Basketball Society’s ideal NBA match-ups

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NBA fans love discussing hypotheticals. “What if this player played during this time?” or “What if this team played against that team?” It’s something that’s always fun to debate but we will never have an answer to.

Just this past week, a hot topic came up with people discussing a matchup between Kevin Durant and Tracy McGrady in their primes.

J.R. Smith tweeted about the matchup not being close and McGrady was not happy. On an episode of The Jump, McGrady gave his opinion and threw some shots in the process.

We compare players, rank them, and debate whether they could last in another generation. Regardless it’s all for fun. Some of us at Basketball Society decided to give our best hypothetical matchups and discuss which two players we would love to see go head-to-head in their prime. Check it out!

DJ Allen (@DJAllen23):

My pick is definitely Shaquille O’Neal vs Draymond Green. It’s not the ideal, superstar-studded matchup everyone was probably expecting but for me it’s all about the characters involved. Green is a superb defender and a very animated player. O’Neal was dominant but also a character in his own right. He was disrespectful on the court and I mean that in a good way. He dominated his defenders and let them know about it and I think if you were to put those two up against each other, it would make for an incredible event.

Evan Anderson (@Jordainian21):

I would have Allen Iverson vs Kyrie Irving. Both players are each one of the best ball handlers to ever play the game and can both put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. They would go bucket for bucket but AI would come out on top because that dog mentality will come out and take over.

Justin Kirk (@jkirk41):

Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain for me. Two of the most dominant post presences of all time and you can all but eliminate the jump shot as a variable in this one. It’s basketball’s ultimate version of two heavyweight fighters just throwing haymakers at each other until someone gets knocked out. Chamberlain was more athletic and a slightly better defender. O’Neal has better footwork and a wider variety of offensive moves. IF someone asked me to predict, I’d just flip a coin.

Eric Rose:

One past vs. present match I’d love to see is Joel Embiid vs. Hakeem Olajuwon. Embiid has said that Olajuwon has been someone he’s always looked up to because of their similar upbringings, both being from Africa and starting basketball later in life, and it has shown in his ability on the court. From the moment Embiid used the dream shake at Kansas in a game against New Mexico, the comparisons began and the dominant start to his career has the comparisons looking less and less foolish each day.

Watching two of the most gifted centers on both sides of the ball we’ve ever seen would be a sight to see and witnessing a “student vs. teacher” matchup in front of our eyes would give a great context of how the game has changed over the years.

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