Cohen: All-Star One-on-One Tournament

By Josh Cohen
February 23, 2012


ORLANDO -- I’ll never forget the days when I would come home from school, head to my friend’s house and indulge in an amusing, yet competitive, one-on-one tournament.

Sometimes it was for bragging rights, other times it was to augment my individual skills and occasionally it was to amend from the routine five-on-fives, three-on-threes or more unconventional games like H.O.R.S.E or Knockout.

Hours would be spent in the driveway, along the residential street or sporadically at the park reenacting the rituals of all the NBA greats. Back then, my friends and I would try and emulate a Michael Jordan fadeaway, a Karl Malone elbow jumper or a Tim Hardaway killer crossover.

While one-on-one games don’t really teach players the concept of team play, they do help enhance a player’s fundamentals such as dribbling, shooting and rebounding.

But more importantly, one-on-one games tend to induce intense emotion. With no assistance and with no structure around you to infuse a certain type of formation, your performance is entirely on your own shoulders.

If you hit the game-winning shot, you know you accomplished that on your own. If you come up with a big steal, you know your defensive commitment was on point. If your opponent starts to fatigue, you know you made things difficult for him or her.

Like it was for me growing up, I am sure NBA players would be just as devoted and just as ambitious to outduel their fiercest adversaries in one-on-one battles.

Imagine LeBron vs. Kobe. No help, no coaching, no escape, no excuses. Just an all-out clash between two of the greatest athletes in the world with extreme bragging rights on the line.

Imagine Rose vs. Westbrook. Two of the fastest, most explosive players in the NBA battling it out. Who would force whom to settle for the disadvantageous outside jumper rather than storm to the basket for easy layups and dunks?


Josh Cohen
Imagine Dwight vs. Andrew. Who would bully whom in the paint?

It’s never really been discussed as an option for an All-Star event, but how interesting would a one-on-one tournament between the league’s best be?

My guess is it would be must-watch television. It’s the kind of event that would create eternal debate. Whether it’s LeBron vs. Kobe, Paul vs. Nash, Carmelo vs. Durant or any matchup that would seem reasonable based on their position, a one-on-one extravaganza would create a huge stir amongst basketball enthusiasts.

Though a one-on-one tournament is not yet in the works, how about we envision what would potentially happen if there were such an event? I have set up a tournament that allows you to vote in each individual matchup to determine who would win a one-on-one contest.

I only used 2012 All-Stars and I divided the bracket into point guards, shooting guards/small forwards and power forwards/centers. Have fun voting!



Derrick Rose


Derrick Rose

Final


Russell Westbrook


Chris Paul


Chris Paul


Deron Williams


LeBron James


LeBron James

Final


Kevin Durant


Kobe Bryant


Kobe Bryant


Dwyane Wade


Dwight Howard


Dwight Howard

Final


Andrew Bynum


Blake Griffin


Blake Griffin


Kevin Love