Top 10 BBall IQs
Who are the top 10 players today with the highest bball IQ in your opinion/
1. Kobe- amazing IQ on both sides of the ball. After meeting with Hakeem, I think that raised it even more. Don't punish his IQ with the idea that he takes a ton of contested shots so he's not that smart. Look at who was on his team back then. A contested Kobe shot > wide open Kwame
2. Kidd- Could argue him for #1. Knows how to do it all, and on both sides of the ball. Great as knowing how to position himself for boards as a PG.
3. CP3- Unreal. Not the most athletic guy in the world, but he is a triple double threat constantly. He's also a very smart defender. Knows how to use the players he's given.
4. Duncan- The big fundamental. Amazing post IQ. Can feel the D and almost always makes the right move. Plays within himself.
5. Battier- Underrated to say the least. Takes smart shots, best perimeter D player in the league IMO. Very few TOs.
6. Roy- If not for injury, his IQ combined with talent could have made him a top 5 player in this league one day. Could have been the next Kobe as far as offensive IQ and leadership from the 2 guard position.
7. LBJ- some of you will disagree. But lets face it, LBJ is smart, well BBall smart anyway. Great vision. Finds the open player. Doesn't force things to often, and that might be his weakness. Smart defender. Look at his timing on the chase down blocks. Athleticism helps alot, but you have to know when and how to use it as well. Great pursuit.
8. D-Will- Might be to low or too high, but I will be the first to admit I haven't seen enough of D-Will as a pro to accurately place him on the list. He plays very smart though. Knows how to use his frame. A phenomenal passer with great court vision. Unreal pick n roll player.
9. Andre Miller- Not extremely athletic, not a great shooter. Not that fast. He lacks alot of things that many PGs need to succeed. But for years he has been effective. A smart penetrator, and one of the best "oop" throwers in the league. Sees the whole court. Knows what move to make and when. Smart defender as well.
10. Nash- If not for his defensive IQ, he would be top 5 for his offensive IQ alone. Amazing court vision. Knows how to use his players. Boards pretty well his size and well say"genetic makeup". As I said though, his D is subpar.
I think Rondo has to be up there with his great court vision and defense. Averaging 10 points and 11 assists being skinny and having no jumpshot requires quite some IQ
If I had gone with top 15, Rondo would be in there. I just think most of his success is due to his unreal quickness/speed, strength, and the cast of players that surround him. He is smart don't get me wrong, but I think he just isn't top 10 when it comes to IQ. KG, Pierce, and Allen are very smart players themselves too. As a team, their IQ is very high.
Paul Pierce anyone??? Never the most athletic guy on the court but always manages to create space to get his shot off, Imo he is a hall of famer and one of the smartest guys ever to play the game.
Dirk Nowitzki anyone?
nice avatar davidstern LOL^^
Yea i agree with Flagrant_2. Pierce's bball I.Q is underrated
this is something you really cant measure, but i applaud mdymes for attempting
Thank you. Its the lockout. We have to get creative, but this is a basketball website. And I do think Pierce has a high bball IQ, hence why I said "Pierce, and Allen are very smart players themselves too". I would like to think that mean I think Pierce has a high bball IQ. People with a decent IQ themselves should be able to decipher that.
* Note I did say in your opinion.
He uses his athleticism to block shots and defensively? Paul George gave D. Rose fits too... I think its more about length than his being a smart defender... Offensively, ALTHOUGH he sees the floor like no one else he's not really a take what the defense gives me scorer... All of his moves seems preconceived and he already know's what move he is going to make... You ever TRIED to cross someone from left to right regardless if they were playing you that way? Well didn't work for you did it? LeBron can though since he is so damn big... His IQ is overrated IMO.. D Wade's is better...
Just because you slow and white doesn't mean you have great sport IQ... I hear that ish all the time from commentators... It has a undertone of racism that we don't noticed because its socially accepted... Just because Dirk, Nash, or K. Love are playing with people that are more athletic then them does NOT mean Dirk, Nash, or K. Love is just smarter than them and that's how they compensate... I heard a commentator say that about Jarret Johnson from the Ravens and only thing he did was have a wide open hole to go through to get a tackle... LOL...
Wade doesn't have an extremely high IQ in comparison. He's just a freak and once his athleticism diminishes hes gonna have a tough go. He slashes a ton and takes it to the tin with that athleticism. He's got handle and athleticism that he relies on far more than his IQ. He's doesn't look for that great find alot. He's more of an iso and slash guy. LBJ knows how to run a team. Its just he's never been apart of a great team. Sure he has Wade and Bosh, but outside of that, it is very weak. Give him a squad of smart players who can hit open shots and know how to cut. LBJ becomes unreal. His vision is phenomenal, hes unselfish (atleast on the floor), and he has the physical tools to let that shine.
