||[May. 23rd, 2005|03:22 pm]
|||||My Friend Over Yours--A New Found Glory||]|
What players come to your mind when the NBA and its future are mentioned? In your mind which single player will pick up the torch from the present and carry it into the future which was once done by the greats of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Jerry West. Many fans would say Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash. This in fact is not true at all. These players are no longer the future of the NBA, but rather they represent the present and how the game is played today.
With the NBA and its glorious past, players such as Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson can be mentioned. The NBA’s present representatives consist of Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter just to name a few. But its future generation has finally rolled in.
Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade each have become phenomanonal superstars for their respective teams. The Denver Nuggets were the laughing stock of the NBA, that is until Carmelo arrived. As if Denver was bad, Cleveland was on the unmentionable list until the team found its savior in Lebron James. The Heat in previous years were having problems getting past the first and second rounds of the playoffs until Dwayne Wade came marching in. He broke Miami’s curse and the team made it to the Eastern Conference Finals that very year.
While you would think the rookies (James, Anthony, Wade) would be talking about how much they cannot wait to match up against the veteran superstars, the exact opposite is true.
Time and time again we hear the veterans speak of the anticipation of playing against the rookie superstars. They don’t say that because they want to show the world what kind of mismatch it would be, but rather they express their particular matches as a challenge and something that would be great for the fans.
“I look forward to playing Lebron,” said Kobe Bryant. “He inspired me to raise my own level of play, to be the best in every situation. As far as tonight is concerned, I embrace the challenge.”
Even Kobe knows that these new rookies are not to be taken for granted. One can remember the December 25 game which featured the first match up of the year between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant since O’Neal was traded from the Lakers over the summer. Although Kobe racked up all of the points, it was Dwayne Wade who stole the show. His running bank shot in overtime put Miami ahead for good and sealed the win.
Shaq, who has been known to feud with fellow teammates, has embraced his team’s new superstar in Dwayne Wade. It was the “big man” who gave his teammate the nickname “Flash” because of the greatness and elevation of talent Wade has displayed.
Every rookie class consists of overachievers and underachievers. The class of 2003-2004 goes beyond anything anyone ever expected. The future is here; the world will be watching.
-This is one of my dream jobs - a sports journalist.-
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