As we bid farewell to 2009 and start a New Year in 2010, plenty of amazing things happened this year and throughout the decade. Here are some of the key highlights and moments of the last ten years in the NBA.
Numerous questions still are unanswered heading into 2010. Is Lebron James the NBA’s biggest star or will Kobe Bryant manage to control part of next decade? Will Lebron seek his first ring in Cleveland, and will Shaquille O’Neal become a 5-time NBA Champion? Can Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic come out on top in the Eastern Conference and make a run for an NBA title?
Lebron James is about to dominate the coming decade whether you want him to or not. He’s watching his options for 2010 very closely. We all know what Lebron wants, and the only thing standing in his way is Kobe Bryant and a supporting cast. Kobe’s time has come and passed in a long and successful career, but he’s not finished yet: 4-time NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP in 2009, 2008 NBA MVP, 11 Time NBA All-Star, and 81 points in one game. If I were Kobe Bryant, I wouldn’t call it quits until my contract expired in Los Angeles and see what offers are available after the end of his run in LA. Odds are after he leaves Hollywood, he is almost certainly retiring.
Although Lebron James and Kobe Bryant are the main topics of the future and past, younger talent like Brandon Jennings, Blake Griffin, and Tyreke Evans are all possible stars of the future. Brandon Jennings has already showcased his bright future as a rookie. Who knows what Blake Griffin will bring to the league and the Los Angeles Clippers? Everyone is eagerly awaiting Blake Griffin’s return, even if he doesn’t show up for the rest of his rookie year.
Of course exciting finishes happened; records were broken and amazing happened. The last 10 years have been hard to keep up with, but without a doubt here are the ten concluding moments of the last decade.
#10: Pacers – Pistons brawl in the Palace of Auburn Hills. (Ron Artest’s defining moment in Indiana)
#9: With the 1st overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select: Lebron James.
#8: Robert Horry retired in 2008, after 16 seasons, and winning 7 NBA titles.
#7: Celtics – Bulls first round playoff series (2009) It was only a first round playoff series, but a series to remember. Derrick Rose scored 36 points in his playoff debut, and Ray Allen had 51 points in Game 6 to tie the series up at 3 games apiece. Boston won the series in 7 games.
#6: In 2007, an NBA official betting on games is first reported. Conclusions are drawn about the outcome of certain games, and whether referees were biased. It is a fact that referees were biased, favoring certain teams on any given night to win a bet. Early this season the truth was revealed about Tim Donaghy. Donaghy ruined the game of basketball for some fans and hurt the NBA’s reputation as a league.
#5: Allen Iverson’s career is renewed in Philadelphia. The possibility of Allen Iverson retiring was eliminated after he re-signed with his former team.
#4: Michael Jordan’s Decade of Dominance came to a disappointing end after playing two seasons for the Washington Wizards.
#3: Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Kobe was 28 of 46, and knocked down seven 3-pointers. He played only 42 minutes of the game, but this game undoubtedly represented the best performance of his career during the decade.
#2: The San Antonio Spurs won their fourth NBA title in 2007. The 2007 NBA Champions won three titles this decade. San Antonio is one of the best teams of the last 10 years, even with struggles this season. Tim Duncan and his group is a veteran team, but the Spurs will always be overlooked because of the dominance of the Los Angeles Lakers.
#1: Shaq and Kobe part ways in 2004. The close relationship comes to an end. Together Shaq and Kobe managed to win three straight NBA titles. Arguably the most dominant duo ever, maybe even better than Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen who were in some eyes mind-blowing and un-beatable. A strong ego between Shaq and Kobe held them from accomplishing much, much more.