on PinterestExpert Author Pat Mixon
What separates the great from Legend? Why is it that certain players seem to rise not only to the occasion but rip your heart out at the same time? One answer: Killer Instinct.
Michael Jordan is arguably regarded as the greatest basketball player of all-time. I'm not here to debate if he is or isn't. But one trait is undeniable: Michael's Killer Instinct. MJ would not only beat you but slash your throat in the process. He took competitiveness to any entirely new level. He refused to lose.
Magic Johnson appeared to be all smiles, running and gunning, dishing and faking, but down deep, Magic was just as ruthless as MJ. The Magic man wouldn't want to lose at anything. He's notoriously known for wanting to win at cards on the team plane as much as Game Seven of the NBA Finals.
Larry Bird was brutal. He'd do anything to win. And, he'd look you in the eye and tell you that you were going to lose and how. So much so the legend goes that he walked into the locker room at an NBA All-star game before the 3-point contest and barked these famous words: "You're all playing for second." Bird then went out onto the court, kept is warm-ups on and calmly won the contest.
Cold blooded. That's the trait. Competitiveness. At everything. That's the characteristic. Not just willing to take the game winner but demanding it. Pushing teammates aside and telling them to get out of the way.nba 2k locker codes
Playing each game, each minute, like it's your last. That's part of it. You get the drift. ON both ends of the court, whether a pre-season scrimmage, a dog day of February game or the NBA Finals, the players with killer instinct rise up and rip your heart out.
So, who today has these same traits as legends of the past?
Here's ranking the Top 10 Players in today's NBA who have real Killer Instinct?
1. Kobe Bryant. He might actually have more killer instinct that MJ or Magic. He's the definition of warrior. No one in the game today comes close to matching Kobe. He's number one and there isn't a real number two. He's like Bird before that three-point contest. With Kobe's gladiator mentality, everyone else is really playing for second, especially when it comes to Killer Instinct.
2. Dwyane Wade. Forget LeBron James and all the hype. The real closer in Miami is the one that has been there all along. Wade is cut from the same mold as the legend's of the past. This guy comes to play, on both ends of the ball, each and every night. He pushes himself to near Kobe-like work ethic. Wade didn't win a Finals MVP for backing down or shying away. He's a winner, at everything.
3. Kevin Garnett. I can't believe this many Boston Celtics have made the list but there is no denying it. This guy's intensity is legendary. Sometimes, it boils over and burns not only other players but Garnett as well. Look at the mess his mouth as created recently. But does Garnett really care? No way. This guy is warrior through and through. Besides Kobe, no one comes close to matching how hard Garnett works. And, he's got the trash talking to match his Killer Instinct. Garnett is already a legend in both respects.
4. Paul Pierce. There is no denying that Pierce has the heart of a champion. We don't have to like him but he has to be respected. Even when he rolls out of the wheel-chair at the NBA Finals and we're not sure if he was faking it or not, it doesn't matter. He got back up off the canvas and carried his team to the title. And, he fights like that all season long, even against the Clippers.
5. Rajon Rondo. I can't believe this many Boston Celtics have made the list but there is no denying it. They have Killer Instinct. Rondo is right up there with the others. While he is garnering all this attention for his play on the offensive end of the court, with all the mesmerizing assist stats, it's still his defense that demonstrates his killer instinct. He's literally a human vacuum cleaner, sucking up steals all over the court. Don't be surprised if he wins Defensive Player of the Year.
6. Tim Duncan. His bright star might be fading but don't ever go to sleep when the Big Fundamental is around. He'll slash your throat, you just won't hear him coming. He may be all reserved on and off the court, not animated, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have Killer Instinct. In fact, he's sort of like Magic Johnson. You don't see Duncan coming before it is too late. Like three NBA titles too late.
7. Steve Nash. This is the little guy who you don't think can kick your ass but does. He's ruthless. Nash refuses to lose and plays his heart out. And, he relishes in hitting a last second shot and he'll smile at you in the process. He might have lost a step now at thirty-six but barely. And, the fire in his belly still burns.
8. Kevin Durant. He barely makes this list because of him play not in the NBA but from this past summer at the World Championships. Not only did he rise to the occasion and carried the team to the title, but he did it in a way where he was ruthless. He might have started slow but once he got going, he was like MJ of old, just putting his teammates on his back and getting everyone out of the way so he could do his thing. He's a deadly scorer but now has shown he can get it done during "winning time" as Magic Johnson used to say. Now, let's see if Durant does the same thing during the NBA season. If so, he'll be far higher on this list in a very short time.
9. Manu Ginobli. This guy plays like his life depends upon it. He flies around the court, contorting his body like a gymnast or a stripper. He not only is the Spurs' game closer in most situations, but he is also got that mess with you on D attitude. He likes to get under player's skins and does. And, he's winner, not only in the NBA but leading his home country of Argentina to Olympic Gold in Greece.