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NBA All-Time All-Favourites

February 20, 2011
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To put the record straight from the off, I haven’t watched much basketball this season. In truth, I haven’t watched much as i’d like to have for the past couple of years. I know I should but a combination of soccer, working hours and my attempts at sustaining a social life have meant that catching a game has proven rather difficult. I have recorded games in the past and watched them back but I usually find out the score before I have chance to watch and by then, my excitement has tapered.

Anyway, it’s NBA All-Star Weekend and in honour of the NBA’s premier exhibition match, I’ve decided to pick my own All-Star Starting 5. The 5 players I’ve selected do not comply in the slightest with the regulations of the All-Star as it is essentially my favourite 5 basketball players that I have seen for each individual position. Please do not mistake this as me stating who I believe to be the best point-guard, etc because that is not the case. The players below are my personal favourites who’ve graced the NBA with their presence.

At Point Guard

POINT GUARD: GARY PAYTON

When I first got into NBA, I grew an affinity with two teams above all others. One of these was Phoenix Suns and the other was Seattle Supersonics. Payton immediately became a favourite of mine after watching him steal the ball from guys a foot taller enabling quick reversals in play. He was the figurehead of a Sonics team I grew a real fondness for and I enjoyed his battles on the court particularly with a certain Mr. Jordan. A true symbol of Seattle who I hear is involved in efforts to bring an NBA team back to the Emerald City. He enjoyed spells at other teams after his long stint with the Sonics but for me, I’ll always remember Payton in a green jersey.

At Shooting Guard

SHOOTING GUARD: REGGIE MILLER

A one-club man as he’d be known in soccer, Miller’s style of play was a huge draw to me. His ability to shoot from outside the D was impressive and made a lasting impression on my thoughts on the game and what I like to see on the court. Give me a long-range 3-pointer over a dunk any day.
An honourable mention goes to Vince Carter.

At Small Forward

SMALL FORWARD: MICHAEL FINLEY

He is a player who I’ve always felt an affinity with, even when he played for Spurs. As I mentioned earlier, one of the teams I have an affinity for is the Suns and the year I got into it, it was Michael Finley’s rookie year and he had been drafted to Phoenix. There was a trading card collection going at the time and the first ever card I had was that of Michael Finley. It’s an extremely tenuous basis to start from but I continued to follow his career (I will admit I was disappointed that he played for the Suns for just one whole season).

At Power Forward

POWER FORWARD: DENNIS RODMAN

Without a doubt, my favourite player of all time. Everything about him is intriguing. His individuality on and off the court is unrivalled. For those uncertain of his playing prowess though, take away the women, the parties, the piercings, tattoos and hair dye, what you have left is a highly talented individual. He brought rebounding to the fore and would work harder than anyone for the good of the team. His play was totally unselfish; he’d happily not score a point as long as he stopped the opposition from getting theirs. He made the previously uncelebrated side of the sport not just look easy but entertaining. He is simply one of the great characters in the NBA’s history. I’m absolutely thrilled for him that he is one of this years finalists for entry into the Hall of Fame.

At Centre

CENTRE: DIKEMBE MUTOMBO

A mountain of a man and a tremendous defensive player who came to my attention initially through a sticker album (he was the only Atlanta Hawks player I would get).My first memory of watching him play is symptomatic of his whole career: he blocked out a young Kobe Bryant and sent the future hall-of-famer to the ground. I don’t recall seeing the trademark Mutombo finger-wag though.
An honourable mention goes to Patrick Ewing.

For those who’ll be watching tonight, enjoy the game.

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