There is a theory gaining speed in many NBA circles that within the coming years, the biggest long-term impact star prospects will be those found at an international level. Many of these elite lottery picks will have long been discussed about at dinner tables thanks to their exposure playing college hoops in the States instead of a year of professional hoops in their various homelands. Most of the time, there is only one or two big names coming from overseas that find their way into the lottery discussion. What if there was a starting five players worth of talent that went up in the draft at once? Surely the possibility is more likely than not in the next decade or so, but since this an anime site and I’ve already lost half of my readers on this intro, let’s throw in that very same starting five I alluded to before. Today we will be exploring the wild changes the Generation of Miracles from Kuroko’s Basketball would bring to the NBA.
This is about to be like the most weeaboo 30 for 30 special you’ll ever see.
Obviously there will be plenty of creative liberties taken here- ranging from the draft order of teams and where free agents end up going. I’ll try my best to keep things as realistic as possible with roster moves and team needs, but don’t think I’m attacking your team just because I placed them in the draft lottery. Speaking of lottery, I figure now would be a good time to explain exactly what I mean by that for some of my readers who (somehow) decided to keep reading this article without knowing much about how the NBA Draft works. The TL;DR of it all is that the teams with the fourteen worst records in the NBA all pull lottery balls for the chance to get the #1 pick in the upcoming draft. The worse your record, the better your odds are of finishing first. While mathematically improbable, the fourteenth team could possibly land the top pick and the worst record team could slide anywhere on the order. The range a team wants to land in varies year to year, but for some franchises this is a top pick or bust kind of situation. Some smarter teams, like the Boston Celtics last year, can
fleece trade teams their most statistically attractive players to other teams years and years in the past for the rights to a pick all that time later.
With the specifics out of the way, we can set up our fantasy setting for the league. The year is 2018, and the Golden State Warriors have defeated the Boston Celtics 4-0 to snag up their third title in four years. Many teams have taken a full on nihilistic approach to their management and begin rebuilding their rosters and passing up on big name contracts in place for draft picks. It is a buyers market for young talent, and Japan’s biggest starting five of talent is about to hit the draft process. The Generation of Miracles (or as Google liked to constantly try to correct it over as:“millennials”) composed of five all-star caliber players from various Japanese high schools, continue their oath to one another in playing hoops for different programs over in the States. Not to be forgotten in this mix is the titular character of the series they hail from, Tetsuya Kuroko and his favorite teammate, the incredible forward Taiga Kagami. Compared to the Generation of Miracles, these two stuck together all the way through college hoops.
Pre-Draft Scouting (April 2018)
Akashi Seijuro- 5'11" PG, Duke
The most fascinating point guard to come out of college in recent years, Akashi Seijuro looks like the most complete player in his draft. Every major checkbox is hit for the young point guard- lightning quick decision making, natural play-maker, his shot release is fast, he can pickpocket the ball smoother than silk, and he totes a killer-crossover unlike any other talent circa this decade. Scouts note how disarming his overpowering demeanor is and all agree that he leaves his assignments in shambles after going one-on-one. Questions over his small height (he ended up at 5'11" his freshman year) leave some teams concerned over his durability in a massive league, but with current players like Chris Paul and Isaiah Thomas flocking fans into seats to watch talented scoring despite size, it isn’t hard to sell Seijuro.
Seijuro has proven he is ready to change the fortunes of an entire NBA franchise. Leading the Duke Blue Devils to the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, it is no wonder that Coach K really loved this kid. Lack of size shouldn’t scare anyone off- this prospect has everything on a wishlist. Whatever team brings this dominant presence into a locker room will have a young leader from day one. -Jay Bilas, ESPN
Daiki Aomine- 6'6" SF/PF, Kansas
Charged up with raw power, Aomine continues to amaze scouts with his unmatched speed and athleticism. His game comes effortlessly to him, as he most notably set single season scoring records by shattering both of Pete Maravich’s ‘69-’70 season PPG (47.5) and total points in a season (1472). As unbelievable as it is to see how quick the forward can dominate a game, this is sometimes to his own fault in maturity. The biggest red flag anyone has in their reports comes from the game where he refused to play until the final six minutes of what would be a 78-45 blow-out win over the Pittsburgh State Gorillas (despite coach Bill Self exploding on Aomine throughout the entire game, threatening to bench him for the rest of the season if he didn’t get his “lazy ass”, the uber athlete scored 33 points in those six minutes without missing a shot).
