The NBA is one of the most-watched and most lucrative sports leagues on the planet, so it’s no surprise then that avid sports fans in Manchester, Mumbai and Melbourne spend their evenings trawling through the NBA fixtures to pick out their same game parlay bets.
Or that kids all around the globe dream of winning the MVP award and becoming the next Michael Jordan. In this article we take a look at 5 of the biggest stars in the NBA, the players that are not only spreading the popularity of the league but are also inspiring future generations of players.
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Position: Power Forward
If you were to call someone of Greek heritage a ‘Greek Freak’ you’d cause a whole world of offense, but when it comes to the Athens born Antetokounmpo that moniker is a badge of honour as it is a reference to his insane physical prowess.
Standing at an incredible 7 foot tall, the Milwaukee Bucks is a literal giant as well as a giant of the game. During his time in the NBA, Antetokounmpo has won an NBA Championship, scooping the NBA Finals MVP along the way in addition to 2 overall NBA MVP awards.
In doing that he became only the third player in history after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James to win two MVPs before turning 26. He is not only a basketball phenomenon but a global superstar too.
(At 7 foot tall, Giannis Antetokounmpo is one hell of a presence on the court.)
Team: Philadelphia 76ers
Position: Point Guard/Shooting Guard
33-year-old James Harden began his NBA career with Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009 and has since represented the Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and, currently, the Philadelphia 76ers. During that time he was the NBA MVP award in 2018 and been included in 10 NBA All-Star teams.
Internationally he has won the World Cup in 2014 with his country and the Olympic Gold at London 2012. Throughout the majority of his career, Harden has been the most prolific point’s scorer in the NBA.
His accuracy from the free throw line combined with his ability to draw fouls have ensured that any team he has represented has had a chance of winning.
Team: Golden State Warriors
Position: Point Guard
Even at the age of 35, Steph Curry is still one of the most feared players in basketball. What makes Steph Curry’s career so impressive though is the fact that he has been performing at an elite level since bursting on to the scene in 2009.
During that time he has won 4 NBA Championships with the Warriors and scooped back-to-back NBA MVPs in 2016 and 2016. Most recently he was named NBA Finals MVP for his stellar performances against the Boston Celtics.
Throughout the years numerous defenses have tried and failed to stop Curry from dominating games. His physical dominance combined with his ability to seemingly score points from anywhere on the court have made that an impossible task.
(Steph Curry racking up 50 points.)
Team: Phoenix Suns
Position: Small Forward/Power Forward
In his youth Durant was touted as a prodigious talent. Those predictions turned out to be more than true as when he has gone on to establish himself as a generational talent in the NBA. During spells with the Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns he has been named in 13 NBA All-Star teams.
In addition to that, Durant has two NBA Championships to his name, winning back-to-back rings win 2017 and 2018, both as Finals MVP. Physically Durant is the complete package and technically he’s not far off being the complete package either.
His on court skills have been reflected by the fact that off it he is one of the most well paid athletes on the planet.
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Position: Small Forward/Power Forward
Despite the talents and accolades of the four other players on this list, there really is only one number one when it comes to NBA and that’s LeBron James. The 38-year-old may be in the twilight of his career but he is still basketball’s most famous player.
In his trophy cabinet he has four NBA Championships in which he was named MVP on all four occasions as well as four overall seasonal MVP awards. He has been named in every All-Star team since 2005 and has two Olympic golds to his name.
Thus far, King James is the closest that anyone has ever gotten to matching the achievements of the legendary Michael Jordan.