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Who is the best player in the NBA in 2012?

Updated on February 5, 2013

Who do you think is the best player?

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Who is the best NBA player right now? That's a tough question. There are a few elite players in the NBA at this time. But which NBA player is the best right now? The Kobe vs. LeBron debate has gone on for years now and both players have made a strong case for being the best in the past. However, are either of these players the best in the league in 2012? Several other players join them in deserving consideration as the best player in the NBA. Make sure to vote in the poll to choose who you think is the best NBA player in 2012!


LeBron James
LeBron James | Source

LeBron James

"King James" is off the charts with athleticism, talent, and skill. He is nearly the complete package. His freakish athleticism, for his size, gives him a mismatch in almost every game. He has refined his game over the years and can score in many ways. James has had superb regular seasons for years, but has had a string of disappointing playoff appearances. One of the only real knocks on LeBron James is his inability to play at a high-level in the fourth quarter of big games over the last few playoffs. Last year, LeBron finally got the best of his playoff nemesis, Boston Celtics, and moved on to the Eastern Conference championship where the Heat beat the Bulls. His fourth-quarter troubles returned in the NBA championship, and the Heat fell to the Dallas Mavericks. LeBron is off to a hot start again this year and the Heat are considered title-contenders.

Update - June 22, 2012

LeBron James completed a magnificent run through the playoffs and brought home his first NBA championship. James made a very strong argument, with his playoff performance, that he is the best player in the NBA. Not only were his numbers amazing, but LeBron brought all the intangibles this year and silenced his critics.

The Durantula
The Durantula | Source

Kevin Durant

The "Durantula" continues to dominate on the floor while garnering only a fraction of the media attention of other top players. Will 2012 be the year that Kevin Durant wins his first MVP? The Oklahoma City Thunder are off to a hot start and are expected to be title contenders. Durant is putting up a career best 51 percent FG shooting. He has also improved in assists and rebounds. Though he has won the previous two NBA scoring titles he is often not mentioned as being the best player in the league. At 23 years-old, Durant should be around for many more years and at his current pace will continue to improve. A deep playoff run or championship appearance (or win) will definitely improve his popularity and regard as being the best player. In terms of stats, Durant has been spectacular and is a strong candidate for the best player in the league.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant | Source

Kobe Bryant

The "Black Mamba" AKA Kobe Bryant has been atop the NBA for years as one of the best players. Many people would consider him the best. Though Kobe is getting older, his game is still elite. Bryant has spent his entire career as a Laker and is an all-time great. Stats are one thing, but Kobe has rings. Five championships. Two of those without Shaquille O'Neal. Kobe had a lot of help on those teams, but there is no arguing that those were his teams. Kobe is still putting up great averages even at his age. Always known as a great scorer, The Mamba is also a premier defender and has made numerous NBA All-Defensive teams. The Lakers have fallen off a bit in 2012 and Kobe will likely have to continue to play at a very high level for the Lakers to make a deep playoff run.

Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose | Source

Derrick Rose

The MVP of the 2010-2012 season is playing exceptionally in 2011-2012. Unfortunately Rose has suffered from some nagging injuries this season. The missed playing time has played a big factor in whether or not Rose can repeat as MVP. Rose is a complete point guard and is a true floor general. In his time on the floor so far this year, Rose has increased his scoring average and assists average. Rose is a superb athlete and is one of the most impressive players to watch. He is unbelievable at scoring around the basket and makes some acrobatic and dizzying shots. It will be interesting to see how Rose fights through his injuries this season. Rose lead the Bulls to a deep playoff run in 2011, where they were beat by LeBron and the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.He has earned a spot alongside the elite in the league, but time will tell if he can stay at the top.


Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard | Source

Dwight Howard

"Superman" is playing fantastic yet again this year. He is leading the league in rebounding and is near the top in blocks per game. Howard is the premier big man in the league, and is a force on offense and defense. A tough situation in Orlando, where Howard has asked for a trade, has not seemed to have an impact on the numbers he has posted thus far. It could be argued that Howard does not fit the system in Orlando and that he should get more shots per game than he is getting. It seems as if he doesn't get the ball enough in close games - but this is likely due to his pathetic free-throw shooting ability. This is an area where it seems like he has actually regressed even further. Free-throws can't take away from how dominant of a force Howard is in scoring, rebounding, shot-blocking, and defending. It is likely that the Magic will only go as far as Howard takes them in the playoffs.


2012 - 2013 Regular season stats - updated 2/5/2013

Player
Points per game
RBG
Assists per game
Blocks per game
Steals per game
LeBron James
26.7
8.3
7.0
.8
1.7
Kobe Bryant
27.7
5.2
5.4
0.2
1.4
Kevin Durant
29.4
7.5
4.4
1.2
1.6
Derrick Rose
-
-
-
-
-
Dwight Howard
16.5
11.9
1.6
2.4
1.0

2012 playoff stats

Player
Points per game
RBG
Assists per game
Blocks per game
Steals per game
LeBron James
30.3
9.7
5.6
.7
1.9
Kobe Bryant
30
4.8
4.3
.2
1.3
Kevin Durant
28.5
7.4
3.7
1.2
1.4
Derrick Rose
23
9
9
1
1
Dwight Howard
-
-
-
-
-
Derrick Rose played one game in the first round before injuring his ACL. Dwight Howard played zero games due to a season-ending back injury.

