Face of the NBA, photo courtesy of memesita.com

Who should take the gauntlet of honor, and become the next face of the NBA in the 2020s?

Each decade, the NBA showcases the greatest talents to ever set foot on the hardwood. During the ’60s, there was Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. In the ’70s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dr. J (Julius Erving) were idolized. We know the ’80s were run by the rivalry of the great Larry Legend and the “Showtime” Magic Johnson.

By the ’90s, it was Michael Jordan’s kingdom. During the 2000s, we saw lots of great talents in Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tim Duncan. A decade later, in the 2010s, the show was run by King James. Add in that list the greatest shooter of all time in Stephen Curry, who changed the game during that time.

But, 75 years have passed since the NBA was established. We could see an era ending. LeBron James is now 37 years old, and Steph is almost 34.

3. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)

The reigning NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic, is probably the most slept-on MVP in history. The guy is a low-key winner and is a very talented player. He was famously known for his jaw-dropping passes, and his ability to score anywhere on the floor.

Nikola Jokic, photo courtesy of usatoday.com
  • The stretch big man was a 2nd round draft pick, 41st overall, in 2014. His talent was not yet seen by coaches and GMs. Little did they know that the Serbian hotshot is an emerging superstar.
  • He became the first second-round draftee to be awarded the NBA MVP Award. At age 26, the “Joker” was already a 3-time All-Star, 3 All-NBA Selections, 1 NBA MVP, 1 NBA MIP, and 1 Olympic Silver Medal.
  • Career Averages: 19.2 PPG, 6.1 APG, 10.2 RPG, 53.9 FG%, 35.0 3P FG%
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Some say that he is the best center in the league today, with his elite rebounding, facilitating, and scoring. Though his defense is a bit mediocre, and his athleticism is below average, the guy is the franchise player of the Denver Nuggets and is number one again in the 2022 MVP Ladder.

2. Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)

The 22-year-old Slovenian was drafted 3rd overall in the 2018 draft class, which featured Trae Young, Marvin Bagley, DeAndre Ayton, Collin Sexton, and Michael Porter Jr. He has been playing consistently at an elite level since his rookie year. Named the Rookie of the Year in 2019, he was set to become the next golden boy of the NBA.

Luka Doncic, photo courtesy of skyports.com
  • He had incredible records even before turning 22. First, he was the youngest player in Mavericks history to reach 5000 points. Second, he was the youngest player in NBA history to record a 30-point,20-rebound triple-double.
  • To add, he already has 22 triple-doubles in his career. The list goes on and on, which simply just shows how good of a player Luka is.
  • Career averages: 26 PPG, 7.9 APG, 8.5 RPG, 45.6 FG%, 33.1 3P FG%

Luka is now a three-time all-star. He also has been part of the All-NBA First team by his sophomore season. The only thing lacking in his resume is a chip and an MVP award. But hey, let’s cut the guy some slack, he’s just 22 years old!

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)

There’s no doubt that in a few years from now, NBA would probably be run by Giannis. The Greek Freak was drafted 15th overall in 2013. Though he was a young and scrawny kid from Greece, he developed into an unstoppable force at both ends of the floor. Giannis struggled during his rookie year but bloomed into an all-star player in his fourth year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, photo courtesy of sportingnews.com

Through hard work and dedication, Giannis has already made it to the top of the NBA. Take note that Giannis is still 27 years old! He is at the peak of his prime.

Some of Giannis’ achievements are:
2021 NBA Champion
2021 NBA Finals MVP
2x MVP (2019,2020)
Defensive Player of the Year (2020)
3x All-NBA 1st Team
2x All-NBA 2nd Team
3x All-NBA Defensive 1st Team
1x All-NBA Defensive 2nd Team
2017 Most Improved Player
6x All-Star
One of the Top 75 Players (75th NBA Anniversary)
  • He already achieved a lot even at the young age of 27. So, no doubt that we will see more of what Giannis can do in the coming years.
  • Career averages:  21.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 4.6 APG, 53.3 FG%, 28.9 3P FG%

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
  • Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
  • Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
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Who do you think will be the next face of the NBA? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.    

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