Warriors have growing leaders in Klay and Draymond, the Blazers have Lillard, and the Spurs have Kawhi Leonard, who is slowly emerging into that spot. Only time will tell who emerges as THE player of the new school, but I'll be watching for sure.
Who do you think is the NBA leader of the new school? You have multiple choices? Post them below in the comments.