This is a summary of Dirk Nowitzki’s season: NBA Finals MVP, 23 points per game and, oh yeah, did I mention NBA Champion? Now, here’s Allen Iverson’s season… in Turkey: 14 points per game in seven games, knee surgery. And that’s how you know who still has it and who doesn’t.
Ichiro Suzuki VS Alfonso Soriano
If you wouldn’t want Ichiro on your team, than you are either (a) Crazy, or (b) a person who hates the Mariners. He’s wowed everyone and as a veteran, he is still hitting .317 over the last three years (his ninth, 10th, and 11th seasons!). Veteran or not, he is a player any team would want in their lineup. On the other hand, Soriano went to the Cubs in 2007 to defeat the curse, and for a minute it looked like he was going to do it. He batted .299 and .280 in his first two seasons there, but then his average fell below .260 each of the past three seasons. And after some good homer seasons, he only hit 24 last year. It’s been a nice run for him, but the Cubs are going to try and release him ASAP.
Ray Lewis VS Reggie Bush
Alright, I know Bush is only in his fifth season, but frankly, he’s past his prime. He even said it himself on Twitter as soon as the Saints drafted Mark Ingram. This is what his tweet said: “It’s been fun New Orleans,” which means that he thought his career in the big easy was big-time finished. It isn’t surprising, since he missed most of last season with injuries and didn’t do so well for the time he played. Lewis, meanwhile, has been going 15 seasons strong. He’s led the Ravens to multiple playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl. He also has nearly 40 sacks in his career. Rookie or veteran, winner or loser, this guy never stops working, and he is and always will be a complete terror.
Jason Terry VS Gilbert Arenas
Before the start of the season, nobody was quite sure what was going to happen with either of these players. Arenas had played 47 games in the previous three seasons combined, and Terry seemed to have sort of stopped going as fast as a Jet. That question was answered pretty soon. Arenas was coming back fully healed. He didn't exactly turn on the engines, averaging roughly 10 points per game. Being traded mid-season to Orlando ended his Washington reign with a BANG. Terry proved he was still Jet by hitting three after three after three in the playoffs, winning an NBA title, and he averaged 17.5 points per game in the playoffs (plus tying the playoff record for three-pointers in a game). Even though his Jet-ness was doubted, he proved all doubters wrong.
While new stars rise up in the MVP races, some players lose ground while others don’t blink and figure things out. That’s how you know who still has it.