K. Love is has a very high bball IQ as well. But, hey, I said top 10 so you have to make cuts somewhere. Im sure you make a list and your gonna get &$#%#&@!ed at about this subject as well. People are too sensitive and think they are based just b/c they put a name out there who is a smart baller and they act like ur a moron for not thinking about them. Fact is I did consider them, but as I said, this is my top 10. Tough. Make your own.
nash is way too low on your list if you ask me. nash must be top 5. and k.love too is up there as well.
id take miller out, hes just crafty.
Nash and Love have offensive basketball IQ. Their D is lacking, both from a physical and mental standpoint.
Even though I extremely dislike the guy, Tim Duncan has to be top 2, if not 1st. I would also argue that Lebron shouldn't be on the list. His talent is undeniable, but he makes a lot of bad decisions on the court. Ill advised jump shots come to mind, lots of bad turnovers (although some of them are inevitable since he always has the ball in his hands). Good list though.
Thank you Uncle Bucksh0t. I agree Tim is up there. I just think at the Kidds value as a game manager is undeniable and is IQ is more readily displayed at that position. And Kobe, I just think he is very intelligent from a bball sense, knows when to take over and understands the abilities of his teammates and situations where he is better fit to handle. CP3 also was ahead of him on mine more or less b/c of the abilities to display the IQ at the PG position, as stated b4. But Tim is phenomenally efficient. Very very rarely makes a poor decision and his aresnal of moves makes him deadly when he can choose the correct one when the situation calls for it.
LeBron, I agree I may overrate his IQ a bit. I just think he has IT, and it would present itself fullest with a great supporting cast which IMO he has never had.
Defense isnt all about IQ its 45% athleticsm and lenght and 45% hard work and about 10% IQ just look at the top defensive player and you will see
Can't you say the same about offense? Defense is very IQ based as well. Some guys know how to anticipate where the ball is going. Some know how to defend certain players by study. Its has alot more IQ than you may think.
I'll probably be called a hater, but I don't think LeBron has that high of an basketball IQ. He has a natural court vision though and can make any pass... I'll most definitely give him that. His court vision, body and athleticism have always been the things about him that impressed me. I honestly have never been impressed with anything else about his game though.
I'm not saying he's a dumb player, but I just watch sh*t he does and it doesn't make sense. For example, shooting a fadeway being guarded by Barea. Or a big man switching on him and he settles for the jumper. And I mean, he does this consistently. I think his failures in the clutch is due to low offensive IQ and how the defense is playing him. I mean, look at some of his game winning attempts... He left you quite a few times saying, "why did he do that?"
Not saying he's dumb, but I just think people overrate his IQ. I feel his IQ should be further along considering this is his 8th season.
I agree with you about Lebron. He might be highly skilled but he's not known for having high basketball IQ.
Kevin Durant should be top 10....
^+1, You beat me to it Indy, these were my exact thoughts.
Good list for the most part though DYMES. As much as I love Kobe, I agree you can definitely argue Kidd as the highest BBall IQ in the game.
What about Stpehen Curry
He developed from a prolific scorering shooting guard was more of a Ray Allen type player in college to a future Steve Nash in the NBA
Not much scoring undersized wings can develop into a good decision making and passing pg
But besides that when ever I see a big switch to him he either fakes them out and creates something around the basket or he will get enough space to wet it in his face before he can even put his hand up.
He also had a rare plus 30 point triple double for a rookie that only legends have done and he did it at a skinny 6'3 without the most hops and still grabbed 10 boards .....That sounds Jason Kidd like
Steph Curry has deceptive athleticism as evidenced by his 36 inch vert. BTW, his 5.8 assists to 3.0 turnovers is very un-Steve Nash like. I still see a pg chucker with a shoot first mentality. He has good IQ, but most of his success is due to hours of hard work with good IQ. But i would say even top 25 in the NBA. Especially when you factor in the defensive IQ which is limited.
Manu Ginobili anybody?
He sees the floor well, and is great in transition, he can get to the rim, as well as create for himself, and at times, he can a be a fancy passer. And he has an outside shot, and he knows his spots, and gets to them. If he had his own team, he could average 23 and 7 on a lottery team.
And MDymes, I agree with you for not punishing Kobe's IQ for taking contested shots, but you can't deny that recently, since his athleticism has declined, he has been taking some shots he shouldn't be taking.
But I won't blame this on his IQ, but moreso on his high confidence and skill level, because he can and will make those shots, but that doesn't mean they are good shots, even for him.
Sorry but by no means should Lebron be up there. e couldnt even realize he had to start driving in the finals. 5 guys who need consideration for this list would be Dirk Nowitzki, Manu Ginobli, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Kurt Thomas....and of course guys like Nick Young.
Great list. Only thing I'd change is throwing in Ginobili and taking out Lebron
Not sure about Nick Young. But Gino definitely has one of the better bball IQ's in the game. But I don't think he could ever be a 22-7 kind of guy. He doesn't force the issue enough because of how good his hoop IQ is. I really don't think he could be the main dude on a losing team, because I couldn't picture him being a loser.