Combo forward who can take over a game at any given moment with his dominant scoring. Unmatched upside that is only capped at where his lack of maturity allows him to grow. Best case scenario is Carmelo Anthony. - Jonathan Tjarks, The Ringer
Taiga Kagami- 6'7" PF, Arizona
This high flying power forward has dominated YouTube clips all season for his unbelievable slam dunks. Throwing down self alley-oops, 360 degree jams, and blasting by the best centers in college hoops on the fastbreak, any viewer holds their collective breaths as Kagami rises up. Easily the most ambitious player in the draft class, Kagami has been quoted several times on how much he wants to go down as the greatest to ever play the game. While these sort of comments would ordinarily raise concern,all signs point to the young talent buying into whatever team mechanics he needs to to win. Such an obsessive personality is rare to see in a team player, and even his coach, Sean Miller, was floored by how easy he was to coach. The only real concern most have for Kagami is his health-foot injuries sidelined him for a fraction of his games and a tear in his leg kept him off the hardwood for the PAC-12 Tournament.
Fire unlike a forward of his age, this confident dunker gives all of the promise a young Blake Griffin did. With some good health, he could stick around as a household name for years. - Chad Ford, ESPN
Shintarō Midorima 6'5" SG/SF Kentucky
The very apotheosis of a 3 and D player, Midorima surely will leave many franchises staring down their rosters and contemplating trading up for the UK product with hopes of filling that last piece for a title run. Even some of the Generation of Miracles still need to get playing time for a few seasons before they can really leave a mark on the league, but Midorima has the skill-set that makes him potentially the most NBA ready talent form day one. His length and build allow him to guard anyone else on the court and his three point shooting is as unblockable as it is limitless in range. His defense might not be as flashy looking as the likes of Kagami, but let his quadruple double be a sign of two way dominance. Despite being the primary option on most of his teams, he could really give a contending team that needed push as a second or third option even from day one.
I like (Midorima) from the Big Blue Nation! He’s got the smoothest shooting stroke in this draft, doesn’t need a lot of touches to get hot, and can be a clutch defender. You know who he reminds me of? A sharpshooter who is playing down at the Bay- Klay Thompson. -Jalen Rose, ESPN
Atsushi Murasakibara- 7'0" C Wisconsin
The tallest player most likely to make the lottery this year, Murasakibara appears to be the hopes for old-school big man dominating basketball in a league getting smaller and quicker. No matter how lightning quick the top scorers were on teams he played, no shot was left unblocked by the Badgers’ superstar. Shattering David Robinson’s 207 single season record with 224 blocks (averaging a behemoth 6.4 BPG), there is a lot to be excited about a big man with such a clean bill of health. An absolute bruiser, Murasakibara can force his way into a paint contested by three defenders and absolutely embarrass the lot of them.
With every team eyeing forwards that can stretch the center position, a team would be sticking to traditional structure by adding 19 year old Murasakibara from Wisconsin. There are far worse ways to spend a pick, and the payout reward for drafting “Thor” is worth zigging while everyone else is zagging. -Jeremy Woo, SI.com
Ryōta Kise- 6'4" G/F UCLA
Extremely adaptable, Kise is overall the most intriguing prospect from a development viewpoint. Whereas Aomine has physicality that explodes with upside, Kise has a discipline to the game that gives him upside that every coach loves to see in a player. Practically a non-factor heading into his early days of basketball, he skyrocketed up the top international players listing to be comfortably in the top five by his third year of high school. While he isn’t an immediate impact like the other players, the right system will let him flourish into an all-star caliber swingman anywhere from a few months to a season or two in the league.
Let me tell you something Max, can I tell you something Max? Let me tell you something, Max. Ryota Kise was born to play for the New York Knicks. This guy is a model, he shines brightest in the spotlight! What a better place to shine than New York City?! This team has been a disgusting excuse for a basketball franchise. Watching James Dolan make mistake after mistake with this team has made me furious. The only real way to correct this is to knock a draft out of the park, and I’m telling you this kid is the real star in the draft. *continues repeating same point for four minutes, building his yelling into a bold crescendo as he goes* - Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
Tetsuya Kuroko- 5'9" PG/SF Arizona
Truth be told, no one really speaks much about the walk-on at Arizona outside of the fact he is best friends/high school teammates with Kagami. The program came under fire when reports falsely stated that Kuroko was given a spot on the team to keep their star PF happy. This was quelled quickly in educated circles, however, as it became clear Kuroko was second to none in displaying a quiet blue collared work ethic on the court and sportsmanship unmatched. His love for the game is ironically the loudest of the bunch here despite being the most silent player in DI hoops. Has some amazing passing skills and is a sneaky good defender and back-door option.
