Basketball Tipoff’s Top 5 NBA’s Alpha

October 28, 2018

Is Lebron James or Russell Westbrook NBA’s Alpha

What is an NBA alpha?

When I think of alphas, I think of Kobe Bryant. I admittedly don’t rank Kobe very high on my list, but I do hold him as the best alpha to play the game. He was an enforcer for the culture. Alphas are those who are willing to be accountable for the pack. They don’t have to be the best, but they do have to have the guts to say “follow me.” Here are my top 5 alphas in the league today.

Russell Westbrook

From the way he carries himself to the stats he puts up OKC Westbrook says follow me to the Thunder organization. Does he fail? Of course, but he never backs down.

Draymond Green

He will likely be the worst player in the starting lineup come playoff time, and yet still, no one questions the leadership and toughness of Golden State Warriors Draymond. He is never afraid to tell the superstars around him to play Warriors basketball. It’s easy to be a big fish in a small pond, but Draymond is an undersized big on the best team ever and the unquestioned alpha in the organization.

Chris Paul

Lebron James Russell Westbrook

Lebron James Russell Westbrook

It’s tough to be a short alpha, in NBA standards, but CP3 pulls it off. When he went to Houston Rockets, last year people questioned if he and James Harden would fit together. This was due to a massive misunderstanding of CP3’s willpower and leadership ability. He helped turn one of the greatest offensive teams ever into a great team period with his leadership and defence, almost knocking off the Warriors in the process.

LeBron James

Is this a controversial choice to some. Some are probably shocked he wasn’t first. I do think LeBron is a good leader and that’s what gets him here. He leads by example on the court and off with his charity and outspoken political activism. He makes the right play for his team, but in that same positive attribute, he fails to put everything and everyone on his back. I think passing instead of shooting is an excellent choice in a lot of situations, but there are times when the arguably best player ever needs to say “I got this.”

Jimmy Butler

He was the man in Chicago Bulls for a while. After they blew it up, he went to a more talented team in Minnesota Timberwolves where he was displeased with the way his teammates and the organization carried on. He is trying to hold them all to a higher standard. I believe that’s what being an alpha is. You hold others to a standard, then you hold yourself to even higher standards. Also if it doesn’t work out for Butler in Minnesota, he was their alpha, and I would imagine Houston knows this as well since they are offering a very alpha worthy four first round picks for Butler.

The Future alpha! Jayson Tatum

I know. He is young but hear me out. When looking for alphas in a league of ball movement, finesse and three-point shooting things can get awkward. I looked at guys like Olidipo, Mitchell and even Simmons for this spot and couldn’t convince myself they were more alpha than Tatum for some reason. Last year when Tatum leads the Celtics on a magical playoff run as a rookie, I think he solidified himself as the heart of that team. Kyrie is great I know, but when he left Cleveland I think he wanted to be some teams alpha, I don’t think it is in him like that. Tatum is young, but I think back to how fearless he was against LeBron in the conference finals last year. That for me solidifies him as the Boston Celtics’ alpha.

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