NBATV’s ‘build your starting lineup’

The tiers here were quite laughable with Chris Paul ranked lower than both Clyde Drexler and Steve Francis, even assuming value is assigned by the player’s performance while with the Rockets rather than overall career accomplishments. The Clyde designation is at least somewhat defensible given the nostalgic revisionism associated with his contributions in the title run (we remember him as being a lot better than he was), but Francis was at no point in his career better than Paul. Assuming of course that we are indeed talking about professional basketball and not some streetball exhibition outdoor. Francis was a lot of flash with minimal substance. He could fill up a stat sheet, and a highlight reel, but forget about busting a zone. (I’m serious. Oldheads like myself will recall the trouble the Nash/Dirk Mavericks gave Houston because they refused to play man defense and our guys couldn’t figure out the zone. There’s a quote floating around somewhere on the internet where Francis brazenly questions the masculinity of the Mavericks for their unwillingness to guard him and Cuttino Mobley straight up, failing to consider the irony captured on the scoreboard.)

This was a no-brainer for me. I picked Hakeem and James Harden in my first group, Ralph from the second tier, and then CP3 and Mad Max to round out my five. In making these selections, I’ve reunited the Twin Towers so that they can give it a go on lost potential, I’ve reunited CP3 and Harden so that they can make amends and build on what was the most captivating regular season run in franchise history, and I’ve given Vernon Maxwell a shot at redemption after he walked out on the ’95 Rockets in the first round. This superteam I’ve constructed was only possible given the gross underrating of Paul.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

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