You know how you carry yourself as a young man trying to be a professional? Never mind being in the NBA, just in general. Someone you want your kids to look up to. Don’t let your kids absorb the “me, me, me” mentality of guys like Odell Beckham Jr. Show them players like Tetsuya Kuroko. If it weren’t for the idiots with cameras trying to make something out of his success story, nobody would hear anything about this guy in the news. He plays traditional basketball, loves what he does, and buys into what he is doing. I doubt he makes it in the NBA, but I really hope he does. We need more Kurokos and less divas in the pros. - Colin Cowherd, Fox Sports
NBA Draft Lottery Selection (May 2018)
Another season down, another steamroll by the Golden State Warriors. While Curry, Durant, and friends make short work of their opponents for the inevitable conclusion to the season, the teams that were not bounced from the playoffs begin preparations for the lottery. In case you aren’t familiar with the way it works, the fourteen teams that don’t make the eight-team conference playoff for each of the respective conferences are joined to decide the order of picks on the college/international talents declaring themselves worthy of playing in the National Basketball Association. The worse your record, the better your chances of winning the top pick(s). Say for example my team is ranked fourteenth, my odds of landing the top pick are possible, but it is virtually 1%. This works against the worst record teams, however, as your team could win no games for the entire season and still have to pick third or fourth depending on how your team pulls in the lottery (it is just more in your favor to win the lottery since you have higher odds). If it doesn’t make sense, I apologize for the wall of text over it- it won’t be too critical here. The records for the Eastern and Western conferences are below:
- Boston Celtics
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Washington Wizards
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Miami Heat
- Toronto Raptors
- Detroit Pistons
- Charlotte Hornets
Lottery Teams (Best Record to Worst): Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Denver Nuggets
- Dallas Mavericks
Lottery Teams (Best Record to Worst): Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns
Lottery night approaches as teams lick their chops, hungry for their new toys to add to the war chest. Some teams are all too familiar with the lottery (Lakers, Magic, Suns) while others are a little unfamiliar with the territory for the good part of this decade (Clippers, Grizzlies, Pacers). Most of these newer teams are victims of their stars departing, an increasingly tough Western conference, and a depressing reality that there is no point racing for the top to lose to either the Warriors or the Cavaliers. Regardless, the draft order pulled as so:
Draft Order (Reverse Order)
14: Los Angeles Clippers
13: New Orleans Pelicans
12: Memphis Grizzlies
11: Utah Jazz
10: Philadelphia 76ers
9: Sacramento Kings
8: Indiana Pacers
7: Los Angeles Lakers
6: New York Knicks
5: Chicago Bulls
4: Atlanta Hawks
3: Phoenix Suns
2: Cleveland Cavaliers (via Brooklyn Nets)
1: Orlando Magic
NBA Draft Night (June 2018)
With the Magic in possession of the first overall draft pick and a logjam of successful young forwards from the past few drafts, the question of who goes first is all but decided and the Magic are expected to take Akashi Seijuro. The real fascinating question is who do the Cavaliers take with the second pick? With the best player in the world, LeBron James, refusing to speak about leaving his team after losing yet another Finals to the Warriors and tension between himself and team owner Dan Gilbert (who have a complicated relationship) in the air, everyone who can grab a microphone or cell phone is talking about this story-line. The projected best player available is Daiki Aomine, who just happens to play the exact same position as LeBron. Those optimistic about “The King” staying in Cleveland argue that the point-forward has been positionless for years and that he could become the mentor someone as stubborn as Aomine needs. Those who criticize James for what they call being petty himself use the star’s power over rosters as signs that he wouldn’t work well with another type A personality.
The top two picks aside, the order the Generation of Miracles go afterward are up in the air for all sorts of fun reasons. Analysts have been matching up current rosters with the talent, blowing up teams to build around these rare talents, reaching out to sign pieces to compliment them, or just outright drafting the young men to develop for a while. It really helps the conversation that the other upper lottery teams don’t have an ounce of identity.
Quick Note: If a normal, non-anime player is picked, I’ll just ignore the pick and move on to the Kuroko characters picked.
