The NBA is changing up how All-Star Teams will be selected this year. Instead of the usual East versus West match-up, the two top vote-getters from each conference will be named Team Captains. These Team Captains will then be able to select players on their team, regardless of conference.
Because of that new wrinkle, the possibilities are now limitless! That’s why at SLAM PH, we decided to make the All-Star Teams as crazy as possible. No one knows whats going to happen when the teams are announced, so here are some fun options to think about. Who knows, we might actually see some of these teams this year.
There will never be one unanimous criteria for classifying NBA players as superstars. No matter how many career points they score, how many rings they win or how many MVP trophies they collect, people will always find a flaw.
He’s a ballhog. He’s a choker. He doesn’t play D. His arms aren’t cut enough.
Yup, that last one is apparently an issue among NBA players today. According to former NBA player Mychal Thompson. In a rant that maximized Twitter’s extended 280 character limit, the first overall pick of the 1978 NBA Draft said:
Arms…Wats happnd to Muscular ARMS in the NBA? Nobody has cut arms anymore…David Robinson and Corey Maggette had the BEST arms in NBA histry…Andre Iguadola is the ONLY guy in the league with MUSCULAR cut arms…Google Robinson n Maggette…You’ll see wat I mean
— Mychal Thompson (@champagnennuts) January 8, 2018
I did google David Robinson and Corey Maggette. And I did see what Thompson was trying to say. The guy has a point when it comes to saying players aren’t as cut as they were before. My question is: how big of a factor is it? The game has changed. There are still some cut guys in the NBA nowadays, but now we put more premium on bulk and length.
That being said, we present to you the 2018 Mychal Thompson All-Arms All-Stars!
Andre Iguodala (Captain), Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Hassan Whiteside
Without any doubt, Andre Iguodala has the most muscular cut arms in the NBA right now. There’s no point in arguing that. However, I wouldn’t say that he’s the only guy in the league with those.
I’d put Russell Westbrook and Hassan Whiteside in that category, too. Yeah, they’re far from Robinson or Magette levels. But damn, those guys are swole.
However, there are other guys in the league who look good not because of their cuts but because of their bulk.
Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin are two of the strongest guys the league has seen. One look at them and you’ll see how well they take care of their bodies. They may not really be as swole as Thompson would like, but the size is there.
Beyond the size of their arms, it would be interesting to see how this team would play in an All-Star game. Westbrook and Iguodala are versatile guards while Howard and Griffin can play down to the forward spots with their agility. Whiteside brings the defense, obviously. All five of these guys can wreck rims with their powerful dunks.
Giannis Antetokuompo (Captain), Kevin Durant, Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony Davis, Rudy Gobert
Over on the other side is team length, bannered by team captain, the Greek Freak. Giannis Antetokounmpo may not own the longest wingspan in the NBA but he has been the model of how to length to great use. From long strides to extensions on the finish, he’s mastered it all.
Of course, you can’t put together a team length without Kevin Durant. He was one of the first scarecrows of his generation. In fact, Durant was a big factor in opening up the league to players of his mold.
Kristaps Porzingis and Anthony Davis land here too not just for their length but for their talent on both ends of the floor. They’re bigs who have the skills of a guard. It’s really how the game has developed – position-less and unconventional.
Completing team length is Rudy Gobert, a defensive force underneath the basket. Go ahead and try to attack the paint when he’s there. Let’s see if your shot doesn’t end up in the bleachers. Gobert’s 7-foot-8 wingspan was once recorded as the longest in the league.
The crazy thing about this all-length five is that it can actually work. Let Antetokounmpo play point and Rudy play center. KD can play the two, the Unicorn can be at the three and the Unibrow the four. Or you know, forget all about positions and just let them loose.
That’s an average height of seven feet. And a wingspan of about nine feet.
READ: SLAM PH All-Star Picks
Photos from Getty Images and USA Today