2011 -2012 Regular season stats

Player
Points per game
RBG
Assists per game
Blocks per game
Steals per game
LeBron James
27.1
7.9
6.2
.8
1.8
Kobe Bryant
27.9
5.4
4.6
.3
1.2
Kevin Durant
28
8
3.5
1.2
1.3
Derrick Rose
21.8
3.4
7.9
.7
.9
Dwight Howard
20.6
14.5
1.9
2.2
1.5

Comments

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    • profile image

      Matt.G 5 years ago

      lEbRON NO DOUBT

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      Looks like LeBron is out in front right now. Nice 51 point game by Durant last night though.

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 5 years ago

      I agree with Chuck from last night's NBA telecast. Lebron James is no doubt the best player in the world. Miami will go as far as he can take them!

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comment, sam209. I think this is the defining year for LeBron. If the Heat win the championship, I think the argument of best player just might shift in his favor.

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 5 years ago

      He better win it this year. As far as I'm concerned, there's no excuses. I'm personally not a big fan of championships won during a shorter season but at the same time, LeBron and Miami Heat need to start their dynasty now, if there's ever going to be one.

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      I agree. Some people may put the asterisk next to it if the Heat win it this year...but if they win it a couple more times that won't matter.

    • profile image

      NBA Fan 5 years ago

      Labron will be the Dan marino of the NBA. great in the "regular" season, but will always crumle during the Finals or when it matters the most. he just can't finish.

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      I hear what you're saying, but he still has a lot of years ahead of him.

    • Mageplasm profile image

      Mageplasm 5 years ago

      Great Hub onthegrind. I really think LeBron has come out expanded his game this season. Kinda hard to do that considering how complete of a player he was even before the start of the season. Of course, we still have to see if he can deliver in the Finals

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for commenting, Mageplasm. The way he is playing is really impressive. He seems more determined and focused than ever. Can't wait to see how the best players perform in the playoffs.

    • profile image

      Diceman24 5 years ago

      Lebron is playing at his best now...with or without D-Wade in the line. Lets see what happens when Derrick Rose comes back from the injury. His name would definitely be in the conversation if he wasn't hurt.

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comment, Diceman. LeBron had a nice game last night against the Sixers. The more time that Wade misses with his knee injury, the better the stats may be for LeBron. And I agree about Derrick Rose.

    • profile image

      rw 5 years ago

      Kobe best in leaugue.. its not even close

    • profile image

      carmellofan 5 years ago

      durant,lebron,kobe,rose,howard

    • profile image

      Jonathan G. 5 years ago

      Kevin Durant is the best player there is

    • profile image

      that guy 5 years ago

      IT's durantula time

    • profile image

      dre 5 years ago

      Lebron of course

    • profile image

      trinell 5 years ago

      Kobe hands down!!!

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      As far as the scoring title goes, it's a really tight race between Kobe and Kevin Durant. Looks like it is going down to the last regular season game.

    • profile image

      sylvester 5 years ago

      Kobe because what good is player if he cannot deliver when the team need it more

    • STEVEW13 profile image

      Steve Wright 5 years ago from Norwich, England

      Tough one between Rose and Durant for me... great hub though!

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comment, STEVEW13. Durant grabbed the scoring title and has made a solid case for belonging amongst the elite of the league.

    • profile image

      chris jhon endrina 5 years ago

      HEY LIBRON YOUR SO GOOD YOU ARE NY IDOL

    • profile image

      Codeman 5 years ago

      Kobe is the best. He would have had the scoring title by a mile had he not had the shin problems. And he already had 3 rings by the time he was lebron's age. Lebron is the best athlete in the league. Kobe is hands down the best player. No one will ever say Lebron is the next MJ but there's talk that Kobe could be the best player ever by the time he retires.

    • slywas007 profile image

      Idalberto TOrres 5 years ago from Miami Florida

      I think we all can agree that Lebron James is the best player in the world, and of all time in the NBA league. No one comes close to what Lebron can do!!!

    • profile image

      justinho 4 years ago

      lebron james is the best player because miami heat is in the final with boston celtics.I hope miamiheat will beat boston celtics.But the problem is boston celtics is kind of a good team and they got rajon rondo,ray allen,kevin garnett, and paul priece.The best thing i like about lebron james is ,he does awsome dunks and make alot of 3 pointers

    • profile image

      justinho 4 years ago

      when lebron james was in cleverland he was good but he was better joining miami heat

    • profile image

      tatiana22 4 years ago

      Lebron james is the best player hands down nobody is touching him

    • profile image

      sina661 4 years ago

      It comes down to who you want on your team when it matters who's clutch enough and who just wants to when more at 33/34 years old KOBE BRYANT is the best then bron then durrant rose,Superman

    • profile image

      Jamesjones32 4 years ago

      How can you compare Kobe being clutch too Lebron espn just did research on kobe he has not he a game winner since 2007. He lost too big play off games too OKC where was mr clutch lets not for get Kobe got rings buts every teams he has won with have had. 3 alstars in 2006 and 2007 lakers get put out the first round by the sun and we all seen how big of a baby Kobe is doing interviews saying he want Andrew traded but it seem everyone forgets this. Not to forget lakers got lost to Dallas and did not win a games last playoff. Lebron play more better playoff games this year then Kobe the past 2 years

    • SiameseRobot profile image

      SiameseRobot 4 years ago from Boise, ID

      Great Article.

