Every NBA player has flaws. Every single one. But what if you could combine the best characteristics of each NBA player to create the ultimate player? This perfect player wouldn’t have any shortcomings in his game on either end of the court. He would make LeBron James look like a one-trick-pony in comparison. What would this player look like, and â€” borrowing from other players’ skill sets â€” how would you create the ultimate player from scratch?
This season, LeBron James is attempting to do something that no player in the history of the NBA has ever done: win five league MVP awards in a six-season span. For all the great players that the sport has had, it’s a feat that nobody has ever accomplished â€” not Jordan, not Russell, not Magic, not Bird, not anybody.
â€¨LeBron is clearly today’s best, but he might also be the closest thing to the perfect basketball player that we’ve ever seen. He can score at will, he’s an excellent passer, he’s a lockdown defender, he rebounds very well for his position, and he’s an incredibly smart player. There might never again be a player as complete as LeBron is right now.
But here’s the thing: despite how good he is, LeBron is far from actually being a perfect player. Just like every other player, he has flaws to his game â€” they might be slight and mostly minuscule peccadilloes â€” but he has flaws just like everyone else.
â€¨Obviously, we’ll never see a perfect basketball player. But what if we could take one aspect from the games of several different NBA players in order to build the ultimate player? If nothing else, it’s a fun idea to think about and debate. So, without any further ado, here’s how I would craft my ultimate player:
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Court Vision of Rajon Rondo
Over the past 10 or 15 years, there hasn’t been a single player with court vision as good as Rajon Rondo’s. That includes Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, or any other All-Star point guard that you want to throw out there.
â€¨Rondo just makes passes and sees things that other guys don’t. He’s averaged over 11 assists per game in each of the last three seasons, the only point guard in the league to do so. And it’s more than just the mere fact that Rondo gets his assists, it’s how he gets them.
To see what I mean, just take a look at some of these passes:
â€¨Does this guy have an extra set of eyes or something? It sure seems like it.
â€¨Perimeter defense of Andre Iguodala
Here’s all you need to know about Andre Iguodala the defender: he was one of only two players–the other being Tyson Chandler–on the 2012 Olympic team to make the roster solely because of his defensive ability.
â€¨He can guard just about every position on the floor, and it’s his defense on the perimeter that really stands out. He gives fits to different shooting guards and small forwards on a nightly basis, even when he’s matched up against the league’s best.
In fact, here are the numbers put up by Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, and James Harden against Iguodala and the Denver Nuggets during the 2012-13 season:
â€¨(Warning: these aren’t all that flattering.)
â€¨Anthony (averages over two games): 21.5 PPG, 6.5-18.0 FGM-FGA, 2 TO
â€¨Bryant (averages over four games): 28 PPG, 10.25-22 FGM-FGA, 3 TO
â€¨Harden (averages over four games): 18.25 PPG, 5.25-13.75 FGM-FGA, 4.25 TO
â€¨Carmelo and Harden both had pretty putrid averages, and although Kobe’s look pretty normal for Kobe, they were inflated by a 13-of-24, 40-point performance.
â€¨Simply put: Iguodala’s a great defender. And if you really want to learn more about his craft, read this interview he did with CBS Sports regarding his defense. If you’re feeling lazy, at least watch these clips of Iguodala narrating his defensive approach against guys like Carmelo, Harden, Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, LeBron, and Kobe: