Jason Byrd’s top 10 NBA players of 2017

Basketball and the holidays go together. These 10 players are the NBA’s gift to fame. Their skills on the court can fire up anyone on a cold winter day. Here are my favorites and the top 10 players of 2017.

  1. LeBron James

Four time MVP, made the All-NBA 1st Team for the last 9 years, and has three rings to his name, James was the 2016 Finals MVP. How could Lebron James not be the number one player in the league? He’s considered the best player in the NBA ever! And how could you disagree with that? Last season, James averaged 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game. He led his team to a 51-29 record in the 2016-2017 season. James is 32 years old and is still showing the world why he’s the best.

  1. Kevin Durant

Whether you think Durant is a traitor or not because he went from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors, he’s an incredible player. He’s listed at 6’9” but recently in a broadcast interview KD said he is 6’ 10” and ¾ without shoes on. When he is on the court (wearing shoes) he reaches a towering 7’ 0”.  MVP in 2014 and 2017 Finals MVP, Durant had an insane season with the Golden State Warriors during 2016-2017. He had 25.1 points per game and led the team in rebounds with 8.3 rebounds per game and blocks with 1.6 blocks per game. Durant carried the team when Stephen Curry or Draymond Green were out because of injury. Durant is going help lead this team to many more championships.

  1. Russell Westbrook

Mr. Triple Double himself is number three on the list. Westbrook is an overall beast, averaging 31.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.7 rebounds per game last season. This season as of December 19, 2017, he picked up where he left off. Westbrook is starting out with 23.3 points, 9.8 assists, and 9.6 rebounds per game and he’s only played 30 games this season. Last season’s MVP, Westbrook beat Oscar Robertson’s triple double record with 42. Who know what Westbrook will do this year.

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak is playing so well I think he could be an MVP, if not this season, then next season. In the first 7 games of the season in October, Antetokounmpo averaged 33.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. His season average as of December 19, 2017 is 29.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, which leads the Milwaukee Bucks in both categories. Antetokounmpo has progressively gotten much better since he first entered the league in 2013. From averaging 6.8 points per game, he’s become NBA superstar. He could very well be the future face of the NBA.

  1. Kawhi Leonard

Former Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016 and Finals MVP in 2014, Kawhi Leonard is beyond fantastic. While he has been injured this season, Leonard is still a top 5 player. In his return on December 12, 2017, Leonard scored 13 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes. Last season, Leonard was a MVP candidate and rightfully deserved to be MVP. In the 2016-2017 season, Leonard led the team with 25.5 points per game and 1.8 steals per game. Leonard could’ve led the San Antonio Spurs to another championship last season; however, a terrible ankle injury during the game against the Warriors resulted in a loss. Leonard will be attempting to take Golden State’s crown this year and is another potential MVP.

  1. Stephen Curry

While some people think Stephen Curry is an overrated player who only shoots three pointers, Curry is one of the more talented guards in the league. The former MVP in 2015 and 2016 has 26.3 points per game and is leading the Warriors with 1.7 steals per game as of December 19, 2017. He also has 5.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. Curry had recently sustained an injury but, when he returns, the rest of the NBA better be ready for him.

  1. James Harden

Harden at number 7 could potentially move his way up the list, with the way he’s been performing recently. Being last year’s runner up for MVP, Harden was close to averaging a triple-double with 29.1 points, 11.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game. This season, Harden has been playing as if he is the MVP.  As of December 19, 2017, he leads the team with 31.3 points per game.  With the effort Harden has been putting in, Westbrook better be careful; Or otherwise, that MVP label could end up in the hands of one of the NBA’s most dangerous players.

  1. Anthony Davis

Making the All-NBA First Team, the All-Defensive Second Team, and being the All Star MVP in 2017, Davis has proven to be a monstrous player. Last season, Davis averaged 28.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, which are both career high averages for him. As of December 19, 2017, he leads the New Orlean Pelicans with 2.0 blocks per game. Davis, standing at 6’ 10” and 253 lbs., is one of the league’s best defenders (when he’s healthy.)

  1. Draymond Green

Current All-Defensive First Team and Defensive Player of 2017, Green has proven to be the best defender in the league. Green, as of December 19, 2017, leads the Warriors with 7.2 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Last season, Green led the Warriors with 7.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. So far in December, Green has averaged 2.3 blocks per game. Green guards the best of the best in the league (some of who are on this list) and continues to show he can guard any player that challenges him. He’s not going to back down from any challenge.

  1. Kyrie Irving

Even with being the last person on the list, Kyrie Irving is a player that I believe can move up on this list. Last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Irving had an average of 25.2 points and 5.8 assists per game, which would have led the team, but of course, LeBron took the spotlight. This season, Kyrie is leading the Boston Celtics to be one of the best teams in the NBA. Irving leads the Celtics with 24.4 points and 1.3 steals per game. Not only that, but Irving is leading his teammates. Jaylen Brown is having an unbelievable year. The rookie out of Duke, Jayson Tatum is also having a fantastic rookie year. When Kyrie got traded, he wanted to be the leader of the team and I would say he got his wish