With the No. 1 Pick, The Hamilton Jugs Select…

If you’re an NBA star, head to Madison Square Garden immediately. It’s the place to be. Last Monday, Kobe Bryant scored an MSG record 61 points. Not to be outdone,]King LeBron James dropped 52 points and was one rebound short of a triple-double. With the Magic and Heat coming up soon, it looks like the Garden will continue to be a place for superstars to shine. Knicks fans don’t seem to be complaining. They chanted “MVP” for both Kobe and King James, and watching those two dominate is a lot more fun than watching David Lee score 16.

When a reliable sports reporter (a.k.a yours truly) asked Knicks fans whom they would rather have running their team, Kobe or King James, I got some interesting replies. Why? Many fans did say that they would want Kobe or King James as their go-to-guy, but many others chose hoopsters like Chris Paul or Dwight Howard. This got me thinking, if the town of Hamilton was starting an NBA franchise called the Hamilton Jugs (sweet name right?), who would be the first guy they wanted? The young King or the aging Kobster? Would Dwight Howard or may I dare say Kevin Durant be in the mix? Starting with number eight, here are the eight guys to think about.

8. Kobe Bryant – The Kobester at the measly number eight spot may come as a shock to many, but let me back this up by saying five years ago he would have been number one. Also, when Kobe won all his titles, he was not even the best player on his team, Shaq was (side note- Those ESPN commercials with Shaq playing scrabble and making up words like Shaqtuss are the best thing on TV right now besides Gossip Girl). Kobe is the reigning MVP, the most clutch player in the league, and is averaging almost 27 a game, but eventually his age will catch up to him. The Jugs would be great with Kobe, but at 30 years old, Kobe is the oldest player on the list, and he only has a few more good years left in him.

7. Amar’e Stoudemire- Stoudemire could be one the greatest physical specimens the NBA has ever seen. His ability to score like a forward and defend like a center is what puts him on the list. At 26, he seems to be peaking now and looks more and more like a young Kevin Garnett. He is good for a consistent 20 points and 10 boards a night, and let’s be honest; his biceps look great in a uniform.

6. Derrick Rose – As a rookie, Rose is definitely living up the hype that comes with being the first pick. His 17 points and 7 assists will continue to increase as he works on his jumper. Three years from now, my crystal ball says Rose will be a major threat to Chris Paul’s title of best point guard in the NBA.

5. Dwyane Wade – Like Kobe, Wade won his title with the greatness that is Shaquille O’Neal. However, I still believe Wade could take home a few trophies for the Jugs. His knee injury seems to be ancient history now, as he is averaging 27 points a night, second only to King James. Wade can draw fouls and take it to the rim.

4. Kevin Durant – The four spot may seem too high for Durant, however, at 20 years old this guy is already among the elite. He may be playing for the Thunder, but his 26 points and 7 boards a game cannot be ignored. At 6’9″ we have only seen the tip of Durant’s potential as a scorer. KD will win many scoring titles by the time his career is over…that’s a guarantee.

3. Chris Paul- Paul’s combination of passing (11 assists per game), scoring (21 points per game), and defense (a league leading 2.8 steals per game) is unrivaled. Paul brings it on both sides of the floor, and many forget he is still only 23 years old. Besides King James, CP3 is the most fun player to watch in the league, and would bring the fans and hardware to Cotterell Court.

2. Dwight Howard – A wise man (my father) once said, “To win an NBA championship you need a good presence down low.” Howard brings a presence that this world has never seen before. Dwight leads the league in dunks, and we all know he is an absolute beast with the ball in the post. However, he can score zero points (he averages 20) and still be the best player on the court as he leads the league in rebounds (14 a game) and blocks (2.9 a game).

1. Of Course…King James- LeBron is the greatest basketball player this world will ever see (sorry Michael, its not your fault God created a lord and savior of basketball). King James leads the league in scoring (28 points per game), is the most fun athlete to watch in all of sports, and is going to win the MVP and take his team to a championship this year. The scary part is that he is only 24, and I honestly believe when King James reaches his potential, he will average a triple double. Many haters out there say King James will never be able to win like Jordan did. To them I have one word…Erroneous. Jordan did not win a title till he was 27; King James took the Cavs to the ‘ship when he was 22. We all should just be thankful that we have the opportunity to watch his greatness.