By Kimberly Paschal | Sports Editor
The 2016-2017 NBA season has been a rollercoaster that took fans on a ride from Kevin Durant deciding to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook becoming the triple-double king, Stephen Curry being Steph, and everything else thrown into the mix. As a basketball fan, I get asked the question, “Who’s your top five?” all the time. Recently, the question, “Who would you start a franchise with?” has been a popular question buzzing around the basketball world. The following five players are undoubtedly the five people I would want to start a franchise with because of their amazing talent on the court. Of course, as an avid Oklahoma City Thunder fan, I do have my biases that have resulted in some possible candidates being left off the list.
The Human Turbo Button. The Triple-Double Machine. There is no doubt Russ would be on the list. He is currently averaging 31.0 points, 10.2 assists, and 10.6 rebounds per game, which means he is averaging a triple-double. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that Westbrook has 23 triple-doubles — the most in a season since Oscar Robertson grabbed 26 in the 1963-1954 season. On top of that, his speed and constant hustle on the court are something you want in a guard. And you also can’t forget Westbrook’s loyalty. Times may get hard, but Russ will be there with a franchise through the good and the bad.
The Baby-faced Assassin. Chef Curry. As one of the best three-point shooters to even step foot on the court, Steph is someone you want to start a franchise with. Not only can Steph give you the shake-n-bake, break your ankles, and then drain a three right in your face, Steph has the ability to nail some of the toughest shots in the most critical moments of a game. Steph’s leadership and grade-A character are also qualities anyone would want to start a franchise with.
The Durantula. The Slim Reaper. To OKC fans, especially those from Oklahoma, KD might be considered a traitor, even the most hated man in the NBA. But you cannot deny that KD can play ball. Durant is currently averaging 26.1 points, 4.7 assists, and 8.3 rebounds per game. Now add KD’s ability to handle the ball, knock down threes, and post up, and a franchise would be crazy not want him.
King James. The Akron Hammer. LeBron may not be my favorite player, but I can’t lie. He can play. LeBron is arguably one of the best basketball players in the world. He’s averaging 25.7 points, 8.5 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game. With LeBron’s increased versatility, it’s a no brainer to have him in your franchise, just make sure he knows he’s a player and not a coach.
L-A. The L-Train. Despite not being named to the 2017 All-Star team, LA is a consistent player. As a member of the San Antonio Spurs, Aldridge definitely demonstrates consistency. LaMarcus may not be an NBA All-Star, but he is a consistent guy and on a team stacked with so much talent, and it’s always important to have a consistent player to back you up. Of course, there are so many other big men you could put ahead of LA, like Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol, but Aldridge would be a nice dash of consistency to add on to this team of legends.