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The NBA's Hometown Heroes

Thanks for posting this Brian, I'll be interested in seeing the debates play out.

Thanks, interesting read. Tells you a bit about the playing styles in different regions.

I thought the Hoser response was a bit harsh...Take off. eh?

Nice post, guys, and quite a bit of work represented here. I have a slight bias for the Detroit team, though--with a front line of Battier/Horford/Kaman, and with Richardson in the backcourt, it seems to me that they should be in someone's top 5. Just goes to show how much talent there is in the NBA, I suppose. That ATL team is fairly incredible as well, with Wallace/Smith/Howard putting on a dunk show.

Man, I hate that Kobe didn't just stay in Italy...embarassment to my high school

I went to school in Lower Merion- but not to LM. Was a fighting Heb...

john reply to tk76 on Feb 4 at 15:06

Akiba huh?

man - i remember that place

Good list, I love stuff like this. Just note that Little Rock is closer to Memphis than Oklahoma City. But I can understand when you put Joe Johnson and Derek Fisher on OK City's team.

Thanks for the compliments! I just used GoogleMaps to get distances. I used the city provided and I believe it had Little Rock as closer to OK City by more than 20 miles.

Garnett went to high school in Chicago. Farragut. If you put him on the Chicago team they would be in your Top-5.

Prep school, he wasn't 'from' Chicago. That was the hardest part of making the list.

Delonte is from Silver Springs, MD right?(basically DC) He should be on that DC team I would say at PG. Shift Iverson to SG. Dump Jeff Green. Also add Josh Boone I would say to play C and dump Rudy Gay.

Put Allred in the starting lineup for Utah... come on. They need at least one person on that team that grew up in a polygamist community. And he is deaf too...

The Greek on Feb 4 at 17:37

Wow, how about a what the hell are we going to do with Andre Miller at the deadline article?

I think it might be more accurate to do where they last went to school. Like while KG was born in SC, he went to school in Chicago.

Joe reply to Jaceman on Feb 4 at 17:45

Why? I like this way so much more. With the way prep schools are now, it would suck to just have their prep/high school.

john reply to Joe on Feb 4 at 18:04

Then Kobe wouldn't be in the NBA since he was born in italy :)

Joe reply to john on Feb 4 at 18:09

Wikipedia says he was born in Philadelphia... via NBA.com

john reply to Joe on Feb 4 at 18:15

ALways thought he was born in italy - ah well - still hate him personally (great player, hate the person)

Cookie Monster on Feb 4 at 17:40

I absolutely loved this article. You've just got a new reader, Depressed Fan. (Whoever you may be... :P )

This is classic. Something we all never think to write but always talk about. This is the way sports should be, in my opinion. Every player would play that much better on his hometown team.


basketball players by state born I believe. This says Shawn Marion possibly should be on the Chcago team. Also Nazr Muhommad if you wanted some size. Eddy Curry sucks anyway.

i went to LM too! small internet, eh?

john reply to noah on Feb 4 at 19:25

what year?

noah reply to john on Feb 4 at 23:42

graduated in '02. you?

john reply to noah on Feb 5 at 11:37

long before that. 1990

Alex K. love this your my new hero. On the Kobe deal he was born in Philly while Jelly Bean Bryant played for the 76ers, moved to Italy, and then came back to high school at Lower Merion High. Also is extremely hated in Philly for no reason other than ripping our hearts out. Thanks again

This article brings to mind an idea I had a few years ago. I remember reading post-game quotes from a Sixers game and Marc Jackson (who went to Roman Catholic and then Temple) said something along the lines of "I always dreamed of playing in Philly. I would play here for free. I would die for this team." Personally, I was kind of blown away by this. In this modern age it's pretty rare to here an athlete espouse that kind of passion for their team. I thought to myself, "You can't buy that kind of passion." And even though he was not the most talented player, Jackson played with a Reggie Evans-like intensity in his time in Philadelphia.

It made me wonder, what would happen if a team made a conscious effort to to acquire as many home-town players as possible? I think a lot of the teams put together above would be of a championship caliber in today's NBA. Sure, many of them have flaws, but you can't quantify the way playing in front of their friends and family on a daily basis would affect the players. What do you guys think of this?

Bashir G on Feb 4 at 18:56

It's nice to see such a great response, and Alex put in a lot of work making this list

Victorious on Feb 4 at 18:58

That was great, but I'm gonna nitpick some of your choices and offer suggestions for the LA teams.

