NBA / Mar 4, 2010 / 4:03 pm

The NBA’s All-Athlete Team

The best play I saw Wednesday night didn’t crack NBA.com’s Top 10 list — probably because the OKC Thunder were too busy getting flogged in Denver for anybody to remember a highlight on their end.

It happened in the first half: Russell Westbrook split a double-team on the perimeter, got to the rack 0.2 seconds later and barreled over Nene, which caused Birdman to fall down on the domino effect, then Westbrook dropped off a pass to Serge Ibaka for a dunk. There was nothing particularly special about the dish or the dunk — I was more amazed that, on one play, Westbrook had left four bodies in his wake. It was a show of his strength, speed and agility, plus his ability to stop that moving locomotive on a dime.

While the debate over the League’s best point guard is populated with the usual suspects, the more interesting question is who is the most athletic point guard? Westbrook would be my pick, but then you’ve got to consider Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Rodney Stuckey, Shannon Brown, Jonny Flynn, George Hill and (depending on how you define athleticism) Steve Nash and Earl Boykins should probably be up there.

Taking it beyond one position, how would you construct a team of the NBA’s best athletes? LeBron and Dwight Howard are virtual locks, but then you have unique athletes across the board at every position, from Shawn Marion to JaVale McGee to Rip Hamilton to Amar’e Stoudemire. In fact, during Denver’s loss to Phoenix the other night, one of the Suns’ announcers said Nene had “the size of a center but the quickness of a small forward.” Should he be on the list?

Going with five starters and a bench, who makes up your All-Athlete Team?

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  • The Other Aj

    PG – D Rose or Westbrook
    SG – Monta Ellis
    SF – Bron
    PF – Josh Smith
    C – Howard

  • thunderfan

    Westbrook all the way!! IF you look close while they are interviewing him in post-games, you can see like 8 individual muscles in his EARS!!

  • Detroit Dave

    Andre Iggy
    JaVale McGee

  • Shakers

    PG Rose
    SG Wade
    SF Lebron
    PF J. Smith
    C Howard

    PG Westbrook
    SG KryptoNate
    SF Iguodala
    PF G. Wallace
    C Amare
    U J. Richardson
    U David Lee

  • Mavey

    Easy peasy:

    pg- Rondo
    sg- Wade
    sf- Lebron
    pf- J Smoove
    c- Dwight


    g- Rose
    g- Westbrook
    g/f- Iguodala
    f- Gerald Wallace
    f- Anthony Randolph (absolute lock)
    c- Horford (look at what he does quickness, ballhandling wise)
    c- Nene

    Shannon Brown gets left off due to All Star dunk suckage

  • Mavey

    y’all absolutely can’t forget Anthony Randolph!

  • The Other Aj

    Oh man forgot about Iggy…yeah He’d be my 6th man

  • The Other Aj

    Iggy or Gerald Wallace…

  • isotope

    Josh Smith. If we’re talking about just athleticism, can we totally forget Josh Smith. And what about Shannon Brown?


    this is off the subject but on all star weekend they should have all the fastest players in the league and have them race in a 100 yd or 200 yd dash or like just race up and down the court dribbling the ball. and they should make it like a tourney setup like derrick rose vs. aaron brooks or chris paul vs. tj ford etc., i think that would be interesting to see and we could actually give someone the title of “the fastest player in the nba”

    But i digress…

    Anyway first team All-Athlete

    PG- Derrick Rose- jumps higher than any point guard maybe ever (check that dunk on goran dragic…he almost headbutts the rim), also in my opinion the fastest player with the ball in his hands in the league

    SG- D-Wade- dont believe me, ask Anderson Vareajo and Emeka Okafor (last year)

    SF- LeBron James- unquestionably the greatest physical specimen in NBA history for perimeter players…maybe regardless of position for that matter. (sorry Wilt, Shaq, and Dwight)

    PF- Josh Smith- the guy runs like a gazelle and jumps like an NBA mascot

    C- Dwight Howard- instead of Superman, his nickname should be Optimus Prime, because dude looks like a Transformer. Highest jumping center ever

    All Athlete Second Team

    PG- Nate Robinson- forget the fact that he’s 5’8″ in Timberlands, he can attempt a dunk 15 times in a row and jump higher on the last try and he did on the first one. Insane

    SG- Shannon Brown- despite his performance in the dunk contest, the man with the highest vertical in the NBA deserves a spot on All- Athlete squad.

