IMAGINE THE STAR energy on the ground in a Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers NBA Finals this summer time. MVP candidate and three-time scoring champion James Harden runs the pick-and-roll with two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant earlier than swinging the ball to Kyrie Irving, seven-time All-Star and proprietor of some of the iconic photographs in NBA historical past. Defending that motion: One of many two biggest gamers ever (LeBron James) and a four-time All-NBA First Workforce standout (Anthony Davis).
Greater than every other main sports activities league, the NBA is pushed by celebrity expertise. These 5 gamers aren’t simply superior to look at. In addition they have an infinite affect on which groups win and lose NBA titles. Since 2012, Durant, James and LA Clippers wing Kawhi Leonard have mixed to win eight of 9 Finals MVP awards.
That is exceptional, however that is not all this crew has in frequent. Every of those guys has additionally performed for 3 completely different groups in that very same span. Whereas they have been initially drafted into small-market organizations, all three are actually enjoying basketball in Los Angeles or New York, propelling big-city organizations into championship contenders.
The NBA’s superstars are shifting round greater than ever, and these super-migrations are certainly not random. The league’s most elite expertise is congregating right into a tiny set of the league’s most cosmopolitan markets.
On the one hand, it is a optimistic improvement — the league’s brightest stars have progressively used their energy to rightfully get the place and what they need. However these superclusters of expertise are more and more threatening championship viabilities in a majority of NBA markets.
Listed here are the startling numbers behind NBA superstars’ rising transfer to coastal elite standing, plus what it means for the subsequent wave of transcendent gamers.