What about Chauncey Billups. Was a great leader in detroit. Very smart, looks for mismatches, player weakness/strengths. Has also hinted at coaching when he retires.
In his first season with the Nuggest he led them to the WCF - something iverson could never do....
The Nick Young comment was a joke...
WOW!! Did i hear someone say Nick Young has a higher basketball iq than Lebron?
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahaahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahahahahahhahahhahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahhahahaahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaahhahahahahaha DONT MAKE ME LAUGH!!!
Grant hill and jared Dudley.
Once again you guys are AFRAID TO DISAGREE with the Top posters..
I can not believe you guys are saying Lebron doesnt have a high basketball IQ...In the past 30 years only Magic and Bird have had better basketball minds...You dont have to take my word for it..Just go look up what some of the greatest basketball minds of all-time had said about the guy..I know he sometimes get caught up in the moment and try to play hero ball..After the finals this year his former high school coach said Lebron often over thinks and hold the ball too long...He's best in transition....
But besides Jason Kidd name another guy that doesnt have to score a point and still dominate a game? Thats the beauty of his game..
If you have Kidd at number1 Lebron should be 1a....Like Kidd he makes his teammates better, a great defender,all around player and unlike Kidd he can score.....
Do you think Kobe,CP3 or Dirk could've taken that 2007 team of career backups to the finals?
It's not that LeBron didn't realize that he had to drive in the Finals, it's that he lost a significant portion of athleticism. I watched him closely after game 4, and he tried being aggressive in games 5 & 6, but he just couldn't get in the lane because of his lack of quickness.
Some of the last-second shots LeBron has taken have left me baffled though.
WOW!! I Cant believe i'm the only person thats COMPLAINING about Lebron being at number 6 on this List!!
Thats Way TOO LOW!! Not many people are born with that God Given Talent..Not many guys can see a play before it happens..Or make a play that wasnt there...
Superstars Like Jordan and Kobe Do have Elite basketball minds..But they were taught how to play the game..And their drive,determination and fight to be the best, made them eager to learn more about the game....But Lebron was born with the talent to be a ball player...And too often he relies on that talent and doesnt think he can add to it..Thats why he gets caught up taking bizarre shots or try making the hero play at times....Becuz in his mind he thinks its going in...Try comparing Jordan or Kobe at 16 to Lebron at 15 and its not match..Lebron wins it outright..But his mistake is he hasnt expanded to his game like MJ or Kobe..becuz he doesnt think he has to...But he does..And until he does,he will never be as great as those guys..Even though he has more superior god given talent....
Don't get me wrong... I think LeBron is a very smart player. He was born to be an NBA player lol. Like God literally designed this man to be an NBA player. He's a natural in regards to his feel for the game and court vision. However, you proved my point with what you said though... He's relied so much on his God given abilities instead of expanding and sharpening other parts of his game.
There's a quote out there from Kobe that reads, "Despite my talents, I want to be known as an overachiever when my career is over." Kobe was so obssessed with beating the Celtics defense that he had every defensive possession vs the Celtics defense against him broken down and analyzed.
IF you watched Dirk during the post-season, nothing surprised him. He knew how every single defense was going to play him. He knew when to score and attack. He knew when to turn away from or toward the defense to make a play. He knew when to make the pass or when to move the ball IN ORDER to lead to the pass that got the assist.
I just don't feel like LeBron does these things. Before last season, I had doubts LeBron could even set a great off of the ball screen. I just feel like his fundamentals and feel for the game (when he doesn't have the ball) is average. I feel like he could be SO much better in some areas.
Very smart player... I just believe he's lacking something mentally though.
James Harden will be there. He's already got an old man's game, he'll be the one of the most silent 15-20 ppg, all around threats in the NBA within 5 years or so. If he further develops an offensive game, Joakim Noah will be elite in that area- he's already extremely intelligent on the defensive side. Kevin Love is in the same boat for different reasons (terrible non-rebounding D). What other young guys show serious potential? Thoughts?
Yeah, it seems that despite 8 years in the league,the only thing Lebron has improved is his defense....But i guess when you're Lebron and have guys like Jerry West and Marty Blake saying at age 16 you can start for any of the 30 teams in the nba....I guess ,it seems you have nothing to improve on.... But he does...
Jerry West also said that a 17 year old Kobe Bryant was better than ANY player Lakers had and that he was SOLD on him after destroying Michael Cooper 1 v 1. That same Laker team West was talking about included such players as Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Anthony Peeler, Cedric Ceballos(coming off a 21,6,2 season),Elden Campbell(coming off 14,8,2,3), and Vlade Divac. But You never saw Kobe thinking that was enough. he took that as a boost that if he was already that good compared to these terrific pro's, then the sky was the limit for him. LBJ was content to be the player he was a 16 and only getting better defensively. Knowing how good he was at 16, there is no reason he shouldnt have started to develop his post game and off-ball game AT LEAST by his 21st B-Day.
Terrific talent with a great feel for the game, but an average hoop IQ based off of his skill level.