Same players, new game

The NBA just recently cancelled all games scheduled for November, and with the idea of a league organized by the players being floated around, we thought it would be appropriate to fantasize about the best possible NBA replacement.
After playing the newest NBA Jam video game (see review on this page), we thought it was a perfect model for a new league: no free throws or fouls slowing things down, just fast paced 2-on-2 high-flying action. Below are four teams we would definitely pay to see. Of course there are no formal plans for a league like this, but since this is our fantasy, we might as well come up with something totally awesome!

Players: Steve Nash and Blake Griffin

Team name: The Air Show

Why it would work:
Take one of the smoothest passers in the game, Nash, and team him up with perhaps the most impressive dunker in the game today, Griffin, and what should you get? Alley-oops, alley-oops and more alley-oops! There’s nothing too exciting about jump shots and free throws; slam dunks are where it’s at. And really, if you’re going to organize an NBA Jam-style basketball league, isn’t this the dream matchup that everybody wants?

Players: Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James

Team name: The Championship Ring and the Miami King

Why it would work:
This team would certainly fall under the category of “odd couple.” One is coming off of a dream season, where he earned MVP honours in the NBA finals after humbly leading his team to an NBA championship, and the other spent time talking about winning multiple championships before the season started. One is Dallas’ basketball hero, the other Cleveland’s number one villain. One hails from Germany, the other is a “king.” Both are talented and would make for a very interesting duo.

Players: Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul

Team name: Steal the Limelight

Why it would work:
Both Anthony and Paul are exciting to watch and fantastic players. Paul led the NBA in steals in the 2007-8, 2008-9 and 2010-11 seasons. Anthony has a career scoring average of 26 and has been accused of being a selfish player. Well, now is his turn to shine. If you are that good, and love being in the limelight, here is the chance to take half of the glory. They complement each other nicely as Paul can steal the ball and Anthony score.

Players: Shawn Marion and Leandro Barbosa

Team name: Gravity Jammers

Why it would work:
Shawn “The Matrix” Marion is known for defying gravity and medical knowledge. He is somehow able to perform moves on the court that normal human beings can only dream of. Mario is also one of the best all round players; he is good at any position. Leandro Barbosa is one of the fastest players in the NBA. He would be able to out run anyone and look good while doing it. The combination of speed and versatility has traditionally been deadly due to its unpredictably. These two would be dynamite on court together.

illustration by kara passey