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Kobe Bryant, Drik Nowitzki and Udonis Haslem select club

By James Brown

Kobe Bryant, Drik Nowitzki and Udonis Haslem select club

Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Udonis Haslem are the only players to belong to this select club.

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Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and Udonis Haslem might not be in the conversation for best players in NBA history. But there's no debating the importance of the three in the league. Still, there's one record that only these three players achieve what no other players have done. The three of them are the only ones to play for 20 seasons or more with the same franchise. Haslem was the last to do it as he just signed an extension with the Miami Heat.

Kobe Bryant is undoubtedly one of the best players in NBA history. He might not be the best, but he's up there. He began his career in 1996 as an 18-year-old kid. He was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 13th pick overall. There, Kobe played for 20 seasons, winning 5 NBA championships, first a three-peat from 2000-2002 and then a back-to-back in 2009-10. The ‘Black Mamba’ was a top player in 18 out of his 20 seasons as he was selected to 18th all-star games. He also won a MVP award in 2008.

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As for Dirk Nowitzki, who entered the league in 1998, being selected 9th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks, but he never played a game for them as he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks before the start of the season. As a Mavericks player, Dirk wasn't as successful as Kobe, but the power forward was still an NBA champion in 2011, winning MVP of the finals. In 2007, he won the regular season MVP, and he was selected to play in 14 all-star games.

Finally, Udonis Haslem joined the very select, 20th season with the same team  this year as he was signed by the Heat in 2002 after going undrafted. He might not be the best player in NBA history, but he was successful, winning three NBA titles. It's not common that a player without being the face of the franchise stays for as long as he has, but that only goes to show you how much the Miami Heat values the player.

Other players that should've joined this club

As said above, this is a very unique club. Kobe was the first ever player to enter, followed by Dirk three years later. And finally, it's third member joined this offseason. Still, I believe that there are players that should've joined this club. Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, and Tim Duncan should've joined this club. There's no doubt each player was of big importance to their respective team, it's just they retired too soon. Especially Tim Duncan who retired one season shy of it.

 


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