    SF- Shawn Marion- gets the nod for his work during his prime. Forget dinner, he owes Steve Nash a car for every All-Star appearance he’s gotten

    PF- Blake Griffin- I know he hasnt played a regular season game in the NBA yet but the man was a mutant in college. And if summer league and the preseason was any indication, I have no reason to believe he wont be the same way in the L

    C- Amare Stoudemire- a true power forward but has played center for a lot of his NBA career. Knee surgery aside, no big man (except for Optimus Prime…it’ll catch on) can match his speed, power and hops

    Dime Mag, if u need another writer, contact ya boi lol

  • leeroy

    Brian Scalabrine.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Yo Momma — I like the “Fastest Man in the NBA” idea, but I wouldn’t have them running that many 100s in one day. Not even the world’s elite sprinters run that much in one meet. I’d have them run a 40-yard dash without the ball. Invite 8 guys, so at most you’re running three times.

  • srb

    Don’t count out Steve Nash. He seems to be good at everything (soccer, skateboarding).

  • Seven Duece

    Westbrook, Shannon Brown, Mamba, JSmoove, LBJ, Dwight Howard, Rondo, Rose, Durant, Flash, Terrance Williams, George Hill, Nate Rob, Monta, Julian Wright, Ariza.

  • Papa Smurf

    Will Bynum’s up there

  • Dr. Jumper


    PG – Jameer Nelson
    SG – Tracey McGrady
    SF – Grant Hill
    PF – Marcus Camby
    C – Greg Oden

    Bench – Shaun Livingston, Gibert Arenas, Baron Davis, Eddy Curry, Yao Ming, Amare Stoudemire, and Big Z

    That’s a damn solid line-up of athletic studs.

  • Papa Smurf

    The GM for Dr. Jumper’s team has the NBDL on speed dial.


    Dr. Jumper’s team should be the All-Wheerchair team

  • dragonyeuw

    Josh Smith

  • Ekstor

    Rip Hamilton? Am I reading that right that Rip was mentioned in this article?

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Rip is probably the best conditioned athlete in the NBA and has hardly any body fat.

  • Ekstor

    DRose and Westbrook are VERY close in their athleticism… check the rerun on the UCLA – Memphis game their final year in NCAA… they were back and forth all game long.

  • Ekstor

    I won’t argue that Rip is well-conditioned with very little in body fat… but as a pure athlete? I don’t think Kobe even makes this list but I’d put Kobe above Rip.

  • Ekstor

    Okay… here’s my 5:

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Depends on what you think defines athletic. That’s why I put Rip in that “unique” category. He’s like a distance runner kind of athlete, whereas D-Rose is like a football player kind of athlete, whereas Dwight Howard is a power lifter.

  • LakeShow84

    PG – Deron Williams haha, but seriously and he got fat on him
    SG – Dwade too small to do what he does
    SF – Who else?? LESPRINGS
    PF – AMARE STOUDEMIRE IS A PF (IMO) but he can dunk on ANYONE
    C – Dwight Howard dude could carry to volvos on each shoulder..

  • sh!tfaced

    All-Athletic with low basketball IQ team

    C – Stromile Swift
    PF – Tyrus Thomas
    SF – Jamario Moon
    SG – Tony Allen
    PG – (it would be humiliating for a point to have low bball IQ)

  • sh!tfaced

    check that

    C – Stromile Swift
    PF – Tyrus Thomas
    SF – Jamario Moon
    SG – Tony Allen
    PG – Jamaal Tinsley (finally remembered one)

    Damon Jones (or two. lol)
    Gerald Green
    Tim Thomas
    Vladimir Radmanovich
    JR Smith

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I think Marcus Banks gets that PG spot

  • Papa Smurf

    Marcus Banks is a good pick. Forgot about him. Still don’t know why he hasn’t caught on as an energy guy off the bench.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    And I hate to say it, but TJ Ford.

  • http://Diiimebitch Chris Ballz

    Pg- Westbrook
    Sg- rose
    Sf- lebron
    pf- Josh smith (animal)
    C- Dwight (optimus prime) or (cyborg)

    y not have either Westbrook or rose at sg???
    I prefer Westbrook at pg, I rekon better dime dropper.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Shitfaced & AB

    Well i guess we going current because i would put Smush Parker there in a heartbeat..

  • LakeShow84

    If you cant register more than 2-3 assists a night playing alongside Bryant and Odom then i dont know what to say to that..

  • Randomized

    Why is Rondo getting mention? He is very quick, but can he even bench 180lbs? Hes not built like drose or westbrook, would get beasted by anyone in the leauge.

