Welcome to Building The Perfect NBA Player Part III: Personality. This is the third installment of a 10-part series in which we’ll be building an NBA player from scratch, using 10 different categories to create our player. If you want to keep an eye out for the other parts, check out the “Building” homepage.
What Makes Up The Best NBA Personality?
This is one of the most subjective categories in our series because there are many different personalities that can be successful. We know our player needs to be tough mentally. The rigors of an 82-game season can wear on anyone, so our player has to be able to deal with the ups and downs of the NBA schedule.
The perfect NBA player will be a leader of men. How he accomplishes that feat is what makes this category so difficult. Some are introverted, some are extroverted. Some are aggressive, some are passive. Some love confrontation, some avoid it like the plague.
Let’s take a look at five different NBA personalities to see which one fits the perfect NBA player.
Pros: Driven, Dependable, Fearless
Cons: Too Nice, Impulsive, Passive
There’s little doubt that Durant is one of the best scorers in the NBA. It isn’t a mistake that he’s won three scoring titles. However, losing Russell Westbrook in the 2013 playoffs illustrated a very important aspect of Durant’s game…he’s not comfortable when he has to be the consistent aggressor. We thought Durant was going through a transformation this year, but it turns out he’s still the same guy. When Durant is able to have someone take the heat off of him, he’s a killer. When he’s alone, he’s not able to pick up the slack.
Pros: Intelligent, Meticulous, Vicious Desire to Win
Cons: Pompous, Self-centered, Sneaky
Next to Michael Jordan, there might not be another more viciously competitive person in the entire NBA. Bryant takes losing personally and is willing to take it out on anyone in his path, even teammates. His biggest strength is also his biggest weakness. He leads through fear of failure, which turns off a lot of teammates. It’s no coincidence that many of Jordan’s teammates hated him. It’s also no coincidence that he was one of the most successful players to ever grace a basketball court.
Pros: Affable, Confident, Compatible
Cons: Needs Others, Arrogant, Obnoxious
James is a special player that has gone through a career transformation. He’s always had the physical skills and he was extremely likable until he “took his talents to South Beach.” What the masses questioned was his killer instinct and his ability to finish the job by himself. Then, he took the 2011-12 Miami Heat on his shoulders and won the NBA title, MVP and Finals MVP within the span of a few weeks. Since then he’s won another MVP and shown the world that he is as confident and mentally strong as ever. He has to be with so many people trying to knock him off the throne.
Pros: Independent, Precise, Humble
Cons: Finicky, Introverted, Desire
Some situations are better than others for certain personalities. The town of Chicago loves Rose and his quiet confidence. That wouldn’t go over nearly as well in a town like New York or Los Angeles. Still, teammates stand by Rose like he’s the second-coming of the basketball Jesus. He isn’t particularly strong at motivating others directly, but he sets a terrific example. The way he’s dealt with his injury gives us reason to doubt him, but that’s just the way he is. He marches to his own drummer and you can either follow or get out of the way.
Pros: Relentless, Encouraging, Loyal
Cons: Surly, Malicious, Unfriendly
In every sports league, there are players who you love to death if they’re on your team, and you hate if they’re on another. Garnett is the NBA’s version of that player. He’s surly, angry and vicious. He talks as much trash as anyone in the league and for the most part, he backs it up. Garnett’s physical skill is deteriorating, but his never-ending energy and passion is infectious to all of his teammates. No other player in the league can fire up their own team the way Garnett does.
Building The Perfect NBA Player Part III: Personality Winner Is…