Luke Walton shouldn't count cause he's from SD and neither should Josh Childress for defecting. I'd replace them with Amir Johnson and Craig Smith.

ps: I'd also replace Ryan Gomes on your Knicks team with Joahkim Noah

Very interesting read, my only issue is with the positions you put some guys at and the teams you put some guys on...Tim Duncan shouldn't even be listed, otherwise you should probably list Euro players as well...Boozer also lives eons away from any place here. And Nash playing for Toronto doesn't make a ton of sense, I guess you're just listing him by country but his hometown is about 50x closer to Portland than to Toronto...but a very cool thing you did here.

If you read my comments at the end I address almost all those prompts, good points though. Nash is closest to Portland but there was no chance in hell of filling out Toronto without him, I'd have had to add Todd McCulloch (though funny, that's not a joke).

Travis reply to Alex K. on Feb 5 at 10:31

Greg Oden was born (not raised) in Buffalo, so as a Raptors fan we will gladly slide him in the rotation next to Sammy D :)

Wouldn't Shaq be put into the NJ team? He is from Newark after all.

Didn't grow up there, did in San Antonio though.

Yggdrasil on Feb 4 at 22:39

Great post! It's funny to note that the entire Portland Trailblazers team would be gone if the Sonics were still in Seattle.

Also, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was born in Cameroon. He only went to high school in FL.

Mike73085 on Feb 5 at 2:03

Great post the only problem i have with it is that the clippers are garbage and and always have been. Due to this i would give the lakers la's first 6 pick and then let the clips dig in the the trash pile like they have for the whole history of their franchise.

This is really interesting to look at. The only thing I noticed was that you had Shaq as being from San Antonio, and I understand he went to High School there, but he is from Newark, NJ. He is actually in the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

He was a military kid and as far as my research shows he went to high school in San Antonio and lived there longest. He was certainly born in New Jersey, but if you lived in many places and one you were born in and lived until say, you were 3, and the other you lived from when you were 13-17, where would you say you grew up?

Also when Shaq would've become 'NBA eligible' he would've been in San Antonio (true for everyone except prep school players, where I learned where they're actually from).

Give me Matt Carroll as a shooter and Kyle Lowry as a spark plug off the bench.

...on the Philly squad

what about sebastian telfair at pg for the knicks? that lets ben gordon and his streak shooting come off the bench with gomes. bassy may not be among the elite but he's a better option that starting ben gordon at the point.

Who are the best of the rest? Players that didn't meet any requirement to be on a team based on location?

hey idiot...garnett played high school ball in Chicago...

Who's the idiot? reply to Nate on Apr 20 at 18:42

douchebag, read the stipulations and above comments... Hell of a read here, enjoyed it immensely - unlike any other NBA list I've seen

Kevin Garnett played *one year* of high school ball in Chicago. The rest was in SC.

Hobo Stu on Feb 5 at 13:06

Gilbert Arenas was born in Florida.

anonymous on Feb 5 at 13:43

you idiot. shaq is from new jersey, among many, many other mistakes. i hope you die and burn in hell

Uh, so that last comment is a little extreme, but...

Little Rock is way closer to Memphis than Oklahoma City, AND it is actually closer to Dallas than OKC as well. You must have made some kind of mistake when using google maps; Memphis wins 145 miles to 337 miles (LR to Dallas is 317 miles).

wow...what a pointless post...still me being a pretty big fag, read it...go h town

elcherino on Feb 5 at 22:13

I like that Cleveland Team. If this was march madness it would pwn with all those shooters if you add wally's world and put Lebron at center (like Magic) shooting 50 3's a game, kinda like Davidson or Butler all da way to da Cup.

Den it be: Martin, Redd, Wally, Posey, LBJ w/ Hally Berry as the Head Cavette

Damn -- OKC is still bad. But the Thunder do add this year's best college basketball player in Blake Griffin. I know Oklahoma is getting a lot better in producing players so maybe there is still hope!

Hey asshole, don't call my city a garbage city. Boston is a great city the world and the best sportstown in the USA. At least now the Hawks and Falcons are mediocre instead of God-awful. Come to Boston from Atlanta and it looks like heaven (minus the weather... and not just in terms of sports but in general). Calling a city you probably don't know anybody from or maybe have never even been to isn't acceptable. I hate the Yankees, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers, and half the people I've met from New York suck, but I'm not ignorant enough to call it a Garbage City.

