Now that the Warriors are back in glory after Durant, NBA fans just survived one of the most unbearable periods in the NBA. One filled with super teams and a thin parity between three to four coastal teams with stacked talents (Warriors, Lakers, Nets), the rest of the small market teams vying for lottery selections and No. 8 seeds. The NBA has finally returned to equality. At least 10 teams can be classified as competitors, many of which are smaller market franchises such as Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Memphis and Minnesota.
Good feeling, man. Maybe enough time has passed that we can play the “what if?” I wonder what the league would look like if the teams were filled with players born in each team’s state. Will California still be dominant? Or will Midwestern Meccas, like Indiana, prevail? Of course, basketball talent comes from all over the country, which makes this “what if” game particularly interesting when looking at the states where the best talent in the NBA was born.
Not every state has local NBA talent to qualify for this fun exercise. So we’ve rounded up the states that can claim enough NBA talent to round out five key players, plus a sixth man off the bench. We’ve divided the teams into four levels, depending on each team’s combined talent. Since we divide these teams by country players by birth, international players are excluded. We defined this as the state in which their mother gave birth to them, not their adopted home or where they grew up or played college ball. As the modern NBA becomes increasingly centerless, select players can be in any position, as not every state has produced a high-quality NBA guard or center. Teams can put up two centers or four guards. It doesn’t matter, as long as the state can require six players to make a name for themselves. So lets get it.