The best basketball players are the ones who perform year in and year out. They have a great chance to get better and develop into something special over time. If they consistently perform, one thing is for certain. They will have a long and successful career. So who are these players?
This list is not based on who are the best basketball players at a given time. It is who are the best basketball players for the team they represent. For instance, if a player on the Houston Rockets is starting and he is struggling, does that player ever improve? No!
I don’t say this to knock any particular player. I say it because there are so many variables that come into play. There are so many factors that can push a person to their limits. Who are the best pound-for-pound basketball players on the planet?
First, it has to be a true champion. Not just a good player, but one with championship records. I say this because some are able to put up huge numbers year in, year out, but they are not champions. Someone who has been able to put up big numbers year in, year out, is a true champion. Someone who has won titles in three different sports is another one.
Next, the best players have to have longevity. Who has the longest career in the NBA? That’s right, the person with the best two-way ability has a leg up on the competition. There have been several players who have been able to develop great outside shooters and become two-way players in their second, third, fourth, and fifth seasons in the NBA.
What makes a player become one of the best two-way players? It all comes down to confidence. They must believe that they are the best in the world at what they do. They must believe that they possess the skills necessary to dominate a game. And sometimes that belief needs to be backed up by the results that they get on a nightly basis. Also, they must be able to motivate the team spirit. That’s when they are truly the best.
Embiid was probably the best two-way player last season. He won the titles with USA Basketball, but he also put up big numbers down at France. I believe he belongs in the conversation for the best two-way players in the league’s history. The guy has enough talent to play in the league for years to come, but he’s still a rookie. He’ll continue to grow as a player. He will continue to prove to himself and the world that he is the best player that he can be.
In Embiid’s case, he has to be the best player that he can be because he doesn’t have much of an offensive presence to speak of. He will score plenty of points, but he can’t do anything else with the basketball. He needs someone to pass the ball to because he doesn’t have anybody else on his team who can. This is why he is having such a great season, and perhaps it’s his best season ever.
Embiid was considered one of the better two-way players coming into this year’s season, but he has been even better lately. His offensive stats have been even better than usual, and he is helping to contribute to his team by blocking shots, playing solid defense, rebounding the ball, and even creating shots for himself. This is something that we haven’t seen much of since he was a rookie in Dallas. He has become a leader on his team, which is something we haven’t really seen too often since he joined the Lakers. He has become a leader, which is something we all can take advantage of when we play the game of basketball.
Michael Redd is another great two-way player, and he might even have more success if not for Rajon Rondo. Redd is a very good defender, rebounder, and passer, but he is oftentimes forced into shooting when he is defending a man down the stretch. This is something that many players have to deal with, especially coming off screens where they don’t have a good look at the basket. The point is that he is great at defense, but he needs penetration to see the layup. That is why he doesn’t score as well as some other guys who are able to score a little more easily.
Some may argue that Kobe Bryant is the best player in the league since he has been there for so long. I would say that is a bit of a statement, but I think that age is just a number. You look at the guys who are older than him, like Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, etc., and you realize that those players have seen a lot more than just the young guns these days. Sure, they have the experience, but they have also become the seasoned veterans that we expect when we say “the cream really does rise to the top.”
If you have a chance, watch some highlights from past seasons to see what type of player Kobe Bryant is during his prime years. I’m sure it will be pretty different than the Kobe Bryant this year, who is probably one of the greatest players in the league. Hopefully, this article gives you some insights into what makes the best players in the NBA so great. Enjoy your search.