The One against the All
After the retairement of Jordan a lot of young guy try to put their name in the list such as Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady. But two among other have attracted attention, we are referring to Allen “The Answer” Iverson and Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant. This two players in their ways made the Nba of the first decade of 2000.
The first, Allen Iverson, was the real ghetto player. He want to win in his way, without compromises and with a particular idea of basketball. If you have seen one of his matches, you can easily see how He intend to play. For him, infact, every single game was a war against the other where He have to prove how strong and talent He is. Never pulled back, He always attack to prove that “I can score against you every single time I want”. The highest point of this philosophy of understanding the game was the Game 1 of the Finals of 2001 versus the Lakers of Shaq & Kobe. He scores 48 point in an overtime to win the game at Los Angeles. Iconic was the stepping over Tyron Lue after scores one of his final point. Unfortunately for him the Finals ended 4-1 for the Lakers.
About the Lakers, the other Man of which I want to talk about is Kobe Bryant. He spent 20 years with the purple and gold winning 5 titles. He was one of the players that was dafted from the High School, practice now no longer allowed. Is in the High School that the Legend started. Infact, there is this story, never confirmed by nobody, that during some games He kept the score deliberately close, so that he could explode in the final and become the savior and hero of the match.
During his early years in the Nba, he has only one target: to prove to himself, to the world and to Michael Jordan that He was the best player. This mentality led him to “ruin” MJ’s last All Star Game in 2003 at Atlanta.
After three titles with Shaq, He want to prove that I can lead alone the Lakers to the title, but he has always stopped before that. But during this “dark” years He put on record some incredible number and plays. On 22 January of 2006 He scores against the Raports 81 points, second best performance for point scored, behind only the 100 of Wilt Chamberlain. Significant were also the two bucket that He scores in the playoffs of the same year against the Phoenix Suns. The lay-up in the 4th quarter and the jumper in the overtime resumes was He is capable of. Two buckets of absolute dominance.
After many defeat, He understand that to win He need some help. For this reason He want Phil Jackson back as the Coach of the Lakers. Another add on was Paul Gasol in 2008. With the spanish player and other good players on his side Kobe reach the NBA finals three times, winning two titles. After this success something broke inside both the Team and Kobe himself. Infact, his mentality, to be perfect to always training because somewhere in the world there was another man who was training, has begun to make him pay the cons. Injuries started and Kobe was never the same. For this reason in 2016 after a farewell season, but not before having sscored 60 points in his last game, decide to retire.
Mamba OutKobe Bryant during his speech for the retirement
The Super Team
During the eartly ’10 of 2000 something changed. Players wan to win and decided to join forces to do so. The first ones that were assembled was the Lakers of 2003-04, in which next to Shaq and Kobe they add Karl Malone and Gary Payton. But they didn’t win, stopped by the Detroit Pistons in the Nba Finals. Another superteam was formed in 2007-2008 by the Boston Celtics. They add Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to the roster that contained also Paul Pierce. They win a title in 2008 against the Lakers.
But the turning point of this new approach of the players happened in 2010 with the decision of Lebron James. He decided to join the Miami Heat and formed a super team with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
Lebron in the Heat uniform went to the Nba finals four time winning two titles. After this experience He returned Home, in Cleveland Cavaliers when back in the days Kyrie Irving was playing. With him and Kevin Love formed another super team that bring in 2016 Cavaliers first title in Nba history.
During this years there was another team that was build during the drafts of the previous years: the Golden State Warriors. In their roster have Stephen Curry, record braker of every 3 points statistic, Klay Thompson another fantastic shooter, Draymond Green an all around player and a tough defensive player, Andre Iguodala another great defender and MVP of the finals of 2015. But it wasn’t all roses. Infact before the successes the team was higly contested by the fan because back in the days, they traded one of the favorite player Monta Ellis. The management was torn between which of Monta or Curry (because of his continuous injuries) should leave the team. Mark Jackson, the coash of that period, decided to bring Curry in the Bay because of his potential and said yes to the trade of Monta. Iconic was the booing of the fans during the jersey retirement of Chris Mullin.
By the way, at the end they win their first title in 2015 against the Cavaliers, but lost against them in the next year. For this reason they decide to add to the roster one of the best 15 players to ever play this game, Kevin Durant. With him they win the next two titles all against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavaliers and lost the last year, 2019, against the Toronto Raptors of Kawhi Leonard.
The Dynamic Duo
Nowadays anothe change happen in NBA. No more superteam, but duos. Infact with the recent trade and signs most of the team have changed. The Lakers of Lebron James add Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Clippers add both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Brooklyn Nets have in their roster Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Huston added Westbrook to James Harden. The success of this new arrengement will depend on who wil claim to be Batman and who Robin.