1: Orlando Magic- Akashi Seijuro, PG Duke
Not shocking at all, the Orlando Magic have given up hopes on turning their old lottery point guard, Elfrid Payton, into a franchise cornerstone and take Seijuro from Duke. This will be his team to lose as the keys are going to be thrown right to the point guard from day one. Expect a lot of interesting pick and roll plays involving the player already being dubbed “Emperor” and Magic players like last year’s lottery selection, Jonathan Isaac. The Magic have three promising young players between those two and high flyer Aaron Gordon. Will the team mesh together and make a playoff push? Time will tell.
2: Cleveland Cavaliers- Daiki Aomine SF/PF Kansas
From a strict basketball business standpoint, this is the right call- Aomine is the best player available and the Cavaliers get a smart insurance option for their aging legend on the roster. While he is bound to make mistakes and probably get on James’ nerves to dangerously close levels (probably to the joy of the sports media cycle), Cleveland has snagged a bonafide all-star here. It should be a wild time in late May/early June when games come down to the wire in the playoffs and Aomine’s number is called up for plays.
3: Phoenix Suns- Shintarō Midorima SG/SF Kentucky
Plenty of people argue that Midorima is a carbon copy of Devin Booker, however experts are quick to note how amazing the Kentucky product is on defense. Being able to fit in anywhere helps the versatile Suns roster plug players into lineups ways that the Bucks are doing out East. Rumblings around the league are that the Suns are looking to shop him for the right price, however these sort of rumors come up any time an NBA ready talent gets picked by an underachieving team. The upside of all of the young Suns players makes for an intriguing nucleus.
4: Atlanta Hawks- Atsushi Murasakibara C Wisconsin
It is tough to decide where the Hawks need to start with their rebuild. Right now they have no blue chip players and are in an oblivion of talent since being a year removed from their team identity with Paul Millsap. They are (no pun intended) huge shoes to fill, and Murasakibara is a fantastic place to start. Early lottery teams need a lot of help typically, so it is hard to say where the Hawks go from here, but they are immediate NBA League Pass teams to watch in ways that the Minnesota Timberwolves were in 2015 with Karl Anthony-Towns.
5: Chicago Bulls- Taiga Kagami PF Arizona
...Speaking of teams starting from scratch, the Bulls really need someone to build around. Lots of young point guards other teams have thrown out are not working for them, and their big men drafted in the past half decade just do not pan out. Their front office very well might be in flames, however it is a relief to see someone had time amidst putting out fires to call in the pick for Kagami. Chicago has a young player who will be hungry to hang more banners if he can stay healthy.
6: New York Knicks- Ryōta Kise G/F UCLA
In typical New York fashion, the Knicks get the last pick of the top talent in the Generation of Miracles’ era of Japanese stars. Somehow representing everything the Big Apple is about perfectly, Kise will be a project for the Knicks to groom. With enough patience and mentorship (something that the franchise’s management has been lacking in), this could very well be the big name the Knicks will get since the trade of Carmelo Anthony left them heartbroken.
59: San Antonio Spurs - Tetsuya Kuroko PG/SF Arizona
Sometimes it isn’t about taking the longshots, or the filler guy to stuff into the G-League. Sometimes you just need a guy who fits your system well, and a slow boil development for a role player. Debatably the hardest journey ahead for a player in the draft, Kuroko will have to prove himself to the purest disciple of the game in charge of coaching right now: Gregg Popovich. He’ll fit right in with quiet players like team superstar Kawhi Leonard.
As with the rest of this article, we’ll go ahead and follow the progress of the GoM players and their careers. It is an exciting offseason as the teams learn the ins and outs for what they can this early on with their new pieces. The media circus has been stronger than ever, trying to peer into the pull the rookies bound to make massive impacts.
For the Magic, the embers of a team on fire are still glowing, but most of the smoke has cleared out. Seijuro makes his presence known early, crushing his competitor at PG in Elfrid Payton early and brutally. While everyone tells the story differently, the rumor is that Payton actually broke his ankle after getting blasted by one of Seijuro’s killer cross-over moves in the very first team practice. This makes things a little complicated for the team chemistry, but the players siding with Seijuro are showing immediate signs of progress over it. Starting guard coupled with the rookie in the backcourt, Evan Fournier, looks to be his biggest beneficiary early on. While he isn’t quoted on it, his body language reads: Oh yeah, man. I’m so glad I don’t need to watch my point guard hit the ball with his hair every single time he comes up for a shot.
Surprisingly, LeBron James decides to stay with Cleveland, being as healthy as ever. Early reports from training camp appear to show that James has taken Aomine under his wing and has been particularly fond of the rookie.