  • Dr. Jumper

    I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve always thought about what would sports look like if players never got injured. Follow me for a sec. I’m talking no torn ACL’s, no planter fasciatus, no bad backs, and no torn corneas. Imagine if players like McGrady, Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway, Allan Houston, etc never had their careers marred by injury. Or even Greg Oden, Shaun Livingston, Jonathan Bender, or Darius Miles. Would any of these players have supplanted some of today’s superstars. It’s an interesting hypothetical…

  • reww

    how can u guys not say baron davis? did NO one see his dunk on ak47 in 07 ( i believe)

    pure hops and strength in a 6’2 pg body

  • QQ

    1- Westbrook
    2- Kobe (why is no one mentioning this guy? Seriously? One of the best conditioned pro, ridiculous vertical, etc.)
    3- Lebron
    4- Amare
    5- The current REAL Superman (Shaq just fucking stop being so insecure; you aint the Man of Steel no more)

  • QQ

    @ 36:

    Fuck sports, man. What would be LIFE look like when no one gets injured? That’s fucking utopia man!!!!

  • sh!tfaced

    @LakeShow & AB… Oh yeah… spot on. Smush, maybe TJ and especially Marcus Banks.

  • sh!tfaced

    Would’ve have loved to see Bernard King and Bill Walton if they never got injured.

    Also makes you more curious about Sam Bowie if he deserved the being picked before MJ (most likely not)

  • cesar

    pg- westbrook
    sg- wade
    sf- lebron
    pf- j-smoove
    c- dwight

    6th man- crash

  • john

    shannon brown

    d rose
    nate rob
    tyrus thomas

  • Trey bing bay

    No mention of Ty Lawson?? (unless i missed it) That dude seems faster than grease lightning, not sure about his hops but from A to B he seems fast!

  • davester

    PG Derrick Rose
    – A scary mixture of Speed, Agility and Strength.

    SG Dwyane Wade
    – Fastest 2-guard. Great leaping ability that people tend to forget he’s only 6’4″.

    SF LeBron James
    – On a fast break dunk, always bumps his head against the rim. What more in a dunk contest?

    PF Josh Smith
    – Leaps from the FT line with ease. While in air, will choose between Windmill, Reverse, or even a fade-away dunk.

    C Dwight Howard
    – See 2007 Slam Dunk Contest that he should have won.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    PG~ Westbrook and Rose, same athletically
    SG~ Shannon Brown or Iggy
    Sf~ Lebron
    PF~ Blake Griffin
    C~ Dwight Howard

  • LakeShow84

    I change my PG vote to ROSE..

    Watching him last night dude is a astronomical athlete lol

  • RC

    Lebron James is the most atheletic creature on earth. (just check out his come from behind “total destruction” blocks)

    Russell Westbrook is very atheletic and uses every ounce of it. Not like Shannon Brown who is contented to dunk on breakaways. Get some boards and block shots!

    Howard is also a freak of nature in terms of strength and jumping ability.

    Derrick Rose is the most explosive point guard in the NBA

    I would still say CP3 is the fastest moving forward with the ball in his hands. How does the guy do 3 left and right dribble fakes, a between the legs dribble and dribble between the legs of of Jason Terry. While moving forward at full speed!

    Amare is the most athletic PF out there. Drop step and dunk anytime if he wants to. All the defense can do is foul or triple team.

  • j

    Sabonis is the Perfect Athlete so
    C: Shaq
    PF Illgauskus
    SF: kyle Korver
    SG Steve Blake
    PG Steve Nash
    Coached by Arvydas Sabonis, because if you combing all 5 of their games you get Sabonis, Them animals form voltron.

  • evan

    PF. KG

  • windcitywarrior

    PG: Derrick Rose
    Westbrook is the only one that’s close, but Rose is faster and more explosive.

    SG: Dwyane Wade
    Clear choice here

    SF: LeBron
    Simply the best athlete in the history of mankind

    PF: Josh Smith
    Amare is close, but Smoove has more hops

    C: Dwight Howard
    Who else could it be besides Superman?

    This is the clear starting 5. Props to those who got it right.

  • ER


    DRose, Wade, Rudy Gay, JSmoove, Birdman, Durantula, Tayshaun Prince, Anthony Randolph

  • ron ron

    Westbrook– TNT ready to be lit
    Bron- He is a hummer with wings
    Rudy Gay– 6’10 SF who can run and jump
    J Smoove– Effortless Athletism
    Dwight Howard— probably can dunk a 14 ft goal

    Rondo- a triple double waiting to happen(got like 22 rebs in a college game)