With less than one month remaining until the NBA preseason starts, there’s no debate that this year’s basketball showcase will be filled with intense showdowns and superstar performances. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Duh, this happens every year!” Well you’re entirely correct. The United States is home to the greatest basketball players in the world. But this year is different for a number of reasons. From Kobe’s possible retirement to Anthony Davis being listed as argurably the third best player in the league this year, there is so much hype around this season. So much that we’re giving you a list of six players you should keep an eye on this year.
Number Six: James Harden.
Harden is the newest member of the Adidas family with a contract worth $200 million over 13 years. Though he isn’t as flashy on the court as some of the other players on this list, he’s one of the best players in the league and has amazing offensive prowess.
Number Five: Kobe Bryant.
Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant has blessed us with an amazing 20 years of basketball. This year marks the last of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, and it may be his last year playing professional ball. No one’s quite sure what he will do – even Kobe isn’t even sure. His decision to retire depends on how well his body holds up this season. Plagued with season-ending injuries for the past three years, Bryant’s best days are behind him. However, watching Kobe play this season is something every fan is looking forward to.
Number Four: LeBron James.
The return of the “King” to Cleveland last year made worldwide news. Not only did he manage to lead the Cavaliers to the Finals his first year back, but he also influenced strategic trades to develop a team capable of reaching the big show. This season, LeBron is determined to bring a championship to a city that has never had one.
Number Three: Anthony Davis.
This guy single-handedly made the unibrow cool and fashionable. Sports Illustrated projects Davis to be the third best player in the league this season. He also led the Pelicans to their first playoff birth last season. Enough said.
Number Two: D’Angelo Russell.
If you don’t already know, D’Angelo Russell was the second overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. At the tender age of 19, Russell left Ohio State University to play for the Lakers. He’s projected to have a standout rookie year alongside the legendary Kobe Bryant.
Number One: Stephen Curry.
The reigning MVP and point guard who is considered to be the best shooter ever, Stephen Curry defied the odds and led the Warriors to their fourth NBA championship last season. Let’s hope he can do it again this season.