“I really like the kid,” James said after one practice. “He has some humbling that will come being in the trenches with us this season. We’ll get him along. Yeah. We’ll get him along.”
The Suns have taken their usual approach into the season giving a dizzying amount of focus into their volume range shooting, appearing that they are practically relying on winning the game from beyond the arc. What is new, however, is the surprising amount of defensive leadership Midorima gives the roster. He has let it be known both in the locker room and to the media that he will not tolerate lackadaisical effort to stop the shot. Team star Devin Booker has echoed his support over this, vowing to improve his own independent defense to help the team.
“He is right,” Booker said. “If I don’t step up my defense, I don’t know how I can expect to call myself a leader on this team, either.”
The sweetheart of the Internet has by far become Atsushi Murasakibara. The rookie center dominated the NBA Summer League (the only other players who got to see action highlighted by the draft were Kise and Kuroko) with moves exploding retweets and shares everywhere. Super early predictions indicate while playing for the top contending Cleveland squad will put Aomine in the lead, Murasakibara is hot on his coattails for rookie popularity.
I love this kid Moo-rase-ah-keeb-are-ah. guest corrects him on how to pronounce name Ah okay I thought it was says another wrong pronunciation I really like this kid though, he’s built like Ivan Drago and plays like the secret love child of Bill Walton and a tall Asian woman. -Bill Simmons, Ringer
Despite not being able to play until the season starts, Kagami has been busy getting involved with his team and doing community events for the city of Chicago. All indications point to him playing in the Winter, but the Bulls aren’t in any hurry to rush him back from a leg injury as bad as his.
On the opposite end of “community involvement”, Kise has been making is presence known, using his international star power to flex all sorts of product deals and interviews. Everything from Good Morning America to Ellen, the photogenic star has been making a killing off the court. Many basketball purists are off-put by this behavior, but those who have a conscious counter with: “Weren’t you 19 once?”.
Surprising no one, Kuroko fits right in with his Summer League team and interests the Spurs enough to keep him buried deep in the roster for the regular season. His quirky passing and ability to be coached are tremendous assets to the franchise, and they recognize this early.
Rookie Seasons (Oct-Jun)
Seijuro immediately pushes his young roster to compete, making up for a lack of depth on the roster with raw dominance controlling the game in his hands. ISO plays are any unseasoned pro’s worst nightmare to guard against the Emperor as he puts them on skates and the expressway to becoming Internet memes. The Magic force their way into a lower playoff contention spot off of their dazzling point guard’s work with the ball. The Magic are swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games, however.
There probably are more times in the season that Aomine is rumored to be traded because LeBron and co. are having difficulties with him than there are shots he puts up this rookie season (and he puts up a lot of shots). The Cavs end up making their moves, however, and Aomine gets a bulk of the SF minutes as a result of these trades. For the first time since the miraculous game seven win the Cavs had over the Warriors, the league actually thinks the young man can be the X factor the roster needed to beat the Warriors. This is proven correct when the Cavs beat a hamstrung Warriors roster (who lost C Draymond Green for two games due to a nasty scuffle in the previous round against the Houston Rockets) convincingly in six games. Warriors fans will, as they always have, blame the league for suspending Green and put an asterisk next to another Cavs title. Aomine does not shy away from talking smack back, throwing out a motto that had developed into a rally cry for his fans: “The only person who can defeat me is me.”
I’ll tell ya Kenny. I hate the guts Aomine has. This ******* runs his mouth to everyone who has a microphone and wants to give off the idea that he is actually better than LeBron James. Young fella! YOU HAVE LEBRON JAMES ON YOUR TEAM. YOU ARE NOT THE BEST PLAYER ON YOUR TEAM. Turrible. - Charles Barkley, Turner Sports
The Suns finish in tenth place in the West, and while critics claim that this is bad for a developing team, the body language of the roster shows that this team is becoming ready to take the next step. No longer finishing dead last in advanced defensive metrics, the Suns increased to be league average in just a year. Backed by Booker, Midorima successfully injects the rotting defensive schemes with life and actually ends up leading the league in three point field goal percentage.
Things become bleak in Chicago, as Taiga Kagami hurts his foot a mere two weeks into his regular season return, rendering him unable to play for the remainder of the season. The Bulls plummet into the bottom seed again, surpassing even Brooklyn for the worst record in the East. Kagami quietly blames himself for not being there for his team, and vows to come back stronger.
