As we creep up on the 2013-2014 NBA season, let’s take a look at the biggest moments from the historically significant 2012-2013 NBA season.
1. Lebron James is on his way to becoming a Top 5 player in NBA history. Even if James were to retire today, he would easily make the Top 15, boasting a resume that includes two NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and four NBA MVPs. The often-maligned James has finally shut up his critics who point to his lack of mental fortitude. If scoring 37 points in the NBA Finals Game 7 will not quiet those critics, nothing ever will. Twenty-five years from now, James’ jump shot in the NBA Finals Game 7 with the score at 90-88 will aptly embody the growth and dominance of the greatest basketball player of this millennium.
2. Tim Duncan, the best power forward ever, didn’t look 37 for most of the NBA Finals. Father Time is said to be unbeaten, but I’m not so sure about that anymore, considering Duncan has continuously led the Spurs franchise even as age creeps in. Still, the Spurs remain overlooked. The favorites listed to win the next NBA title usually include the Heat, Pacers, Bulls and Thunder. But, for most people, the “old” Spurs still come as an afterthought.
3. There are many superstars with a lot to prove in the 2013-2014 NBA season. Aging superstars Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki must prove they can still play at an elite level after undergoing an Achilles tendon surgery and an arthroscopic surgery, respectively. Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard must overcome their terrible public images as Rose sat out all last season and Howard had problems with his team, yet again.
4. There is no single blueprint to win in the NBA. The Spurs organization and the Heat organization couldn’t be any more different. Aside from both teams boasting a Big Three, there are no striking resemblances between these finals titans. The Spurs organization was built through the draft, looks for foreign players who fit the Spurs’ system and has a tremendously old core supported by a young supporting cast. The Heat organization was built through free agency, looks for players to complement Lebron James and features a young core with an aging supporting cast. There is no secret panacea for attaining success in the NBA other than having the utmost commitment to whatever quality system a team employs. The five front-running contenders — Heat, Spurs, Pacers, Thunder and Bulls — all have different philosophies and have taken different roads to get to the position they are in today.