Loyalty isn't found everywhere nowadays, especially when it comes to sports. Everybody wants to play for the winning team and in the bigger market, so after a couple of failed playoff runs or tough seasons, it's normal to see superstars forcing their way out of their teams.
Even so, a handful of players has lived by their words of not leaving when things get tough. They go out there and compete every single night regardless of the rival, the outcome, or the stage; and let it be known that they would die for their team.
Those players become a huge part of those organization's culture. They earn their stripes, and even if the team knows that it would be best for them to part ways with that player, they keep them around because they don't want to leave. Today, we'll talk about some of those players, letting you know about the top 10 stars that will never leave their teams.
10. Draymond Green
There were some rumors about the Golden State Warriors wanting to trade away Draymond Green to keep Kevin Durant around. Then, some said that Green and Steve Kerr weren't getting along and that Draymond would be a good trade asset for another All-Star.
In reality, we just don't see Draymond Green ever leaving the Bay. We're talking about a player who took a massive discount to help his team's salary-cap situation and someone that signed with Rich Paul but didn't bail out on the team to join the Lakers as some speculated.
Draymond Green is the heart and soul of this current Warriors team and he's talked about finishing what he started. He knows his number will be hanging in the rafters of the Chase Center and that he'll have a statue outside of the Stadium.
9. Donovan Mitchell
Once again, rumors pointed out that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert didn't get along. They said that, if the Utah Jazz kept Gobert, then Mitchell would decline a contract extension or force a trade out of the mountains. Fast-forward to today, and they both signed big extensions.
Mitchell is a bit of an old-school kind of player. He blocks all the outside noise and only does what's best for his team. He embraced a leadership role for the franchise from the very second he set foot on an NBA hardwood and has earned the respect of his peers.
Donovan Mitchell knows what it's like to not be a highly-touted recruit or the most-talked-about guy in the league. He doesn't care about praise or recognition and only wants to win, but win on his own terms. He'll never force his way out.
8. Ja Morant
There are many reasons why everybody's so high on Ja Morant but perhaps the bigger of those is that he's just an old-school kind of player. The veterans around the league already have so much respect for him because of his competitiveness and drive.
Ja Morant is obsessed with getting better and being a leader. He has shown no hesitation, doubts, or negative emotions since entering the league, and he immediately turned the Memphis Grizzlies into a playoff-hopeful team despite their massive roster overhaul.
Morant is the kind of player that won't take the easy way out. He worked his heart off to make a name for himself when he wasn't even a nationally recognized player. And those are the kind of competitors who don't want to jump the ship and join a contender.
7. Klay Thompson
Just like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson lives and breathes Golden State Warriors. He's an insignia of the Bay area and a player that's given too much to the franchise to be traded. He's been a part of that organization since day one and he wants to be there until he retires.
Thompson has talked about playing side by side with Stephen Curry until the very end of their careers. He's one of the most beloved guys around the league and, just like Draymond, he'll also have his jersey retired and a statue in front of the Chase Center.
Klay grew up a Lakers fan as his father was a part of the Showtime era so some people speculated that he'd like to wear the purple-and-gold. Gladly, he shut down that narrative and decided to stay put with the Warriors, even if he could've been a go-to-guy somewhere else.
6. Luka Doncic
Mark Cuban once said that he regretted breaking up Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki so early in their careers and that he wasn't going to let that happen to Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. More than that, he said that if he had to choose between Doncic and his wife, he'd get a divorce.
There's just no way in hell that the Dallas Mavericks are going to let Doncic walk or trade him away. Mark Cuban knows how to take great care of his personnel and Doncic is destined to carry Nowitzki's torch as the face of the organization.
Luka Doncic is a generational talent and the Mavericks have already shown that they're fully committed to surrounding him with every single thing he needs to lead them to an NBA Championship, and it seems like it's just a matter of time before the league is completely his.
5. Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic got it out of the mud. He was a late-second-round pick and slowly worked his way into becoming one of the best big men in the world and the greatest passing big man of all time. He's a perennial MVP candidate and the cornerstone of the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets had big plans for Jokic since he made it to the league. They even traded away all his competition to put the ball in his hands and let him blossom into the offensive juggernaut he is nowadays. They'll do whatever it takes to keep him around.
Moreover, Jokic is a simple man. He enjoys the little things and isn't impressed by the flashy lights of bigger markets, so it's not like he'll demand a trade to the Lakers or New York. The Nuggets continue to get better with the years, so he's not going to go anywhere.
4. Jayson Tatum
It didn't take long before people realized that Jayson Tatum was even better than scouts usually thought. He instantly became one of the first scoring options on his team and continued to work to become an outstanding defender as well.
Tatum continues to take a bigger role every single season and he hasn't shied away from the moment. He's become the face of one of the most successful franchises in the world and it's not like there are many bigger markets than the Boston Celtics.
Jayson Tatum has the chance to write history for the Celtics the same way Larry Bird once did and he's not going to pass on that chance to team up with other stars elsewhere. If anything, fellow All-Stars will want to join him at the TD Garden.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Several months ago, everybody was talking about how Giannis Antetokounmpo could decline to sign the largest contract extension in NBA history to team up with other stars and pursue an NBA Championship after some failed playoff stints with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Then, long before the season started, Giannis shut down that narrative by demonstrating his commitment to the organization and deciding to spend his prime with the Bucks, claiming that he won't go around adversities and will look to win a ring at home.
The Greek Freak is one of the most humble and down-to-earth players in the league. He knows what it's like to have nothing and is thankful for the opportunity the Bucks gave him when no one else trusted him. He's just too loyal to bail out on them.
2. Damian Lillard
If we talk about loyalty, then we have to talk about Damian Lillard, a player who's constantly calling out other superstars for teaming up and getting an easy way to the NBA Finals. If anything, Lillard would rather retire ringless than jumping around the league to become a champion.
Damian Lillard grew up a Warriors fan in Oakland and some people also believed that he would welcome a trade to the Lakers. Sadly for those fans, Lillard has said over and over that he just won't leave because his biggest flaw is his loyalty.
That's the kind of mindset you rarely see in sports nowadays. Lillard has willed the Portland Trail Blazers to the playoffs year after year regardless of his supporting cast and hopefully, he'll get the chance to play for a ring at least once before he retires.
1. Stephen Curry
And last, but not least, we have to talk about Stephen Curry. We hate to break it to you, fans from the other 29 franchises, but Curry won't leave the Golden State Warriors. That's just not happening. Not now, not next year, not ever.
Curry is the Warriors. He has been through thick and thin with them, from being one of the worst teams in the league to a borderline playoff team to becoming the most dominant dynasty basketball had seen in decades and breaking the record for most wins in a season.
Stephen Curry doesn't have anything else to prove, so it's not like he needs another ring to cement his legacy. He won't team up with LeBron James - his biggest rival - or join his hometown Charlotte Hornets as some claim. He'll be a Warrior for life. Hell, he'll be the greatest Warrior ever.