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comment, SiameseRobot!

    • profile image

      allstar 4 years ago

      No doubt, its been LeBron James this season. N the good thing is he has proved invincible in the playoffs and the finals as well this year (unlike what history suggests). He has had an all round performance both offensively as well as defensively. MIAMI and JAMES for the title

    • profile image

      Rock 4 years ago

      Lebron finally got his tonight

    • slywas007 profile image

      Idalberto TOrres 4 years ago from Miami Florida

      Miami loves Lebron, Wade and Bosh!!! We are the Champions of the World!!! Congratulations to all the Miami Heat Players & Organization!

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for commenting again, slywas007. Congrats to Miami. Their relatively short series with the Thunder makes me even more impressed by what the Celtics were able to do in the ECF. Now, how many more rings for LeBron?

    • slywas007 profile image

      Idalberto TOrres 4 years ago from Miami Florida

      There will probably be a few more, but right now we are loving this moment fully. I will be going to the parade on Sunday to cheer Lebron on!!!

    • FF Commish profile image

      FF Commish 4 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      It's not even close. Lebron can dominate both sides of the court, and there is nothing that he cannot do at an elite level (but shoot 3s, but he's still well above average at that).

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comment, FF Commish. It's amazing how impressive the all-around game of LeBron is. He has improved in so many areas.

    • FF Commish profile image

      FF Commish 4 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      How much better do you think he can get, onthegrind?

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

      Man, it's hard to imagine what else he can improve on. He is a much better jump-shoooter than he used to be and doesn't lack much with his game. Really, I think all he has left to do is maybe cement himself as the alpha dog of his team, and the league. I think now having a ring will help do that, and take some pressure off of him. His confidence should definitely be up. It will be interesting to see how thia chanfes the NBA in years to come.

    • FF Commish profile image

      FF Commish 4 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      Interesting. Great answer, onthegrind.

    • profile image

      JulianM 4 years ago

      Kevin Durant is the best player there is!

    • sonnyhodgin profile image

      Sonny Hodgin 4 years ago from Indiana

      You've got to give it to MVP Lebron. He's phenomenal. A couple of my other favorites are Rajon Rondo and James Harden, though. I like how unique they are, and they both still have lots of room to grow.

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comment, sonnyhodgin. LeBron really took it to another level this year. Rondo is definitely a rising star as well.

    • profile image

      jayjaybeliganio 4 years ago

      i think still got it...ehe

    • profile image

      rideordie 4 years ago

      Kevin Durant is the best NBA player in the world. Lebron won the championship by luck.

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

      I'm not really sure how LeBron won the championship by luck. He was on a team with a couple other very good players - so that really helps. The Celtics, however, were less than one quarter of play away from stopping LeBron and Miami. Can't wait to see how Kevin Durant does this year.

    • onthegrind profile image
      Author

      onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

      Thanks for the comment, treehousebrandon. You make a solid argument for why LeBron may be the best player. His defense is definitely overlooked because of how prolific he is with the ball. Good input.

    • profile image

      jc 4 years ago

      i think lebron james and kobe bryant are the great player of all

    • profile image

      jay 4 years ago

      its lebron

    • profile image

      Poop 4 years ago

      kobe without a doubt. he doesnt just play games, he WINS. and thats what its all about in the NBA

    • slywas007 profile image

      Idalberto TOrres 4 years ago from Miami Florida

      Lebron all the way!!! He is unstoppable!!!

    • profile image

      handmaster 4 years ago

      kd all the way

    • profile image

      harry1245 4 years ago

      Lebron is the boss he makes the biggest slam dunks who doesn't like Lebron

    • profile image

      KillerSwag 4 years ago

      Okay lets get to business my man Kevin Durant is the BEST...I know you all saw that game when he score 51 points. Don't get me wrong Lebron James is good but he doesn't really have a jump shot like KD.

      But on the other hand who can stop Lebron going to the lane... if KD buff up like Lebron... he will be even MORE unstoppable!!! KD35 A Beast

    • kingkos profile image

      kingkos 4 years ago

      Lebron and kevin durant, scoring durant for me, for overall rebounds etc

      lebron for me.

    • profile image

      toby 4 years ago

      kobe bryant. still the best player.

    • profile image

      lebron 6 months ago

      lebronjames is the best player in the 11/12/13/14/15/16/17

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