Each year a group of writers come together to decide who mattered in the NBA. The All-NBA team really is the telltale sign of who had great seasons. More importantly, it’s the deciding factor not only for the Hall of Fame resumés, but the ever so sought-after super max and contract bonuses.
Below are my picks for each team and which artist with a dope 16 compares to them. Not only did the comps factor in ability, but it also included some personal characteristics.
1st Team All-NBA
G | James Harden | Travis Scott | 36 PPG | 6 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL
The run Harden made to save the Rockets’ season was incredible. The 30-points-per-game streak was similar to Travis Scott’s over the last year. The unguardable stepback, similar to Scott’s autotuned, enables him to get a shot off at any time.
G | Stephen Curry | Drake | 28 PPG | 5 REB | 5 AST
He’s popular, the face of a league, hated by many, highly successful, but at the end of the day you low key like him. Curry will garner MVP votes for another insane season. His 28 ppg ranks him 3rd in the league. Leading the Warriors to another #1 seed, a familiar place for Drake on the charts.
F | Giannis Antetokounmpo | Young Thug | 27 PPG | 12 REB | 6 AST | 1.5 BLK
We’ve never seen anything like this before! Just like Young Thug on a track, HE CAN DO ANYTHING. I like to think of Young Thug as modern-day Prince, similar to how I think of the Giannis as the modern-day Shaq. I’m afraid of the day he learns how to shoot; they might have to cancel basketball. The Greek Freak will be the MVP this year and he’s posted Shaq-like numbers the entire season to fight debates.
F | Paul George | J. Cole | 28 PPG | 8 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL
Paul George had a brief run this season where he appeared to be headed for MVP status. J. Cole had a similar run with the release of 2014 Forest Hills Drive. His close to the season wasn’t as strong, but that doesn’t negate a season where he showed his worth after his max deal. His assertiveness and consistent three-point shooting enabled this incredible jump. Similar to Cole as well renowned as he is, George is a bit of a quiet super star.
C | Joel Embiid | Meek Mill | 27 PPG | 13 REB | 3 AST | 1.9 BLK
Embiid and Meek both had situations where we thought their careers would be ruined. Meek’s legal issues were the basketball equivalent of a multiple knee surgeries. The yelling we get from Meek in the both reminds me of Embiid on Twitter and running his mouth after an and-one. This ironically enough Meek dropped his best project the same year Joel had his best season.
2nd Team All-NBA
G | Damian Lillard | Big Sean | 26 PPG | 4 REB | 7 AST
Everything about Big Sean says he should be a star, similar to Lillard. He’s still somewhat slept on from an overall popularity standpoint. Sean’s got great bars, solid projects, and a great label. Lillard rivals him with bars of his own, a feather like jumper, and the Adidas brand. It’ll take an MVP campaign for him to crack the first team, but similar to Sean, he’s one project away.
G | Russell Westbrook | Kanye West | 23 PPG | 11 REB | 10 AST | 2 STL
Fashion alone makes this pick a lay-up. Both push the edges and seem to set trends whether they seem rudimentary or ground breaking. The uncertainty of Westbrook is spot on with West. He could spazz on an official, the media, or completely go a-wall on the court forgetting there’s other people that play off of him. Sound familiar with Kanye West’s behavior? Still can’t deny the greatness.
F | Kawhi Leonard | Kendrick Lamar | 27 PPG | 7 REB | 3 AST | 1.8 STL
For as great as he is, how is it that we don’t know anything about him? I know we love Kendrick Lamar, but he’s a boring superstar. If it wasn’t for the Kawhi-San Antonio trade saga we wouldn’t know anything about him. I bet they get their hair braided by the same person. Nonetheless, we’ll tell our kids about their legendary careers.
F | Kevin Durant | Future | 26 PPG | 6 REB | 5 AST | 1 BLK
It’s weird how both Future and KD both ask for an under-the-radar life, but they have so many instances that don’t match. Rapping over trap beats, low lyrical content, multiple dope projects in a year, and features. In my mind that equates to 7 ft, small forward, does most of his damage on the wing, and pulls up from 30. In some circles, he was the best at one point.
C | Nikola Jokic | 2 Chainz | 20 PPG | 10 REB | 7 AST
So much about this shouldn’t work. 2 Chainz has an unorthodox style, and at sometimes he it seems like he’s rapping off beat, but it’s HARD. The Joker is a 7-footer that is every bit of a below-average athlete. He’s a center that operates like a point guard.
3rd Team All-NBA
G | Kyrie Irving | Offset | 23 PPG | 5 REB | 7 AST | 1.5 STL
Linking up with Drake on the Versace remix is reminiscent of playing with LeBron early on. For all of the talent and skill, they both share questionable leadership and off-court decisions. The pieces on the Celtics team are talented and young, just like the Migos. From a statistics standpoint, this is Kyrie’s best year, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it because of the media drama, similar to Offset.
G | Kemba Walker | Post Malone | 25 PPG | 4 AST | 6 REB
He’s had a great season, but he’s probably a better feature than the primary artist for an album. This doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s got a unique sound and some absolute SLAPS. Like Post’s sound, Kemba’s step back is what sets him apart. Post Malone was tops as a streamed artist, album and songs played on Spotify in 2018. It compares well to Kemba’s top ten in usage, minutes played, and field goal attempts.
F | Blake Griffin | Wale | 24 PPG | 7 REB | 5 AST
We forget how great both of these are. It seems like Wale got lost after swapping labels multiple times. If Blake Griffin hadn’t moved on from LA, we’d know his stats are arguable better than LeBron because he’s not getting as many garbage-time buckets. Remember MMG Wale? I feel like that was lob city Blake Griffin.
F | LeBron James | Jay-Z | 27 PPG | 8 REB | 8 AST
Some call him the GOAT while others think there’s players (or rappers) before him that were greater. While LeBron’s accomplishments on the court will place him on the Mt. Rushmore, it’s what he’s done off the court that’ll have a bigger impact. There’s no denying Hov has classic albums, but his ability to push the culture forward will possibly be his lasting legacy.
C | Karl-Anthony Towns | Logic | 24 PPG | 12 REB | 3 AST | 1.6 BLK
I think they both could use a crash course in how to handle beef. On paper everything about these two gives them an easy opportunity at greatness. KAT is filling the void the Kevin Garnett left in Minnesota while Logic is filling coming in to the white rapper space the Eminem occupied. All the talent is there. I hope they look for smoke next year.