As we inch closer to actual NBA games, the challenge that the players will face in their quest for a championship becomes clearly. Early this week the NBA passed its first test by having every NBA player in the bubble test negative for Covid-19. This has bolstered the hope that the bubble concept will be able to hold off as Covid-19 rages outside of it.
Nobody quite knows what the product will look like – though with inter-squad – scrimmages this week we will get our first peak at an empty NBA game. While it’s foolish to argue that this restart will decide the legacy of an NBA player or organization, it certainly can help to build up one should they go the distance.
Just as Hercules had to overcome 12 challenges or labors in order to prove himself to be worthy, NBA superstars will be taxed in a way they never have before. Superstars will be responsible for carrying their teams on the court like usual but they will also have to keep their groups focused, engaged, and united in their quests for a championship. Here are the biggest challenges that 12 NBA superstars will face as they seek to win the title. First up the king himself.
Lebron James has nothing left to prove to any of his doubters or detractors (he hasn’t for years). He bested them all as he continues to make his case for greatest player of all-time. Should he capture the title this year it would cement his legacy with one of the most unique careers of any of players in the GOAT conversation. Two titles in South Beach, carrying the Cavs to their first title, and coming back from a 3-1 deficit to the greatest regular season team ever. Now a chance at winning a title in a 3 month sprint to the finish line in AAU style arenas. The greatest challenge to Lebron’s ability to win is likely internal to the Lakers. Their depth has been snatched – no Avery Bradley, 2 months without Rondo, and whenever Dwight gets kicked out for not wearing his mask – and in its place remain BIG TIME questions. Enter wildcards Dion and JR! Side note…that locker room might be the most interesting locker room of all-time. Between JaVale, Dwight, Dion, JR, and Rondo its quite the collection of personalities. Not to mention after Lebron, many of their biggest contributors don’t have much or any playoff experience.
- AD has never made it past the second around.
- KCP saw a quick 4 games in the playoffs with the Pistons back in the 2015-2016 season.
- Kuzma hasn’t scene playoff action.
Lebron will have to lead and he will have to carry the load.
Offensively he will continue to be the initiator and crunch-time scorer but its the defensive end where more will be asked. LA has largely allowed him to rest defensively by “hiding” him on weaker wings. Without Bradley – who guarded the toughest perimeter night in and night out – that task will ultimately fall to Lebron. The Lakers will give KCP, Green, Caruso, Dion, and JR a shot but none can hold up the way Lebron can. So at the age of 35 can Lebron muster the energy to carry a team on both ends the way he did at 27? It’s never been wise to bet against him as he’s slayed each obstacle and doubt in his path. It’s hard to imagine betting against him now.