You Have to Play Kickball With NBA Players. Who Do You Pick?

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Every now and then an idea comes along that changes the world and all who live in it. The day James Naismith decided that playing outside was terrible in winter and took his PE class indoors to throw balls into peach baskets was one of those ideas.

The day Nicolaus C Seuss invented the game of kickball was another one of those ideas. Only God knows which was more influential/impactful, but one thing is certain, kickball is and always will be a game that all people can play. It does not divide, it is not divisive, it simply is.

Let us take a moment and appreciate the universal nature of kickball and the beauty of a game in which you can throw a ball at the opposing team and it be totally legal.

Everyone loves kickball. I love kickball. My love of kickball made me think: If I could assemble a team of NBA players to make a kickball team who would I choose? Not solely based on athleticism, but more so on my memories from school. What kind of kids were prone to play different positions, and so on. They will be playing against a group of middle schoolers. Game is not televised.

1st Base: Current Day Charles Barkley

We all know Chuck, we all have a spot in our hearts for Chuck, we all loved Space Jam and hated when Chuck was told to “be gone” by that very disrespectful girl. Charles was an incredible post player and in a modern-day set up, I’m sure premier guards would have flocked to play alongside him and take advantage of his rebounding and defensive skills. But I put modern day Charles at first because we all know that a first baseman on a kickball team does close to nothing. Yes, they might need to make a few catches here and there and I’m sure Chuck could make the grabs, but mostly the 1st baseman complains that no one else can throw the ball quick or accurate enough to get the runner out at first. Chuck likes to talk. I see Charles complaining a lot in this kickball game.

2nd Base: Jameer Nelson

I am actually a big Nelson fan. A quiet leader any team would be lucky to have on their roster, but he was never THE guy. 2nd baseman rarely are. It’s great to have a good one but who do you remember, Alfonso Soriano or Jeter? The fact I can refer to Jeter as Jeter says enough. Nelson, while appreciated and highly skilled, is a role player - a perfect fit at second base. He’ll keep the ball in the infield and maybe make a few plays out there.

3rd Base: Tim Duncan

The third baseman is slightly more important than the other infielders in a game of kickball. Since most players are “right-footed” they will be trying to rip shots down this baseline for more time to run to first. The Big Fundamental will use his huge wingspan to keep the ball in the field and even make a few throws to first for the routine out, assuming Charles is there to receive such a throw. Duncan will have a Chipper Jones-esque disposition, quiet superstar worth all the money in the world, but since they are playing middle schoolers I doubt Timmy will accept any payment. So typical of Timbo.

Shortstop: John Stockton

Johnny Stockton was a playmaker to his core. If Jordan wasn’t in his way, Stock would have won multiple titles in Utah. Who knows what Utah would look like now if that was the case, but  Stockton will always be known as a great playmaker. I secretly just want to see Jameer Nelson and John Stockton turn two on a bunch of miserable middle school punkers. Short stop is only slightly more necessary than the second baseman in a kickball game, but playing shortstop makes you cool - Johnny Stocks is cool.

Pitcher: Austin Rivers

Tthe pitcher in a game of kickball is mostly unimportant. Most of the time the pitcher is that kid that just wants some kind of attention and also wants to feel like they are part of the game. But really, the pitcher just rolls a ball. They might get some infield action with the kids who lay down a bunt in a game of kickball, but really, those kids shouldn’t be playing in the first place. (Side note: Lance Stephenson would shamelessly bunt every time in a game of kickball.)

I actually think Austin is an underrated guard in the league who, yes, benefitted greatly by playing for his dad, but Austin is also good at (maybe better to say "known for") talking trash to opposing teams while not even being dressed out to play in the game. Austin would talk a lot of trash in this game of kickball, he would also roll the ball way too hard and make it bounce way too much. The opposing team would not even try to kick the ball, but rather roll the ball back to him asking him to “do it right” but Austin would undoubtedly shrug his shoulders and complain that his pitch was perfect and they they are too picky.

Right Field: Kevin Garnett

Right fielders aren’t incredibly important in the overall game but you need them to step up when necessary. I think KG could read a fly ball fairly well, but more importantly I think he could seriously boot a kickball. He could also run down those ground balls that would surely be out of reach for current day Charles Barkley. KG would yell mercilessly, Chuck would shake his head. Both would say it meant nothing, but we all know that's not true.

Center field: Russell Westbrook

The center fielder in kickball needs to be an athlete, and there might not be a more athletic person in the league currently or possibly ever than Russel Westbrook. Watching him play frightens me and I am sure those middle schoolers he would be paying kickball against would think twice before kicking the ball straight to center field. He would sacrifice his body, no doubt. I could also see Russ chasing down a long line dive and delivering a bullet to home plate for the out. The kids who played center field in kickball usually silently jogged out there when the time came, no one questions that kids, no one would question Russ in that position.

Left field: Dennis Rodman

The Worm knew who to play a certain brand of basketball. Rodman wasn’t concerned about what people thought him, he honestly didn’t really care what his teammates thought of him––thats what makes him a great left fielder. He will get a lot of fly balls kicked his way, and with him in left field, players will think twice about where they put the ball. Rodman would do what it takes for the fly ball. Literally have no clue why these middle schoolers even wanted to play in this game.

Catcher: Lonzo Ball

If we can agree that the pitcher is largely unimportant in kickball, then we can also admit that the role of a catcher can be replaced by a backstop or players from the other team could just role the ball back. Austin Rivers would often roll balls both too quickly and too bouncy, thus making it necessary to keep another player back there to help move the game along. Also, Lonzo looks perpetually bored which is perfect for a kickball catcher, but the main reason I picked him to play catcher is because I could see him having no problem pegging a middle school kid on a play at the plate. Also Lonzo would tell the kids how good he is at “pegging” people and that they should be afraid of him.

Coach: Coach K

He coaches everything it seems.

Jimmy DevineComment