Basketball has been a love of mine since an early age, and I’ve been following some of the top NBA players over the past couple years. I always find myself noticing that the difference between the superstars and the bench players and role players is very minuscule.
The difference tends to lie outside the talent arena and is more about the mindset of the individual player. It’s all about their level of confidence and how much they use their brains on the court.
Here are 10 NBA superstars and what makes them so successful:
1. Chris Paul
I decided to start with Chris Paul because he gets more respect than any other player in the league. Basketball views Chris Paul as the greatest leader of his time.
He is not the biggest or most talented player, but he excels through his extensive knowledge of the game, terrific instincts, and ability to manage himself, his teammates and the game on a level no one can compete.
2. LeBron James
LeBron James will forever be noted as one of the top 2 players to ever play the game of basketball. His talent far exceeds any other player in the national basketball association. But LeBron has more than just talent and he has proved that to the world over the past few years.
LeBron has a genuine winning attitude. He proved that by taking a massive pay cut and joining a championship team several years back. His can-do attitude and his ability to perform under pressure has allowed him to soar to the top of the list of superstars.
And respect for the way he has handled all the bad and false publicity he’s gotten over his career…
3. Carmelo Anthony
Most NBA fans have a simple idea when they think of Carmelo Anthony: Ball Hog!
It is true that Carmelo tends to play a bit selfishly and can struggle to be a part of the team at times. But that attitude is one of the things that has allowed him to excel. His confidence is through the roof.
4. Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade has started to age a bit, but he has not let that stop him. After fighting off all sorts of injuries, he still sits on everyone’s list as one of the top players currently in the league.
His persistence and passion for the game and winning shows through his constant fight and effort to get back on the court when his team needs him.
5. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is on this list for one specific reason: The way he has handled being SECOND BEST.
With LeBron in the league, Durant has been sitting with the silver medal for years. And has he let that discourage him? Not even a little. He works every single day of his life to get better and it is my personal belief that as LeBron ages a few more years, all of Kevin Durant’s hard work will pay off and he will replace King James.
6. Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson is not necessarily considered a superstar. But his amazing tolerance for pressure must be noted. I remember watching a game between my Golden State Warriors and Joe Johnson’s team the Brooklyn Nets a few months back. I remember seeing all the pressure that was being thrown towards Johnson. I thought for sure he would crack any minute. But nope…it didn’t seem to bother him a wink, and he proved that through his performance.
Kudos to Joe Johnson for his ability to handle any kind of pressure.
7. Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin is probably the cockiest SOB on the planet. His arrogance shows by all the unnecessary, flashy plays he makes on the court. But the guy is an absolute monster and he reeks with confidence.
It is almost scary to watch him play because you feel pity for the poor opponent who has to guard him. You know at any minute he’s going to unleash the beast and go in for a mighty slam dunk. This “go-getter” attitude has made him a superstar.
8. Stephen Curry
This one hits close to home. Stephen Curry plays for my hometown team the Golden State Warriors, and he has certainly made a name for himself. What I respect most about Steph Curry is his persistence. After being an All-Star snub for years in a row, you’d think he’d lose confidence.
But Curry only got better each time he was left out in the dust. It made him stronger and more driven until eventually in 2014, just a few weeks ago, he was named an NBA All -Star for the first time. Whether you’re a Warriors fan or not, you gotta respect the man for his non-stop fight.
9. Paul George
Paul George is probably the quickest player in history to go from nobody to absolute superstar. He went from 0 to 60 in no time, and I believe it is due to all the hype that has been given to him over the past year or so.
He seems to fuel off the hype and only feel more confident as other’s expectations are raised. We’ll see if his rise to superstardom continues, but so far, he has proven to be an elite athlete on the basketball court.
10. James Harden
To finish up this list, I want to name someone whom I believe to be one of the toughest players in the NBA. James Harden is not only an amazing sharp shooter and clutch performer. He’ll beat the crap out of anyone who challenges him the slightest.
Perhaps it’s his crazy beard, or maybe it’s his husky body type, but his toughness radiates throughout all of basketball and I believe that is what has allowed him to excel and will continue to do him right.
Do you have a favorite basketball player? Share with us on twitter at @Attitude4Invtn!