What could you possibly ask for if you wanted to form the perfect basketball player? I mean, which features would you take and whom would you take them from if you intend to create the best player that’s ever existed?
There’s been a long time debate regarding the best player in the history of the world. Some people say that Bill Russell has no comparison, others say Wilt Chamberlain was the most dominant, most people say that Michael Jordan is the undisputed GOAT, and some even dare to call LeBron James the best ever.
So, even if we’re not here to discuss the impact those players had (and still have) in the sport we love so badly, we can’t help but notice something that’s common in all those 4 aforementioned basketball glories: they’re all quite complete.
All those players dominated more than just one aspect of the game, and that’s what made them thrive in eras that also featured outstanding ballers. Today, we’re going to try and complete a very complicated task, and that’s taking a feature from some of the best active players in the league and create a perfect basketball player in history.
We will use only active NBA players plus one surprise at the end.
Handles - Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving has the best handles in the world right now. Period. I mean, this young blood does magic with the rock in his hands, and you just can’t take the ball away from him in isolation. Besides, the way he uses his wrist to put some juice on his layups is something few players are capable of dominating throughout their entire careers.
If you’re going to create the best baller in the world, he better has some agile hands.
Basketball IQ - LeBron James
Some players are incredibly talented but are just dumb, as simple as that, and if you intend to create the best player in history, you need someone as smart as LeBron James without any kind of doubt. LeBron has eyes in the back of his head and is completely aware of his teammates and his opponents positions at all times. Always making the right decision at the right moment, there have been few players as smart as James, so we’re taking that out of him.
Athleticism - Zach LaVine
Maybe you’re kind of unidimensional, but if you’re a freakish athlete, you’ll have a chance to at least stay for a couple of seasons on an NBA roster. Even if there are other athletic specimens in the league like Westbrook and Antetokounmpo, LaVine has to take the prize for the most athletic player in the Association with all the kind of things he does and how he contorts his body to posterize every guy that dares to try and stop him.
Discipline - Kawhi Leonard
Talent means nothing without hard work, and few guys work harder than Kawhi Leonard does. Improving in every area of his game since entering the league on his way to becoming the best two-way player in the league, you’ll never see Leonard complain about a bad call or try to get in an opponent’s face, so besides how incredibly talented he is, we’re taking away his discipline for our perfect baller.
Speed - John Wall
John Wall is the fastest player in the Association and even one of the fastest in the history of the game, and he’s a one-man fast break that can run the entire floor in the blink of an eye. Wall’s speed is a major advantage in the open court at both ends of the floor, and we don’t want anybody catching up with our baby here, so he’s the obvious choice in this matter.
Shooting - Stephen Curry
We dare you to name 3 better shooters than Stephen Curry in NBA history. Damn, we dare you to name one. You can’t, right? That’s because there hasn’t been a pure shooter as good as Curry and probably never will. Curry’s release is as fast as sound and he can light it up from everywhere on the floor. His shot is just unblockable and he could average 50-40-90 in his sleep.
Defense - Draymond Green
Even though Kawhi Leonard is the best defender in the world right now, there’s no one more versatile and better build to guard all 5 positions than Draymond Green. Green’s willing to put his body on the line on every play and simply won’t back down from anybody. With his physique, his length and his ability to read the opponent eyes, Green is as good as a defender on the perimeter as he is in the paint, and that’s something you want on a perfect player.
Hustle - Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley isn’t the most talented nor the best scorer you’ll find on an NBA hardwood, but his Tony Allen-esq hustle is simply off the charts. Beverley won’t give up on any 50/50 ball and will always try to get in the passing lane, and even though he’s not going to put numbers on the stat sheet, his impact on defense is something that every coach will love to find on all his players.
Passing - Chris Paul
Chris Paul is one of the most complete players you’ll find on an NBA hardwood, but his most distinctive feature has to be his passing. Paul is capable of putting the rock in spots that nobody else could dream of doing, and he’s a guy that’s always determined to find the open man and find the best shot available. Creating a player with this kind of passing will pretty much grant him to be a walking double-double.
Mamba Mentality - Kobe Bryant
And last but not least, we get one of the most important features you’d expect from a top-notch baller: the Mamba Mentality. For this matter, we’re taking a guy that wouldn’t even blink if you threaten to throw the ball at his face, and that’s Kobe Bryant.
Even though Kobe has already retired, nobody could emulate this kind of mindset. This will be the icing on the cake, as it doesn’t matter how talented a player is, if he doesn’t have what it takes to take the floor when it matters the most, he’s never going to win at the ultimate stage.