Edit: Okay, from now on, any direct responses to an original post needs to be done as a comment . . this got WAY too long. I moved all our other stuff to the comments section for this post.
So I was sitting in Biochemistry this morning, intently not paying attention to a word my professor was saying. Mostly because I didn’t care but also partly because even if I did care, which I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able understand a word he was saying anyway. See my professor is what I like to call a ‘can’t say his name professor’. You know, that professor from some distant land whose name has way to many consonants and not enough vowels to balance it out so that you have no hope of even guessing what it could sound like. These guys are always the same, brilliant at their subject, hates teaching kids and only does it because the University makes them, and of course very boring, spectacularly boring. My guy could have called the last three minutes of the Memphis-Kansas Championship game and made it sound bor..actually let’s not talk about that game. Basically, I have one these professors, and he must have just gotten here because whenever he loses patience with us he starts explaining stuff to us in Chinese….or Japanese…or Vietnamese…I don’t really know, I’d have to ask Charlie. Anyway today I had no hope, as soon as he began talking in what I assumed was English (everything he says sounds the same), my mind gave up and drifted out the grimy window. They really got clean that thing. It is disgusting.
Well what should I do with this essentially free hour and half coming up where I will be completely zoned out, checking my watch every ten minutes only to find that it has only been two? I couldn’t just sit there anymore, so I did the only logical thing: I decided to build the ultimate basketball team. We all do this, and we all fight with our friends about it (Except Scoop, I can't see him having any), but unfortunately it always ends the same way: Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Howard. So I decided what if you had to build a team with legitimate parameters, a team that you might actually have a chance of manufacturing in the league. So I went with these basic rules: you only get one star, so only one of those aforementioned players and have to build around him or her (we’re not sexist here) with one second tier star (Joe Johnson, Derrick Rose, Gasol..etc), one veteran ( a legitimate washed up veteran, I don’t want to hear Durant is veteran), and two role players.
First things first, you have to go shopping for your star. We know the usual suspects here: Lebron, Dirk, Kobe, Wade, Carmelo, Roy ( I put him here, he’s amazing)….Well I decided pretty quick there are only four worth building around: Kobe, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and Lebron. Of these four, Paul is my favorite (PG!) and Lebron is my least favorite. I know Lebron is probably the chic pick here, but I hate Lebron’s game, its ugly, its brutal, its not that skillful, and its just, well, brutal (to watch too). So after some serious research consisting of watching Sportscenter and a couple of youtube clips, I decided to go with Lebron. I know, I know, but there was just no way around it. He is a monster, a genetic freak. If TMZ reported tomorrow that Lebron was made in a lab, I think I would believe it. I don’t like comparing people to Jordan because no one really comes close…but…… Lebron is kind of close. He is the only player I’ve seen since MJ that can totally dominate a game and impose his will on everybody else on the court, not just the last 5 min, but the whole game, like the Celtics game yesterday. Lebron got mad. Cavs came back. I guess I’ll take him.
So building around Lebron. First of all, I would stop messing around with point guards. Lebron can run the one; I’d want him to initiate the offense and let the rest of team play off him. I think the key to a good Lebron team is speed, athleticism, and good shooting to space the floor, giving Lebron open lanes and less help D to hinder him and his ugly crashes to the basket. I would have three perimeter players (including LBJ), a 4 that can step out and hit outside jumpshots, and a big, physical center. So for my second teir star, I would take Amare Stoudemire. He is big enough to be a force on the inside if he wants to be and athletic enough to run up and down the floor in a fast paced flow. Also in a half court setting, he can knock down perimeter jumpers to open up the floor, not to mention rebound and give Lebron a legitimate threat to create shots for.
The veteran is trickier. However I would rather have younger athletic bigs and wily perimeter shooter and scorer, so in the vein of spacing the floor and eliciting transition play, I would take Ray Allen. He is a big wing, who is still a knockdown shooter. A guy that you absolutely cannot leave. Also if necessary you can run the offense through him, just setting him screens, so Lebron can take some possessions off. He is also a clutch-shooter which can relieve a lot of stress from my prized player and keep him from an emotional breakdown.
Now I need two role players to surround my core of Ray Allen, Lebron, and Amare, and this part is tricky because what exactly is a role player? I don’t know exactly, but I’m going to go with someone who has never been in an all-star game. I wanted to go Reshard Lewis here, but I think he was in one a couple of years ago, so I will go with Trevor Ariza. Another big, athletic wing, who can run the floor, play defense, and stretch defenses with his shooting. I know his shot is more erratic than say Lewis’, but he is still a viable threat from beyond the arc. As for the other spot (okay I’m cheating here but…..) a healthy Greg Oden. He is the perfect complement for this team. A big, physical, athletic center who, admittingly is made of glass, but can still be a dominant presence that can block shots, get rebounds, and finish dunks. Lebron could drive and just throw the ball somewhere around the rim, and Oden could finish it. Additionally Oden can get offensive boards and give it back to Lebron, and the last thing any defense wants to see is an angry Lebron because he missed his first shot.
So my team would be Lebron running the offense, Ariza and Allen on the wings, Amare the scoring post, and Oden the physical, shot-blocker. This team would be smooth on offense and athletic enough to run up and down all game creating fast-break havoc. You could argue that Amare really isn’t a traditional post scorer but more of a finisher, but if the situation arose where this squad needed two points; I would call timeout (obviously I would be the coach) and go to the ultimate play: Lebron post up, essentially unstoppable. Also this team would clearly be at a disadvantage defense quickness wise, but its length and athleticism would make up for it. Quick guards like Derrick Rose and CP3 would probably be able to penetrate but between Ariza, LBJ, Amare, and Oden there is a ton of shot-blocking and shot-altering talent which would make any shot in the paint difficult.
Note to NBA GM’s: if you are reading this, immediately put this team together and give me credit.
Note to people who got through this whole thing: This was long as hell and there is no way I’m proofreading it (Fred), so forget about the errors and soak in the underlying genius.