By Rodimus Dunn
Regardless how talented he may be, there are just some guys you’d never want to be on the same team as. This was clearly outlined for a pickup basketball game, but what about for the NBA? Here’s a 12 man team, made up of NBA starters, that we’d least like to play with.
Derrick Fisher- Fisher hasn’t been good since … actually; he hasn’t ever really been very good. He is the most perfect example of a guy being in the right place at the right time. He’s never shot more than 44% in any season, and he’s shot less than 40% more times than he hasn’t. He used to be good at defense, but now he’s not much more than a speed cone for opposing point guards to run around. Fisher is known for giving cheap shots and for flopping all over the court. So just to summarize, he can’t shoot, can’t dribble, can’t play defense, doles out cheap shots, and is a flopper. Sounds like a perfect candidate for this team.
Kobe Bryant- To be perfectly clear, I think Mamba is one of the top 2 or 3 players in the game right now, and easily a top 20 player all time. He is also a ball hog, completely disingenuous, and a whiner. Would my team probably win if Kobe was on it, almost assuredly, but at the expense of watching him launch contested 20-footers all game. One thing Bryant is absolutely not is Michael Jordan. He needs roughly 5 more points per game for his career (bear in mind Kobe hasn’t even had his end of career down years yet), roughly 5% better shooting from the field, 1 more rebound per game, 1 more steal per game, and a few championships without the most dominant big man of the last 40 years.
Rashard Lewis- At one point Lewis was a dominating 20 point per game scorer with a multifaceted offensive game. It was unfair because he was 6’10 with long arms, had a silky jump shot, but could also kill his opposition from the low block. Somewhere in the midst of him getting a contract that pays him $19 million dollars per year he became exclusively a spot up 3-point shooter who disappears in the playoffs. I’m not saying they’re the same guy, but Lewis essentially had a similar build and skill set as Kevin Durant, but he decided to just become an overpaid shooter who only shot about 2 free throws per game the past few years. I’d never want to play with a guy like this … wasted talent.
Chris Bosh- This one is almost too obvious. Bosh is an extremely skilled big guy who’s soft as tissue and plays like a little guy. On a Miami team that was devoid of a talented big guy other than him, it’s completely inexcusable that he didn’t average double figure rebounds. In addition, how does a 6’10 guy with long arms have fewer blocks than the shooting guard on the same team? He is a soft, pseudo-dominant, jump shooting power forward with questionable passion. Not my kind of teammate.
Brook Lopez- Lopez appears to play hard, but I just wouldn’t want to play with a big guy who shoots so many outside shots, and can’t rebound. For a guy listed as 7-feet, 265 lbs, there is no plausible explanation for averaging only 6 rebounds per game. What’s the point of being that big if your point guard grabs more defensive boards than you do? 6 rebounds/game and only 9 double doubles the whole year is not what I want out of my center. I wouldn’t want to play with Brook Lopez.
Russell Westbrook- He’s a very, very talented player, but unfortunately he has Iversonian shot selection despite playing with the league’s top scorer. In the playoffs so far he’s literally taken one less shot than Kevin Durant, but not surprisingly he’s scored 7 points per game less, and has committed 17 more turnovers. When the team’s primary distributor takes 30 shots (literally), no one else really gets into an offensive flow. I’d much rather play with a point guard who knows their role, and with Westbrook, that means shooting a lot less and passing a lot more.
Tyreke Evans- He can’t shoot at all, so he was initially playing point guard because he has a penchant for getting into the lane, drawing contact and getting to the line. This formula worked for Evans his first year as he scored 20 points/game and won rookie of the year. Unfortunately, having a guy that can’t (or won’t) pass as your point guard doesn’t really work, so Evans got moved to shooting guard. Now he’s a shooting guard who can’t shoot, and now that everyone knows, he can’t get to the line anymore. I don’t want to play with a guy whose talents are easily neutered.
Vince Carter- He’s the epitome of soft, he sulks, he’s got horrible body language, and he develops some kind of injury just stepping on the court. I’d quit the team before playing with “Vinsanity.”
Caron Butler- Butler is what he is … a formerly really talented guy who only shoots long (often contested) jump shots. He doesn’t really do anything other than that on the court. I’ll pass on him as a teammate.
Trevor Ariza- During the Lakers’ championship run in 2008-09 Ariza shot 48% from behind the arc, and made a couple of highly televised steals. Thanks to those moments, he’s been HIGHLY overvalued ever since. He shoots worse than a blind man, but continues to hoist 3-pointers as if he’s Steve Kerr, he turns it over just as much as he assists, and he’s not even as good on defense as his reputation. What’s the upside in playing with a guy who can’t play at all?
Michael Beasley- Sadly he’s become another supremely talented guy who turned into a long jump shooter. Miami gave up on this former #2 overall pick after just 2 years of plenty of missed jumpers, low desire to rebound, and a stint in rehab. The difference between Kevin Garnett and all these other bigs who love to shoot jumpers is that Garnett still grabbed double figure rebounds, dished out a ton of assists, blocked at least 1 shot per game, and played aggressive defensive. Beasley is wasted talent, and I have no need for that.
Charlie Villanueva- He’s listed as 6’11 and 235 lbs, but he’s basically Michael Beasley with a good 3-point shot. He’s always wandering around 22 feet from the basket and that’s why he’s a crappy rebounder, doesn’t block shots, doesn’t dribble, assist, or play defense. In summary, he’s a taller version of Derrick Fisher.
Andrea Bargnani- He’s literally the same player as Villanueva except he’s an inch taller, 15 lbs heavier, and was a former #1 overall pick in the draft. I don’t like playing with bigs who play like point guards all game. It’s fantastic when a big guy has the ability to shoot from the outside, but when they do that exclusively, it makes me want to vomit.