Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 6/29/14

December 1, 2011.

Bill Gates, an extremely under-the-radar die-hard basketball fan, approaches you with an idea.

The NBA lockout will not be resolved this year.  Mr. Gates has decided to fund a rogue basketball league for the next six months.  Here are the rules:

  • There will be 25 teams.
  • Every player in the world is up for grabs.
  • You are presented with the #1 pick.
  • We are using the exact same game rules as the NBA (example: no hand-checking, so quick guards maintain their ridiculous advantage).
  • The draft will follow the incredibly boring old-school non-snake style…so you get the 1st pick…and the 26th pick…and the 51st pick…etc.  Does this make it extremely unfair for the guy picking 25th?  Sure.  Who cares.  Just think about yourself in this scenario.
  • Salaries don’t matter…Bill Gates will pay all 1st round picks $20 million dollars, all 2nd round picks $5 million dollars, 3rd round picks $3 million dollars…and so on.
  • The league will last for four months exactly.  Come June, the NBA lockout will be resolved, and even though they lost a season, they will be ready to come back in 2012.
  • The GM of the winning team gets $50 million dollars and the opportunity to become the new GM of the Portland Trail Blazers – the team that Bill Gates just stole from Paul Allen in a move that has the entire business world in a frenzy.

Who do you pick?

The reason for all of these rules is simple.

  • It doesn’t matter which NBA player has the most future potential.
  • It doesn’t matter which NBA players have championship rings under their belts.
  • It doesn’t matter who each NBA player currently plays with.
  • Nothing matters but this:  Who is the best player, right now, in the NBA.

ESPN has spent the last several weeks counting down every player in the NBA, from 500 (sorry Lavoy Allen) all the way to #1 (the controversial LeBron James).

Of course, this has sparked much debating, arguing, and name-calling.

  • LeBron has never won anything…there is no way he could be #1!
  • Kobe Bryant at #7?  Ridiculous!
  • How is the defending MVP only #8?
  • Blake Griffin at #10??? Already???
  • Why isn’t Roy Hibbert in the top 5?!?!?
Ok…so maybe I’m the only person asking that last question.

But let’s put our biases aside.  Let’s forget about the past and the future.  Who is #1…right now?

Below is ESPN’s Top 25.  I will be posting my top 25, with reasoning, later today.  But let’s start the debate now.  Tell me who YOU think is #1…and WHY.  Feel free to comment below, or hit me up on twitter @The_Dr_Twitch.

  1. LeBron James
  2. Dwight Howard
  3. Dwyane Wade
  4. Chris Paul
  5. Dirk Nowitzki
  6. Kevin Durant
  7. Kobe Bryant
  8. Derrick Rose
  9. Deron Williams
  10. Blake Griffin
  11. Pau Gasol
  12. Carmelo Anthony
  13. Amare Stoudemire
  14. Steve Nash
  15. Russell Westbrook
  16. Kevin Love
  17. Rajon Rondo
  18. Manu Ginobili
  19. Tim Duncan
  20. Zach Randolph
  21. Paul Pierce
  22. Kevin Garnett
  23. LaMarcus Aldridge
  24. Chris Bosh
  25. Al Horford

 **********

Jon Washburn @The_Dr_Twitch
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