By Josh Cohen
February 23, 2012


Some players are born scorers, others are dependent on their speed and agility and few are stars because of their ability to coerce opponents with strength or courage.

Imagine, however, if you can combine skills and form the perfect player. After assessing each 2012 Western Conference All-Star’s best attribute, I decided to try and devise a player that would have absolutely no weaknesses. To make it level, a player can only be assigned to one category.

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Graphic courtesy of OrlandoMagic.com's Geoff Forbes



CATEGORY
PLAYER
ANALYSIS
VISION

Chris Paul
It wasn’t by default or coincidence that practically every NBA franchise inquired about acquiring Chris Paul in December when New Orleans decided to trade him. Paul is a master at his position because of his blend of speed, finesse and most importantly, alertness. Top five in assists every season, L.A. has now been labeled “Lob City” because of Paul’s devotion to finding his teammates for easy dunks and transition baskets. WATCH EXAMPLE
MOTIVATIONAL LEADER

Kobe Bryant
There may be no player in the NBA more devoted to success and winning than Kobe Bryant. The number of championship rings on his fingers says plenty about his ability to encourage his teammates and display unremitting loyalty to the fans of Los Angeles. Even at times when things were bleak in L.A., Kobe always found a way to motivate the Lakers and catapult them back into championship form. WATCH EXAMPLE
HEART

Dirk Nowitzki
For years after losing in the NBA Finals in 2006, Dirk Nowitzki was tagged as vulnerable because he couldn’t seemingly win big games. But last season changed all that when the 11-time NBA All-Star defied the critics and hit countless big shots. It takes a lot of heart and bravery to overcome all the disparagement and win the grand prize at the end. WATCH EXAMPLE
STRENGTH

Andrew Bynum
A lot like Dwight Howard has done over the last few years, Andrew Bynum has not only expanded his offensive repertoire but he has also increased his strength. Despite all the knee problems, Bynum remained committed to getting bigger and stronger. Now, it’s probably not even debatable that Bynum is the second best center in the NBA. WATCH EXAMPLE
SPEED

Russell Westbrook
You really have to commend Russell Westbrook for exceeding early expectations and becoming one of the best, most explosive players in the NBA. Much like Derrick Rose, Westbrook is so incredibly fast and is able to increase his speed when he chooses to attack the rim. Westbrook, as a result, is one of the most difficult covers in the league because of his blend of quickness and aptitude to score. WATCH EXAMPLE
JUMPING

Blake Griffin
If you want first-class entertainment, you have to watch Blake Griffin. Some of his dunks (ex. the one over Kendrick Perkins or the one over Timothy Mozgov) are mesmerizing and unprecedented. Despite missing his first season with a knee injury, Griffin is arguably the most sensational high-flyer since Vince Carter in his prime. WATCH EXAMPLE
SHOOTING

Kevin Durant
Considering his length and quickness, it’s remarkable that perhaps Kevin Durant’s best trait is his shooting. It’s essentially what makes guarding him impossible. From step-back jumpers to outside shots off screens to posting up and shooting over the top of his opponents, Durant is arguably the most tenacious scorer in the league. WATCH EXAMPLE
BALL HANDLING

Steve Nash
He may be 38 years old, but his skills have not deflated whatsoever. Steve Nash could probably be a Harlem Globetrotter when you consider how creative he is when the ball is in his hands. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Nash leads the league in assists per game at the break (10.9). WATCH EXAMPLES