I don’t know about you guys, but I am sick and tired of all this “Lob City” talk. Ever since Chris Paul got dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers, it’s been nothing but alley-oops and terribly designed merchandise. What ever happened to the fundamentals? Where is the praise for a solid mid-range jumper? How about we talk about some sound man-on-man defense…
Alright, I’m messing with you. Who doesn’t love alley-oops?! It is statistically proven to be the most awe-inspiring play in all of sports. It is equal parts timing, chemistry, geometry and insane athleticism. A perfectly executed lob is something that can be appreciated by everybody from your hood’s local streetball court to a university’s mathematics department. And that’s not even mentioning those who hold a PhD from Ruckers University.
So, in honor of those heroes whom have mastered the art of jumping and catching, I present to you the Top 10 alley-oop tandems in the NBA.
10. Kyle Lowry to DeMar DeRozan
Let’s be honest. You and I haven’t seen a ton of Raptors games lately. And by “a ton”, I mean more than five. And by “lately”, I mean since 2004. So stop pretending like you know who Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valančiūnas are.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it turns out the people up in the Maple Leaf City (that’s what they call it, right?) have been fine-tuning this DeMar DeRozan prospect for a few years, and recently added a serviceable point guard in the form of Kyle Lowry. While TO is bound to dwell at the bottom of the Atlantic Division for the rest of eternity, I’d definitely keep my eye out for these two to sneak into a Sports Center Top 10 here and there.
9. Mike Conley to Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay is a bit of an anomaly. He’s one of those guys you know is a good ballplayer, but you can easily forget about if you don’t live in Memphis or have a UConn alumni dinner to attend next week. Add that to the fact that Mike Conley is mediocrity personified, and this pairing can be easily forgotten.
But don’t sleep on this Memphis twosome. They are going into their sixth season as teammates, which means that they can pretty much assume what the other is doing at any given moment (it makes for awkward road trips).
8. Ricky Rubio to Derrick Williams
Dear Minnesota Timberwolves,
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP GETTING INJURED.
Seriously, if this team can stop whatever curse the Portland Trail Blazers put on it, you could substitute Derrick Williams for just about any player on the roster. A healthy Rubio is going to give you the ball in a position to score, and is going to be super adorable while doing it. Did I say that last part aloud?
7. Mo Williams to Gordon Hayward
6. Chris Paul to Blake Griffin
*GASP* Lob City comes in at Number 6? The outrage!
Look, I get it. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league and Blake Griffin is the best dunker. So naturally these two deserve to be higher on the list, right? Wrong. I actually find most of the Paul-to-Griffin oops to be rather underwhelming. Sure, Paul can thread the needle and Blake can do that thing where he jumps really high, but each are limited in their true capacity to dazzle in this set-up. I much prefer when CP3 can give the ball to Blake in space. That’s when stuff like this happens.
(Interlude) VINCE CARTER CAN STILL DUNK*
I BELIEVE I CAN FLY! I BELIEVE I CAN TOUCH THE SKY! I THINK ABOUT IT EVERY NIGHT AND DAY! SPREAD MY WINGS AND FLY AWAY! I BELIEVE I CAN SOAR! SEE ME RUNNIN’ THROUGH THAT OPEN DOOR! I BELIEVE I CAN FLY! I BELIEVE I CAN FLY! I BELIEVE I CAN FLY…
*This play didn’t actually count because of a stupid offensive foul.
T-5. Russell Westbrook to Kevin Durant
I don’t care who you are, this is easily the most fun tandem in the league to watch. If the NBA was a 2-on-2 league, I’m putting all of the money on OKC to win the title every year (I assume the title in this league would be a gift certificate for pizza).
In terms of alley-oops, they’ve got it all. Talent, chemistry, youthful exuberance, etc. Add that to the fact that they play in front of one of the best home crowds in the NBA, and these dunks are super fun to witness.
T-5. Kevin Durant to Russell Westbrook
As some of you may know, I am a massive fan of Kevin Durant. He is hands-down my favorite player in the league. Tune into my shamelessly-plugged Twitter on any night, and you will probably find me fawning over him.
That being said, he is just too humble. Sure, he’ll celebrate a big, momentum-shifting dunk like any other player, but there’s just some aspect of arrogant hubris that’s missing. Enter Russell Westbrook, the chest-thumping, guttural-screaming, oozing machismo antithesis to all that is great about KD. If Durant acts like he’s been there before, then Russ is a newborn deer, catching his first glimpse of the world every time he dunks a basketball.
3. Steve Nash to Dwight Howard
When Nash and Dwight both found their way to Los Angeles this sum… What’s that? That video is Steve Blake throwing an alley-oop to Howard?
OH GOD. WHAT HAVE WE DONE??? EVERYBODY, TO THE STORM SHELTER! WHEN THE DUST CLEARS, WE SHALL REBUILD…
2. Dwayne Wade to Lebron James
Move along. Nothing to see here. It’s just Lebron James jumping over a grown-ass man on his way to slam dunking a basketball.
Seriously, if you don’t know by now that Lebron James is quite possibly the most gifted athlete since Hermes, then I don’t know. Enjoy that new Slavoj Zizek article, I guess.
1. Gerald Green from anybody
Seriously? Wow. I quit.