It began with a light-hearted question and escalated into a ferocious, verbal battle.
I wondered who my brother, the sports fanatic, thought was the most dominant center in the NBA?
Without hesitation, my brother chose Dwight Howard and gave a laundry list of reasons.
I felt compelled to interrupt him--because he was dead wrong.
Pau Gasol was my center of choice. As I validated my selection, he too interrupted--runs in the family.
Since that moment, he and I have created our own, personalized NBA dream team, which consists of 5 current NBA players.
We've discussed just about any and every scenario from one side of the court to the other, and yet we still don't know who would win the ultimate battle.
Here is my team. Who would be on yours?
Drive and dish.
Pull-up and shoot.
Head-fake and drive.
Whatever you want--Lebron James has got it in his repertoire.
You can call him my point guard, small forward, power forward--whatever floats your boat.
Just don't underestimate him.
Lebron redefines the "package deal" player.
People think that just because he doesn't have a championship ring, it's as if he's not worthy of high praise.
But remember something--LBJ is just 25-years old.
Not many guys in the NBA are faster than Dwyane Wade.
There's also not many guys who can drive, shoot, defend, dribble, or pass like Dwyane Wade.
What distinguishes Wade from his competition is that he can create; he knows when to get aggressive and take the shot for himself, or just when to pass to the cutter.
He is an outstanding sense of timing and court vision--a perilous duo for anyone who dares to guard him.
But more than anything, Wade radiates with desire to compete at the highest level. He is always looking for ways to improve his game because he refuses to settle for second best.
Carmelo Anthony is more of a threat than ever.
He has grown out of his youthful, reckless tendencies and has developed his lethal skills in body, and most importantly, in mind.
Whereas certain parts of his game used to outshine others, Melo has redesigned his game to be as all-around as it gets.
From behind the three-point line or driving to the lane, Anthony has proven his resourcefulness.
You can't guard him.
Repeat: you can't guard him.
Whether he chooses to kiss the ball off the glass or get one of his 15 offensive rebounds for a put back, Tim Duncan remains one of the most dominant power fowards in the NBA, and possibly in NBA history.
He may not be the fastest or most flexible, but man does this guy know his fundamentals.
On the offensive or defensive end, Duncan sustains a threatening presence.
What I love about Pau Gasol is that there isn't just one thing that stands out about him.
Maybe his hair.
But his versatility is tops among big men today. On one play he will float out to the top of the key and hit you with a jumper. On the next play, he will post you up, fake right, and lay it in the hoop with his left hand.
Pau has excellent court vision and prides himself on moving without the ball in order to make things happen for his team.
But when the ball is in his hands--watch out.
On the defensive side Pau will also shut you down. He is a gargantuan man with poles for arms. He is faster than most big men and has incredible hand-eye coordination.