Roster: Brook Lopez C, Robin Lopez C, Ryan Anderson PF, Jason Kidd PG, Jeremy Lin PG
Bench: Drew Gooden PF, Matt Barnes SF, Chuck Hayes C
When you think San Francisco, what comes to mind? The Golden Gate Bridge? Of course. How about the opening credits of Full House? Definitely. But basketball? Meh, not so much.
The University of San Francisco won back-to-back NCAA Championships in ’55 and ’56, but hasn’t even been to the NCAA Tournament in close to two decades. The Warriors moved to Oakland in ’71. Since then, Frisco’s been a basketball graveyard. So, you might as yourself, “Complex, how does a city void of basketball prowess establish itself on this list?” One word: Linsanity (also, importing players from Fresno).
You don’t have to be a meth cook to know that chemistry matters and the City by the Bay harmonizes stronger than any other team in the country. Jeremy Lin went from exile to a made-for-TV-movie in 48 hours last February, in part because New York loves a feel-good story almost as much as it loves a Jets quarterback controversy, but also because Lin is a genuinely likeable person that his teammates seem to support. In addition to playing together at Stanford, the Lopez twins share the exact same DNA. So, there’s that.
Jason Kidd’s last name has become ironic. He’s older, slower and wouldn’t be able to carry a team as a scorer or distributor. Thankfully, there are awesome parties in the Hamptons for off-the-bench, former all-pros. Lin’s another guy who is more a threat to spread the floor than to rack up points. That leaves Ryan Anderson as the team’s number one scoring threat. Shit.
In the frontcourt, Brook Lopez has become one of those seven footers who feel more comfortable playing away from the basket. That’s great for scoring and bad for rebounding. At seven feet tall, Brook Lopez averaged fewer than four rebounds per game last season. For his brother Robin, it’s the same paltry rebound numbers without the scoring. Again, shit.
San Francisco’s team is an island of misfit toys situation. They have some size, but nobody who rebounds. They have passers, but no scorers. They have veterans, but no leaders.