Cue the Rocky theme because Philly just won the Urban Legends Tournament!
No need to TRUST THE PROCESS here. The Bay Area put up an all-time fight, but fell short. Here’s how the people voted:
6) Philly (51%, 91 votes) over 4) Bay Area (49%, 89 votes)
TWO VOTES! All you had to do was call up your three friends in Berkeley, make them vote for the Bay Area and you’d be reading a wildly different story. This is a tough pill for the Bay to swallow — mainly because Philly isn’t a top-four basketball city (more on that later).
We have to assume that Wilt Chamberlain won the battle in the paint and Kobe Bryant withstood Gary Payton’s and Jason Kidd’s defense. The Bay Area bench just didn’t get it done. We are left to wonder if Jeremy Lin or Eddie House’s offense could have made the difference. This one hurts, but we will persist. Here’s a refresher on the rosters.
4) BAY AREA
Coach: Antonio Davis, Retired NBA player
- Bill Russell
- Gary Payton
- Jason Kidd
- K.C. Jones
- Damian Lillard
- Paul Silas
- Isaiah Rider
Coach: Phil Martelli, Head Coach, St. Joseph’s University
- Wilt Chamberlain
- Kobe Bryant
- Earl Monroe
- Rasheed Wallace
- Kyle Lowry
- Paul Arizin
- Dion Waiters
Mission: Partly accomplished
The Urban Legends Tournament set out to definitively determine which US metropolis produces the best NBA talent. To answer this question, I created teams of seven players who hail from the chosen cities. Each of the eight teams was seeded by metro population and we voted on the winners.
The tournament was a fun thought experiment, but failed to answer our question. We learned which city could assemble the most balanced roster of seven but, in hindsight, the tournament failed to consider the depth of players from each city. Philly had an excellent top three players, but Jameer Nelson would have been the eighth best player on Philly. Reggie Miller was next in line for Team Los Angeles, and that’s a massive difference.
Sorry, Philly, but I feel safe saying LA is more successful in producing NBA talent.
On paper, Philly has three elite players who seem like they could be effective playing together with four solid comrades. From taking the top 12 players from each city, though, it’s clear that the top four seeds have better depth. For this tournament, the voters were clear and correct in valuing Philly as a squad that could actually play together as a team and beat more talented teams.
Powerade hooked me with the “we’re all just a kid from somewhere” advertising campaign. Despite the surprising results from the tournament, we should continue to support kids to represent their hometowns and fulfill their dreams on the court. Now that we have an answer regarding what city has the most balanced team of seven, you should still, to your dying day, argue that your city has the best hoops scene — because it might be.