We are transitioning into a new era of professional basketball in this here United States. Many of the common powerhouses, the Lakers, the Celtics and even the Spurs have all shown this year what the wear and tear that their deep playoff and championship runs has done to them over the last decade.
Kobe Bryant, who has played a lot, and I mean A LOT of playoff minutes over his 15-year NBA career is showing signs of slowing down. His co-captain, Derek Fisher, who came into the league with Bryant has accumulated a lot of those playoff minutes, and is rusty as well. Other players like Kevin Garnett (15-year career), Shaquille O'Neal (19-year career), Paul Pierce (13-year career) and Ray Allen (15-year career) have had their share of deep runs into the playoffs too.
Arguably the best power forward in the game, Tim Duncan has contributed to four San Antonio Spurs championships in his 14-year career. Even though he only has four rings, he has still been in playoffs way more than half the years he has been playing in the NBA.
With that being said, this 2010-11 season has undoubtedly helped us turn to a new chapter in an already spectacular NBA history. Those old powerhouses, the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs are sure enough passing the torch to the new and upcoming star-filled teams in the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks. Once these future hall of famers retire from the NBA, the take over of the new class of superstars will be in full effect. The Blake Griffins, John Walls, LeBron James, Dwayne Wades and Kevin Durants of the NBA will make more history for this upcoming decade and ultimately pass the torch down to the next generation when their careers come to a close.
This turn of events is good for the NBA, and there will be a lot of young athletes who will try to top Kobe's accolades, or try to master Timmy's picture-perfect bank shot, or imitate Garnett's toughness and intimidation, or out shoot the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made, Ray Allen. It's a new era evolving right in front of our eyes, and I am terribly excited to see what the future holds for us NBA fans.