With the NBA Playoffs upon us, I thought it would be fun to take a visual review of this year's outstanding players via MinSuk's stylish illustrations.
MinSuk aka Kwang33 is one of the leading sports illustrators in Korea. He designs for several sports organizations, magazines & international clients. He has worked 10 years as the lead designer for the Korean magazine, "Rookie" which covers the NBA. He illustrates for the Korean Basketball League as well as Jumpball magazine which covers the KBL. He shares many of his designs on his Facebook page NBA Illustration.
This has been Stephan Curry's year. Truly a special season where everything seemed to come together for the Warriors. I think Steve Kerr is a very special basketball mind & his time with Gregg Popovich has had a lot to do with his current success. But Curry is the glue of the team, with his on court domination, focus & demeanor with Kerr & teammates which brought them to 67 wins & will take them deep into the playoffs.
With Dwight Howard continuing to demonstrate how disinterested he is with basketball, James Harden has carried the Rockets to 2nd place in the west, an almost unbelievable achievement. I'm a huge Curry fan, but Harden deserves this year's MVP.
The return home was the big story for Lebron James who seemed to also return to mediocrity, or at least a shadow of the player he was in Miami. Coming back to Cleveland was the bravest personal decision since Jordan retired to pursue his baseball dreams. Cavs are my team in the East, but if they do make it to the Finals I think it will only be a 5 game affair.
I am a Russell Westbrook H8tr! I know he is an extraordinary, bordering on freakish athlete & he brings an AI intensity to the game. However, just like AI, all that emotion is a double edge sword, as much as it drives him to incredible plays, it also causes him to make just as many mistakes. I saw flashes of him learning to lead & making his teammates better, but I think when it comes down to the last 5 minutes of a game he will always choose hero ball over making the right play.
I love the Clippers & I think Blake Griffin made more massive improvements this season by developing his jumper. This just isn't their year though, maybe he can have a Curry like season next year, if the Clips make the right moves in the off season.
The other splash brother continues to grow & develop, Klay Thompson & Steph compliment each other perfectly.
The ageless wonder, the Spurs are just always in it. The sleeping giant awoke at just the right time & they are probably the scariest team in the west. Nobody wants to play them, they're just too old & crafty with all those uncle at the YMCA moves. Definitely going to see them in Western Conference Playoffs.
Can the pupil, Kerr defeat his master, Popovich?
As I said, I'm a huge Clippers fan, but Chris Paul lost me this season. Besides getting his ankles retired by Curry's sick cross, I just saw a player who wasn't a champion & never will be. He's too much of a weasel to ever win a ring. With his flopping & trying to draw contact on every play, to his obsessive chattering with the refs, he takes himself out of the game by focusing too much on things that are out of his control & not on elevating those around him above all the noise.
Steve Nash retiring, what a class act. His retirement announcement was one of the best letters I have ever read. He should have retired last year, but he explains how hard it was to let go & admit he couldn't play at an NBA level anymore. So proud as a Canadian & I hope he goes on to coach in Canada & develop talent there. We sure need it.
MinSuk Kim (김민석)
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