Obviously, this is a New Jersey Nets blog, however, the NAS crew absolutely love the NBA in general. So, every week, Sebastian, Mark, Devin, and myself will answer questions regarding the L.
1) If you were an NBA GM and your owner mandated multiple titles in the next five years, and you had a choice of any player to build your franchise around, who would it be?
Sebastian: It has to be Kevin Durant. I'm not saying he is the best player in the league (though he will be soon), but when building a team, I don't think there is anyone better. Not only is Durant a superstar, but he is a guy who does things the right way and he is a good teammate.
Mark: Well, up until a few weeks ago, I would have said LeBron James, because he struck me as the multi-talented do-it-all guy who could carry a team on his back and beat you in so many different ways. I guess he still is, but now that his talents are in South Beach with the Superfriends, it's clear he doesn't have the alpha dog gene and I want my building block to be a cold blooded killer... which given how the game has changed doesn't leave me with many players to pick anymore. For the sake of making a choice, let me go with who I think is going to be next season's MVP and say Kevin Durant. He's a unique player who finds ways to score without having the kiss of death "Next Jordan" moniker or the egomania of Superfriends.
Devin: It hurts me to say it, but the answer is LeBron James. It's possible that somebody like Kevin Durant becomes the Russell to his Chamberlain, but everything I said in my LeBron James FA Targets piece still holds true, regardless of how creepy free agency seems now. LeBron is the most talented basketball player walking this earth right now and at 25 he's entering his prime years. If he doesn't win multiple championships, especially now with his current line-up, he becomes the "biggest" loser in NBA History. I just don't see that happening.
DV: I know that he's "old" and by year five, he might not even be playing anymore, but I'd take my chances with Kobe Bryant. (Awaits the boos at the choice). Bryant is hands down the only closer with that crazy desire to win now that LeBron James went down to South Beach, thinking that he needs Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to win championships. Because of that, he loses testicular fortitude points, which is something you want in a franchise player.
I don't think there can be any argument that Kobe doesn't want NBA titles, he needs them. I believe that he has two more years of being a dominant player, followed by two more years of being very good to excellent. I think by then his experience will help his teammates and the team - the wily veteran factor, if you will. There is no doubt that LeBron is the best talent, but Kobe is the best player. Over five years, particularly at the beginning, I think Kobe can will himself and his team a couple of titles.... MORE →