russell westbrook blake griffin clippers thunder 2014

The definition of traditional means "existing in or as part of a tradition; long-established." We get so used to certain things that the thought of succeeding with another method can be frightening.

I mean, point guards that out-rebound big men and centers that lead their team in assists are just weird, right? All players of that position need to be the same and if they think about being unorthodox, they shall be panned by the media.

Remember, our goal is to anger traditionalists as much as possible and win games, so let's take a look at the anti traditional all stars.

Point Guard: Russell Westbrook


Not many other players would be criticized while averaging 25 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds per 36 minutes; but when you're Russell Westbrook, it's easy to nitpick your game. Sure, he does take a hefty supply of questionable shots and he could cut down the turnovers, but all players have flaws.

Whenever his team is loosing, critics always attribute it to how the opposing teams point guard is playing like a "real point guard." From Tony Parker, to John Wall, to Mike Conley, it does not matter if they are going 3-of-15.

The only thing that matters is that they get their teammates involved and don't play too aggressively. However, they fail to mention that out all the champions dating back to 1991, the best point guard of the bunch is either 2007 Tony Parker or 2004 Chauncey Billups.

Instead of asking for a point guard to COMPROMISE his game, why don't we just appreciate this dime-a-dozen player like we do with the John Stocktons and Chris Pauls of the world.

Shooting Guard: Stephen Curry


I know he is a point guard, but he and Westbrook are basically shooting guards playing the 1, so you could switch either but they would complement each other perfectly. Curry spreads the lane for Westbrook to recklessly dash to the hoop, while Westbrook gets Curry open jumper after open jumper off of his penetration.

Sure, he too is careless with the ball at times, but all is forgiven for the lovechild of Ray Allen and Steve Nash as he gave us the closest thing possible to Reggie Miller at the Garden. Although they lost, his absolute torching of the New York Knicks with an undermanned roster while playing the whole game is absurd.

There has been better scorers before Curry, but who does crossover step-backs into threes so casually, you assume all of them drop? Sure, Westbrook and Derrick Rose overpower you, and Parker and Chris Paul dissect you, but what Curry does behind the arc, off the dribble and off screens is unheard of in pro basketball.

Small Forward: Lance Stephenson


There's the trash talk, the choke-sign, the confrontations and whatever that was in the video above.  But of course, we forget the hustle, the determination and the fact that he led the best team in the East in rebounds and assists while finishing second in points.

People claim that the NBA players are known for giving less than full effort, but Lance seems like the only Pacers player that wants to win too often. People criticize the NBA for being too buddy-buddy, but chastise Stephenson for antagonizing opponents.

His situation reminds me a little of Dez Bryant as many claim their team lacks any leadership or emotion at times, but they don't want them to be the ones to do it. People forget that just two years ago, he was not even playing on the team or guaranteed a roster spot...and now he has to pretty much do it all for the blue and gold.

Power Forward: Blake Griffin


Let me start of by saying: I do not advocate for his flopping, whining or instigating as it seems like he thinks we do not notice he usually starts it. Nonetheless, watching him lead or trail on a fast break is the closest thing I've ever seen to an NBA street game-breaker.

"Fans" want to label him as just a dunker, although dunks only account for four of his 24 points a game and "dunkers" would not lead fast breaks or pull down around 10 rebounds a game. Sure, he doesn't have the post game of a Tim Duncan or Hakeem Olajuwon, but it's not like Charles Barkley did not run fast breaks like he did.

The only people who should dislike Blake are those he instigated...and Pau Gasol.


Center: Joakim Noah


Correct me if I miss something, but Joakim Noah has the hair, the god-awful jump shot, the Defensive Player of the Year award, is a center who averaged five assists per game, had the remarks on Cleveland and his love for trolling the Miami Heat (video above).

Those who claim the NBA lacks heart must never catch a Chicago Bulls game and their goofy, yet intense ringleader center. He may not be as ridiculed as other centers such as Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and Roy Hibbert, but how many of us would want to sock him if we ever had to go against him in real life?

If you replaced him with any center in the league—save for maybe Dwight Howard—I highly doubt the Bulls reach even 40 wins despite his non-spectacular stats. I guess Marc Gasol could replace him, but a team led by him, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler definitely would not spark any rivalries...and I'm a selfish fan.


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