City Sports Report

The Face Of The NBA Is Soon To Change Again

Anthony Davis is in line to be next, but he is not the only one. (photo courtesy of www.fansided.com)

It’s amazing how time can fly. Who can remember when LeBron was the next superstar in the making playing in his first All-Star game? At the tender age of 20, LeBron made his introduction to the All-Star weekend platform by scoring 13 points while gathering eight rebounds and six assists. The streak for LeBron extended to 11 times this season when he played in this weekend’s All-Star game in New York City in the famed Madison Square Garden. When asked about playing in the All-Star game in Madison Square Garden, LeBron simply said “It feels great. I love it.” It seems like in a blink of an eye, LeBron has gone from being a rising star, to a superstar, to being a veteran superstar in the game. With that being said, the new era will be upon us soon enough and there will be young guys that will have to lead it. Undoubtedly, LeBron changed the game, but even he recognizes that he was once young in the game and now has young guys that are trying to represent the NBA like he has since he first played in the NBA. When speaking to the media during All-Star weekend, LeBron reflected on his time in the NBA while speaking of the future: “I was one of the young guys at one time. I was seeing the older guys. And you try to make your mark. And now being in the reverse role, you know the league is in good hands. I’m going to try to continue to do what I need to do to represent this league with the utmost respect both on and off the court. But our league is definitely in good hands with the young group of talent that we have that’s playing great basketball right now.” When LeBron speaks of great talents, there are certainly some good young talents out there in the NBA. But who will be the next one to take the mantle of the best player in the NBA from LeBron and carry it for years to go? There are a few candidates to be the leader in the clubhouse.

Anthony Davis is a name that many mention immediately as the next face of the NBA. When he was selected with the 1st overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, plenty looked at the tremendous potential he had. He can do anything you would like for a player to do on the court and each and every year he has gotten better and better. Davis is one of the only big men in the NBA that does not need a guard to get him the basketball at all times. Sometime he can be seen at times grabbing a rebound and leading the charge towards the other end for the finish or assist. And it’s because of his special skills that he is one of the best big men in the NBA. This year marked the first time that he made the All-Star game, even though he was unable to play due to injury (shoulder). But this surely will not be the last time he will be make the All-Star team. Look forward to seeing him in the All-Star game multiple times as his career gets bigger and bigger. But with his impressive skills, he has yet to get the Pelicans to the playoffs. When he gets his team there and does that on a consistent basis, then Davis will get even more notoriety and his legend will grow even more. His claim on being the next big superstar in the NBA rests on the team success he has to have go along with his individual success. And one reality he may have to face going forward is that New Orleans may not be the place that leads him to superstardom. If that is the case, it will be interesting to see if he is able to face that reality.

Davis is a special talent, but so is Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins. The legend of Wiggins has been growing ever since many talked about him as a youngster in high school. The hype surrounding the young Canadian star reached epic levels as he decided to join the Kansas Jayhawks for his one year out of high school before going to the NBA. His athleticism was undeniable. Many times he would get on the fast break for thunderous jams. But often times in college, he seemed to be passive and sometimes disinterested. That was one of the things that many felt would hurt him coming into the NBA. Despite some having reservations about him, the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted him 1st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. His stay was short there in Cleveland, as he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal that landed the Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. And at first in Minnesota, it seemed that the reservations about Wiggins were accurate. He was passive and was not sure how to assert himself. But when Kevin Martin went down to injury, it opened up the door for Wiggins to claim the stage. Wiggins has shown an improvement throughout the season that has been excellent. His midrange jump shot has been very nice and he has also shown the explosiveness on the fast break. His points per game average has slipped from January to February, but over his rookie season, we have seen his scoring average go from 7 points per game his first month of his career to almost 20 points a game in January. He has shown flashes of being that budding star in the next wave of talent. But he, like Davis, has to deal with the issues that come along with great expectations like leading his team to the playoffs and potentially having to go somewhere else for his career to reach the next level. Wiggins’ advantage is he is just a rookie and Davis has been in the league a little longer. But from what we have seen, the kid can be special and certainly will be something to watch.

Davis and Wiggins are still growing in their games, but Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant definitely is the leader in the clubhouse for the next to take over the mantle from LeBron. Although he is older than Wiggins and Davis (Kevin Durant is 26 years old), he will have the opportunity to run the league at one point and time. Kevin Durant had the spotlight last season when he won the NBA MVP and has consistently led his team to the playoffs multiple seasons in a row. But with all his success scoring the basketball, the expectations for Durant has risen. Durant has been to the NBA Finals once and led the NBA in scoring as well. By all accounts, he is a superstar right now. But to be the best player in the game, you have to have won some championships. He is closer than Davis and Wiggins to taking over the throne from LeBron, but he has one big hurdle to reach and that will be the biggest one of his career.

Davis, Wiggins and Durant will be brought up in the discussion for the next to take over the mantle from LeBron. And with all their talents, they should be. But with the title comes expectations that they have simply not met so far. So the race between these three or maybe an unforeseen star is on. It should be interesting to see who wins this race.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

2 Comments

  1. ASR

    February 18, 2015 at 10:29 am

    The NBA is in very good hands with all the young talent going forward.

  2. Rob Thomas Brown

    February 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Good article, NBA can’t go wrong with any of these young men, I’m a big fan of Anthony Davis, love his game but Wiggins is really showing me something

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