Hall of FameSports

32-Player NBA One-on-One Tournament: 2014 Edition

By February 13, 2014June 18th, 2018No Comments

nba-player-one-on-one-tournamentLast year I created a 32-player NBA One-on-One tournament with brackets for All-Star weekend and it was a blast. Who wouldn’t want to see a potential LeBron James vs Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony vs Chris Paul one-on-one showdown as opposed to the skills competition? Adam Silver could put that on PPV for $100 and get Money Mayweather-like numbers.

I decided to keep this party going and update the brackets for the 2013-14 season. Just to recap, here’s how the seedings are put together:

The first twenty four spots are slotted by points scored per game average. After that we’ll have eight wildcard spots which can be filled by any player. These spots will go to players that are entertaining, would add buzz among NBA fans, and/or are better than their points per game average.

There is one asterisk. The one-on-one tournament commissioner has the power to invoke a “for good of the game clause” which allows them to move a player higher up in the seeding than their points per game average warrants. For the second consecutive year this clause is being evoked on Chris Paul, who plays way better than his points per game average. His health issues this year are what held him back from being a one-seed.

One Seeds
1. Kevin Durant
1. Carmelo Anthony
1. LeBron James
1. Kevin Love

Two Seeds
2. Stephen Curry
2. Blake Griffin
2. Chris Paul
2. LaMarcus Aldridge

Three Seeds
3. James Harden
3. DeMarcus Cousins
3. Paul George
3. DeMar DeRozan

Four Seeds
4. Dirk Nowitzki
4. Kyrie Irving
4. Anthony Davis
4. Damian Lillard

Five Seeds
5. Goran Dragic
5. Al Jefferson
5. Isaiah Thomas
5. Rudy Gay

Six Seeds
6. John Wall
6. Arron Afflalo
6. Monta Ellis
6. Kevin Martin

Seven Seeds
7. David Lee
7. Dwight Howard
7. Jamal Crawford
7. Klay Thompson

Eight Seeds
8. Kemba Walker
8. Chris Bosh
8. Lance Stephenson
8. Joe Johnson

Last Five Out
Branding Jennings – mad handles, would love to see him shake and bake.
Nick Young – the All-Star game can always use more swag.
Paul Millsap – rarely gets any respect.
Paul Pierce – legacy clause.
Serge Ibaka – big body would be interesting.

You’ll notice there is no Dwyane Wade or Tony Parker. Both are too old and wouldn’t want to participate. They’ve got bigger things to worry about. Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose (yet again), and Brooke Lopez did not make the cut because of injuries.

Here’s how the brackets would look:

Michael Jordan Bracket 

1 – Kevin Durant
8 – Joe Johnson

4 – Damian Lillard
5 – Goran Dragic

3 – James Harden
6 – Kevin Martin

2 – LaMarcus Aldridge
7 – David Lee

Bill Russell Bracket

1 – Kevin Love
8 – Kemba Walker

4 – Dirk Nowitzki
5 – Rudy Gay

3 – DeMar DeRozan
6 – John Wall

2 – Stephen Curry
7 – Klay Thompson

Magic Johnson Bracket

1 – LeBron James
8 – Chris Bosh

4 – Kyrie Irving
5 – Isaiah Thomas

3 – Paul George
6 – Arron Afflalo

2 – Blake Griffin
7 – Jamal Crawford

Larry Bird Bracket

1 – Carmelo Anthony
8 – Lance Stephenson

4 – Anthony Davis
5 – Al Jefferson

3 – DeMarcus Cousins
6 – Monta Ellis

2 – Chris Paul
7 – Dwight Howard

Here’s some of the top story lines:

  • With all the “Paul George is elite” talk this year (to use a football pun) could he take it to the next level and do damage as a 3-seed? Would he play with a chip on his shoulder because of that seeding and would that even matter since LeBron is the one-seed in that loaded Magic Johnson Bracket? Speaking of, the Magic Johnson Bracket is definitely the hardest.
  • The Mega Powers could unite when Kevin Durant and James Harden meet in a 3rd-round matchup. Harden couldn’t win that, could he? No, but Twitter would break if he did.
  • Carmelo Anthony’s game is tailor made for a tournament like this but a matchup with the 8th-grader Lance Stephenson is no gimme. Jalen Rose and David Jacoby (who have the freshest podcast out there) would be all over this.
  • LeBron vs Bosh, a teammate vs teammate matchup, would bring the Bosh haters out and would that mess with the Heat’s chemistry?
  • Chris Paul vs Dwight Howard would answer the size for speed debate.
  • Could Anthony Davis come out of the Larry Bird Bracket and take a Paul George-like step forward?
  • Kevin Love looks to be the most vulnerable one-seed and numerous players could come out of the Bill Russell Bracket. Plus, would the Splash Brothers matchup end like the Rocker’s did with HBK super kicking Marty Jannety through the Barbershop window?

Which story lines are the most intriguing for you? Who do you think would win it all? It’s very easy to go with all chalk but basketball rarely works out like that, especially with the different sizes and styles of the players.

Drop your thoughts in your comments as I’d love to keep this conversation going. We are also on Facebook and Twitter @BaconSports so holla at us there too.

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Rob Cressy

Rob Cressy

Sports loving free throw specialist and yinzer living in Chicago who is awesome most of the time, has run with the bulls in Spain, and is a graduate of Second City's Improv program.