Does the NBA still have true "Franchise" players?
Teams like the Celtics and Spurs can succeed with a model of building around multiple 2nd-tier superstars, but in order to build a championship team around one franchise player, McIntyre says you must have one of the following 7 players:
Overall, it's a solid list, but I have a few issues with it.
For starters, I'm not convinced that Dwight Howard truly deserves a place on this list. Yes, he's the best big man in the league, and yes, he's a defensive powerhouse. But his offensive game isn't exactly game-changing, and he's a liability at the free throw line, particularly at the end of games.
Also, I have an issue with Rose being on this list, particularly ahead of Chris Paul. Look at the way Paul transformed the Clippers this year, and you'll understand why that's a team with a bright future as long as CP3 is manning the point.
Dirk Nowitzki, despite his recent championship, is a fringe player in my mind as well. Sure, he's great, and he led the Mavericks to a championship last year. But that also had a lot to do with the depth they had, and the great assembly of solid talent around him. Let's not pretend that Dirk did it alone.
In today's NBA, I'm hard pressed to consider ANYONE a franchise player to the extent that McIntyre is saying. Kobe needed Shaq back in the day, and now needs guys like Gasol, Bynum, and others to elevate the Lakers to championship status.
Durant has Russell Westbrook, who is no slouch himself. James and Wade have each other.
The NBA is no longer a league in which a team can build around one player and expect to win. If you don't have multiple stars in this league, you simply don't have a chance.