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View Poll Results: Best peak athleticism?
Rose 1 7.69%
Wade 1 7.69%
Westbrook 11 84.62%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-29-2018, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Which of these men was most athletic at his peak?
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
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I voted Westbrook without hesitation. Rose never had the strength of DW and mostly only applied his athleticism when scoring. Wade was a great all around athlete but was so technically sound, he almost didn't need to be that athletic (though he could use more now).

Russell Westbrook is Deion Sanders level athletic, above all peers.
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Florida
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At 29, I think Westbrook may not even be at the peak of his athleticism. I believe he might not hit that until 31-32.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSs4UyWwYmY
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Here are the elements of basketball athleticism identified in the video above.

1. Strength, stability and balance
2. Multidirectional agility/speed; moving quickly in all directions
3. Vertical explosiveness/quickness
4. Footwork/coordination
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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I'm of the opinion that Wade is (was) a better athlete than both by a healthy margin.

Strength, stability and balance - Wade has been a superior finisher to Westbrook throughout all points of his career (.657 vs .580). While we think of Westbrook as a slasher, Wade was even more of a slasher, attempting 35.2% of his shots over his career within 3 feet of the basket compared to 34.8% for Westbrook. I don't think it's fair to look at Rose's career stats since we know he went downhill after multiple injuries, but his best season (10-11) was still worse than Wade's career average. Wade is a bigger, stronger player than both Rose and Westbrook and was simply better at absorbing contact and finishing at the rim.

Multidirectional agility/speed; moving quickly in all directions - This is a tougher one. Rose and Westbrook have more of a herky jerky style of play whereas Wade tends to be much smoother. I think this category is basically a push since all 3 are (were) pretty good at starting/stopping on a dime and breaking ankles.

Vertical explosiveness/quickness - Again, this is tough. It's hard sometimes to wipe the old, broken down Cavs/Bulls/Lebron Heat era Wade from our minds, so we forget how explosive "Flash" was. If there's anywhere I'd give an edge to Westbrook, however, it's here.

Footwork/coordination - I'd say this goes to Wade rather easily.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:01 PM
 
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There are many "better athletes" out there but basketball is mostly a skill game.

Meaning, how many playground legends or washed up pros are there out there with huge athleticism and the basketball IQ of a peanut?

I'm not giving westbrook sh8t, especially not after the faux triple double season that so many could have had.

Let's see him actually lead a team to something.
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
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The ability to stay healthy and running is also athleticism. This is why pro athletes spend so much time on physical training and in the weight room from an early age- to prevent injury. It's not natural born athleticism but developed athleticism.

Westbrook has averaged 74 regular season games per year, Wade just 65.

I also give Westbrook a big edge on maybe the most important and frequently used factor of athleticism: acceleration (quickness off the first step to 10-20 yards). This trait will allow an athlete to beat or contain his opponent time and time again in any sport.

Westbrook has that snap of acceleration beyond even vintage Wade. He is more likely to be out of control or pull up for a poor shot than the more BB-talented Wade.
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
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I think when most people talk about 'athleticism,' they have in mind quickness and leaping ability. It's really not a good term to use IMO since it is so vaguely defined. I also believe that it arose as a kind of PC euphemism so that announcers would not have to deal with the whole 'white men can't jump' thing.


Of the three, in prime form I'd say Rose was the quickest. His whole game was based on his superior quickness. He didn't have any other really great assets, as has been borne out by his lack of success following his knee issues.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
I think when most people talk about 'athleticism,' they have in mind quickness and leaping ability. It's really not a good term to use IMO since it is so vaguely defined. I also believe that it arose as a kind of PC euphemism so that announcers would not have to deal with the whole 'white men can't jump' thing.
Acceleration and leaping are certainly part of it. But so is body control. Westbrook is faster down the court than Jordan ever was, and can probably jump as high, but he doesn't have the same body control, coordination and balance Jordan had. I don't think he even has the body control Iverson had, which may be one reason why AI was a better finisher around the basket at his peak.

By comparison, Westbrook is out of control far more often, and sometimes even clumsily leaps off the wrong foot when attacking the rim. I would say having the coordination and body control to make tough, acrobatic shots around the rim is definitely an athletic quality, and it's one that Russ lags on compared to others.
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