Just to be clear, Alex, the guy who wrote this post, didn't call Boston a garbage city, I did. I stand by that assessment after visiting your garbage city and being exposed to far too many Bostonites like yourself.

OKC should be in seattle. Bennet is a crook.

Portland is even better if you include K. Love, Aaron Brooks and Martell Webster.

You forget that Jermaine O'Neal is from Columbia, SC as well. Throw him in on that Charlotte Bobcats team and you have that extra big body at the PF or for when KG gets hurt. That team would be unbeatable.

East looks pretty stacked to me. The Knicks have quite a few legitimate #2 options, but no true #1 scored. The Hawks would keep every game in the 80s, but they are another team without a go-to scorer. The Bobcats are absolutely stacked, but could use a little more athletic, scoring ability from the wing. The Bulls would be the most exciting team in the league, but Curry would have to lay off the Twinkies. The Sixers team looks incredible. I would start Warrick at the 4 (has the length to check PFs), Salmons at the 3, and bring Rip off the bench. Wallace is a little soft to guard the 5, but the rest of the team should make up for it. If Mayo was playing the point, I think the Cavs would be solid as well. Though he’s obviously not a true 1, Redd would be a disaster. I’d put Redd at the 2 and have Martin come off the bench. I’d also have the 30 pound heavier Lebron guard the 4 instead of Posey. Absolutely no interior offensive threat, but it might not matter. I even think Indiana would be solid if they kept Randolph on the bench.
In the West, Dallas would be a great team. I think Martin is more than athletic enough to guard the 3, so he and Aldridge switching positions would solve the defensive problem. Shooting guard is an issue though. I disagree with you on the Rockets. Lewis is a spot-up shooter that would struggle as the first scoring option. They wouldn’t get stomped, but I don’t think they would match-up with any elite teams. I think people are underrating the Hornets. They would get points from the 2, 3, and 5, while Thomas and Duhon would perform their roles well. Portland looks to have a great balance and would challenge to win the conference. That’s really about it from the West.
I say the Sixers come out of the East after beating Charlotte, and Roy carries Portland past the Mavericks. Kobe rips apart the Blazers in the Finals and Philly wins in 4 or 5 games.
Love this concept by the way, great article. Would be interesting to see it done in other sports.

Mike Dunleavy should also be on the Portland team. And he actually played high school ball in Portland, not Seattle.

Garnett played just one year of high school ball in Chi-town after transferring there after an arrest in South Carolina, so that is accurate. Also, no shooters for the Chicago team? What about Mike Finley, he went to Proviso East (i think that was the HS)....could also throw a healthy darius miles, Julian Wirght, Quentin Richardson and Luther Head on the roster...takes care of much of the shooting...put Head's former teammate at Illinois on the roster if you want to go real deep.

I think that Cavs team would be deceptively good. Lebron would have to play the 4 spot on defense, and the only offense that squad could to play would be to have 4 on the perimeter. Lebron driving, attracting double teams, and kicking to Redd, Mayo, Posey, or Martin. But prior to this year, that was pretty much their offense anyway (substituting those legitimate threats for the likes of Pavlovic, Gibson, Damon Jones, and Donyell Marshall). They would have an awful lot of trouble on the inside though.

Dallas team is good, but you missed a few guys. You could easily have cj miles at the 2 with mason as a backup and also have Anthony Randolph at the SF there as well. That team would have ridiculous front court depth.

with Willie warren and etc in the pipeline, Dallas not looking too bad off.

Little Rock is about 2 hours from Memphis and 5 hours from Oklahoma City. Fisher and Joe Johnson should both have been playing for the Grizzlies.

Overall, this is fantastic.

tientien on May 5 at 11:52

korver, flip, kyle lowry, mailk rose, mardy collins, alvin williams & bobby jones - 76ers
(that should be a good enough bench if u ask me)

tientien on May 5 at 11:55

whats wrong with having skip, telfair or starbury on the knicks?

tientien on May 5 at 12:01

rondo is nowhere near indiana but mike conley is born and bred in the basketball state

tientien on May 5 at 12:12

also i think u need to reevaluate the blazers, all your players would be in the supersonics (if they ever remerge) but someone mentioned brooks, love & webster
add dunleavy, nate rob or bring back mighty mouse a portland legend fred jones, murphy, doleac, ridnour & udoka and u got a solid team (i still prefer the way it is now if u ask me)

tientien on May 5 at 12:17

wassup with delonte west who said he grew up watching and talking trash at iverson

I agree with the comments here, however the post does touch on a few of this.

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