Remember in 2006, when every team had someone who would go out and score 25 every night? It seemed like every team had someone in the "Kobe role" or "AI role". Remember when guys like Gilbert Arenas, Michael Redd, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, heck even Shawn Marion, Jason Richardson, Mike Bibby, Chris Bosh, Elton Brand were expected to put their teams on their back every night and drop 20-25? Even Mike James put up 20ppg that year... and why? Because that was what you did. Every team had a guy who could. If you didn't have that guy, you found someone on your team and gave him enough shots until he was that guy.
I get that D Rose and Amare and Dirk have been hurt, but this is striking to me. I see this as the emphasis switching back to team play, and away from superstardom.
Right now, Kobe Bryant is at 27.3ppg, and many fans, both pro- and anti-Kobe, think he is really stretching himself thin scoring that much, that he should be shooting less. And yet, in 2006, he would be fifth, only barely edging out Wade at 27.2.
And take a look at the standings. Oklahoma City and New York and Miami have their high scoring stars, yes, but they're known for team chemistry, not hero ball. And besides them, check out Memphis (top scorer: Rudy Gay, 18.9), San Antonio (Tim Duncan, 18.9), LAC (Jamal Crawford, 17.6), Golden State (Steph Curry, 18.9), Atlanta (Josh Smith, 16.1), Brooklyn (Brook Lopez, 18.5), and Boston (Paul Pierce, 19.2). Most good teams do not have a 20ppg scorer. There are teams that will make the playoffs, and do damage there, who don't even have an 18ppg scorer. Denver has a very good shot at the playoffs, and they do not even have a 16ppg scorer
(but they have 6 guys averaging double figures).
What do you make of this? Does it mean anything? If so, what causes and effects would you identify?
I think of the 2000s as an "imitate Jordan" decade, that started to come to an end with the 2003 draft. With the ascendancy of Wade and Lebron, old-school stars who weren't as self-conscious as the Kobe/AI/Vince Carter generation of stars, when these guys really took over the league, guys known for their passing just as much as their dunks, people came to look at the game in a different way.
So, NBA culture is not pressuring Rudy Gay to be a 25ppg like Mike Redd was. But is that all? Is the individual talent less now than it was in 2006? Or is teamwork greater? Some combination of the two? What do you think?
Edit: This is helpful: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/stats/by...elding&sort=25