Murasakibara takes on a cult following in Atlanta as he does a lot of old school basketball things that make the old heads drool. In a players’ pool, most players admit they would like to have Murasakibara on their roster out of all of the rookies coming in this year. His statistics don’t explode like the others, but he is an absolute monster on defense and it actually leads the the Hawks to a lower Eastern conference playoff spot. Their defense can’t win everything, unfortunately, as they are quickly bounced by the Boston Celtics in four games.
Not particularly worried about competing with a roster that doesn’t give a passion for the game, Kise focuses on his modeling career most of the season and becomes an atypical “good player on a bad team” example: inhuman statistics that come while the team is behind double digits at a time. Those numbers don’t lie to his endorsements, however, as the shooter lands all sorts of big brands. Carefully watching the other teams, Kise also picks up some interesting moves that are known to be go to options for actual all-stars. Basketball junkies don’t really know what to make of this, however, and the story is buried behind the other noises the rookie class are making.
Kuroko sees the floor for a combined 90 minutes the whole season.
Rookie of the Year: Akashi Seijuro, PG Orlando Magic
A rookie race that came down to the wire, the Generation of Miracles found their top talent in Seijuro, even if Aomine won a ring in his first season. People love point guards, and the way the media leaned in favor to Seijuro was a huge assist (no pun intended).
The Future- Season Awards (MVP, DPotY etc.), All Stars, Championships, Hall of Fame
Akashi Seijuro: 14x NBA All Star, 3x League MVP, 3x NBA Champion, 3x NBA Finals MVP, Hall of Famer
Akashi obviously lands one of the most decorated careers for a player his size, leaving a legacy akin to Allen Iverson from the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets. His awards are only objects to him, however, as he speaks poorly of how inferior his teammates were throughout the years and how they let a talent such as himself slip past them.
Daiki Aomine: 16x NBA All Star, 4x League MVP, 6x NBA Champion, 5x NBA Finals MVP, Hall of Famer
With exception to the one Cleveland title he had as a rookie, Aomine led his Cleveland rosters to multiple championships after having the blueprint LeBron James left for him to take the throne as the best player in the world. He finally gets some humble pie and ends up forming a solid bond with James, who eventually purchases the Cleveland Cavaliers and brings not four, not five, not six...titles to Cleveland.
Shintarō Midorima: 10x NBA All Star, 4x NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 1x League MVP, 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, Hall of Famer
The road is a little more rocky for Midorima, albeit the accolades look all the same. His pursuit of pure defense mixed in with range shooting makes him the greatest 3 and D player to ever grace the court. Loyalty ends up meaning a lot more to him than a lot of the other members of the Generation of Miracles, and he spends every single minute of his playing career with the Suns. Eventually he is brought on as a coach for the team, and flourishes in a second career as the the team’s skipper.
Atsushi Murasakibara: 12x NBA All Star, 7x NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 2x League MVP, 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, Hall of Famer
Easily one of the most well known defensive players to ever play the center position, Murasakibara eclipses the other names rattled off with old-school big men playing in the 21st century. Setting an unmatched record with seven DPotY awards, he rocks the boat and is enshrined on how to be the ultimate defender.
Ryōta Kise: 4x NBA All Star
Using his playing career as a springboard, Kise went on to become one of the most successful faces from basketball in the entrepreneurship front. His clothing lines dominate sales and colognes fill up local Macy’s stores nationwide. Never mind the Hall of Fame, Kise ended up with what he really wanted all along: bank.
Taiga Kagami: 1x Most Improved Player, 10x NBA All Star, 1x League MVP, 5x NBA Champion, 2x NBA Finals MVP, Hall of Famer
Injuries plagued most of Kagami’s early playing career, however after the Bulls waived the injury prone PF to clear up cap space, there was an unexpected landing spot that took him in and let him grow into the star he was destined to become: San Antonio. Recently getting rid of LaMarcus Aldridge, they stuck Kagami right in the spot there to get all of the playing for a passionate team he needed. This was all fantastic as well because it meant he got to play with...
Tetsuya Kuroko: 3x Most Improved Player, 4x NBA All Star, 6x NBA Sixth Man of the Year, 5x NBA Champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, Hall of Famer
Slow and steady wins the race! Kuroko played into the Spurs system and complimented Kawhi Leonard and Taiga Kagami perfectly. The Phantom Sixth Man left his mark on the league as the greatest sixth man to ever play in the NBA, and he has more hardware than most of his former teammates to prove it, too.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article- I put a lot of love and effort into it.
Thanks to Ryoma Nagare (Fed) for the header image.
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