5 & 6. John Wall & Brandon Jennings – It’s not so much that Jennings and Wall weren’t stars before the Lockout hit, it’s more that the lack of official NBA action has allowed these two to push themselves to the forefront of the basketball universe, making them bigger stars than they ever would be at this point in their careers.
Think about it: If the NBA season had started on time, unless you’re a League Pass beast, the only time you would ever see either one of these two play would be SportsCenter highlights or the random TNT/ESPN game. These two have made it their business to not only play in as many high profile exhibition games as possible, but also to make sure they’re a constant presence on TV, in print and at the forefront of social media. The result? Mainstream recognition, popularity and major stuff like this.