The offseason is when the stars collide, the Olympics, the VMAs, Fashion Night Out.
The wing man? He's to the left or the right.
For many, in fact these days for most, it will continue with the opening of training camps, with the NBA to a degree now presented as a buddy movie.
Wade and LeBron in Miami. Amare and Carmelo in New York. Pierce and Rondo in Boston. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in Los Angeles.
And, now, Dwight and Kobe in Los Angeles, as well.
Heck even Brooklyn has gotten into the act, with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.
This is nothing new, with Bigs Twos practically passe in this era of Big Threes ... or more, which is why Chris Bosh also is part of the equation in Miami, Tyson Chandler part of the mix in New York, Kevin Garnett part of the process in Boston, etc., including Steve Nash with the Lakers, Gerald Wallace with the Nets.
But as the season approaches, there are others, who, with the ends of those games in the Drew and Goodman leagues and at Dyckman and Rucker parks, will have to return to more solitary realities.
And sobering realities.
These are the stars who consistently have to stand out for their teams to stand a chance, because they essentially stand alone. One long has been the loneliest number in the NBA. It led LeBron away from Cleveland, Bosh away from Toronto. It's a lonely reality, one Howard no longer could tolerate with the Magic, one Paul escaped from in New Orleans.
So who stands alone this season?
We offer up a six-pack of potential soloists, as well as others close to similar realities.
In recent years, Mark Cuban has done a nice job of finding complementary pieces for Dirk, be it Shawn Marion, Vince Carter or current stopgap additions Elton Brand, Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo.
On one hand, Cuban has left the door open for late-career revival for Dirk with Paul and Howard, at least for now, still in the 2013 free-agent pool. But at 34, a do-it-alone crunch-time existence can't be what Nowitzki had in mind.
A healthy Ricky Rubio would change the outlook. But after his breakout season with the Timberwolves, Love got a summer-long taste of playing as part of an ensemble with the United States' success at the London Olympics.
If Rubio doesn't prove to be an enduring success, Love might have to reassess the entire Minnesota equation, because the 'Wolves already gave up on Michael Beasley as a potential co-star and Derrick Williams hardly appears to be on the fast track.
There was a point this offseason when it appeared Nicolas Batum was headed to Minnesota in free agency, which certainly would have upgraded Love's outlook.
Instead, Batum is essentially the only thing from keeping Aldridge as the sole focus in Portland.
The fates have not been kind to Aldridge. There could have been a Big Three-of-the-Northwest alongside Greg Oden and Brandon Roy. Now, several knee issues later, both are gone.
Perhaps Damian Lillard makes his anticipated breakout. Otherwise, it looks like another season of Aldridge and complementary pieces.
Bradley Beal had better bring to the Washington hardwood what RG3 is delivering to the gridiron, otherwise all defensive eyes figure to remain on the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 draft.
At this stage, with the Wizards yet again rebuilding, this time in the wake of the selloff of athletic knuckleheads JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche, it's not as if Nene or Emeka Okafor are going to draw much opposition game-plan attention away from Wall.
How good is John Wall in a team concept? The Wizards have yet to allow us to find out, as he continues to play on an island by himself.
There is a reason the Bulls pursued James and Wade in 2010 free agency, as well as a reason 2010 consolation prize Carlos Boozer has been linked to potential 2013 amnesty.
Considering the way coach Tom Thibodeau has benched Joakim Noah at the ends of close games, and in light of Luol Deng's inability to stay healthy, it's almost as if Taj Gibson is going to have to emerge to leave Rose with any sense of a running partner.
For now, amid Rose's knee rehab, the stand-alone star issue is on hold.
Bynum clearly wanted more in Los Angeles. Well, he's out of the shadow of Kobe and Pau. And now he finds himself lining up alongside ... a bunch of nice ensemble players, some of whom overachieved last season under Doug Collins.
While the shooting of Thaddeus Young, Jason Richardson, Jrue Holiday, Nick Young and Dorell Wright could space the floor, they are, in the end, merely Thaddeus Young, Jason Richardson, Jrue Holiday, Nick Young and Dorell Wright.
From third option, Bynum might find himself as only option when the 76ers positively, absolutely have to have a basket.
Eric Gordon might find himself as a do-it-alone presence with the Hornets in the short term, but at least will play amid the hope provided by Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers; by contrast, Kyrie Irving still has no definitive insight into who his long-term Cleveland co-star might be; such also appears the case with the Warriors' Stephen Curry, although a reemergence from Andrew Bogut or an emergence by Harrison Barnes could ease that post-Monta burden; and Andre Iguodala again will find himself with an ensemble-only supporting cast in Denver, perhaps to yearn for the days when Allen Iverson was alongside in Philadelphia.
Of course, the alternative to the search for a deserving co-star, is lacking that singular star in the first place, realities for teams such as the Jazz (Derrick Favors?), Raptors (DeMar DeRozan?), Kings (Tyreke Evans? DeMarcus Cousins?) and Rockets (Kevin Martin? Jeremy Lin?).