One of the greatest things about basketball is how simple the positions are: 1-5. Instead of saying “power forward” or “point guard” you can just say “the four” or “at the one.” And this is what’s lacking in both the All-NBA team and the USA Olympic Dream Team. The All-NBA selections are the top five players in the league, regardless of position. The ’09-’10 team lacked a four or a one; last year’s team also lacked a four.
However, this team I’ve assembled is just the best at each position, not the top five players and not the top five who might play best together. I gave no regard to team chemistry issues.
The Five: Dwight Howard
The biggest no-brainer on this list, because there are so few true centers at any level of basketball these days. We’re entering an era of European style basketball where even the big men shoot from the perimeter. No other center preoccupied a nation with his free agency decision/indecision like Howard did this year.
The Four: Kevin Love
Hard to leave Blake Griffin off, but the Love train has been coasting along for a longer period of time. And as we all know love is complex, not one-dimensional, and likewise Love has a more multi-faceted game than Griffin’s Dr. Dunkenstein oriented game. I mean look at the massive numbers he put up Friday night; and he’s made that routine.
The Three: Lebron James
Really difficult to leave Kevin Durant off, but this team would be just loaded at the three, because it’s the NBA’s most loaded position right now. Lebron is the best player in the league currently, and on his way to the MVP award. Paul Pierce is a superstar, and he was considered a third choice.
The Two: Kobe Bryant
Was a hard choice between him and Dwanye Wade, but Wade has been hurt lately. And Kobe Bryant has won more titles, including one without Shaq, so that made the decision easier.
The One: Deron Williams
At the most important position of all, the floor general role I had to go homer either way between the two choices I had to make. Either Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose, the league’s reigning MVP, or the man considered the best pure point guard in the NBA Deron Williams. One represents my hometown, the other my alma mater, the University of Illinois. But either choice is arguable, as Williams has been doing it longer, and he’s a better shooter and passer.
Rose is obviously better at attacking the basket, and has more ways to create his own shot. Both players have reached the conference finals and no further, so that was not the deciding factor. I felt Williams has had to do so much all by himself the past few years, while the Bulls have somehow put up a really good record while Rose has been hurt, so even though both are the focal points of their teams, edge to Williams.
I know there’s going to be some arguments and disagreements on this list- make your voice heard and your case below in the comments section!
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.Follow paulmbanks