Physical part about basketball not mental(Of course I.Q), not skill(Elite ball handling,three point threat etc.)
I believe it's explosiveness.
What good is it to have a 40.5 inch vertical(Nick Young) but you can't explode and dunk on people or slice through the lane and dunk on people ala Russell Westbrook who has crazy explosiveness but only has a 36.5 inch vertical.
Here is a small list of guys who have very good verticals but aren't really explosive enough to dunk on people or go through the lane and dunk:
Kemba Walker 39.5 running vertical never would have guessed it, that's higher than Russell Westbrook, yea Westbrook is longer and taller but Kemba had hard time getting up in college as his hands are small and he isn't explosive enough(Jumping Wise) to shoot in the air.
Nick Young 40.5 running vertical at 6'7 with a 7'0 wingspan why isn't he on sportscenter every night? His explosiveness isn't all that great.
Speedy Claxton- 42.5 inch vertical, you never heard of this guy just dunking over people, small size but Iverson could do it. Reason why explosiveness.
OJ Mayo- Has a higher running vert than both his draft classmates(Rose and Westbrook) yet they are on SC top 10 every week. Why? Explosiveness
There's a huge list of guys that have big time verticals but you would never know it because they lack that explosive ability.
What good is it to have great ball handling skills, but not be able to explode by the guy when you get him off balance?
A quick first step= Darren Collison
A quick first step mixed with Explosiveness=Derrick Rose
Now I know some of these guys that don't possess good explosiveness have great IQ's that's where all that other stuff factor in.
But just from a physical standpoint, I think if you lack explosive ability, your athleticism isn't as good as it looks on paper.
That's why I think that's the best physical attribute to have, it enhances everything during real game time situations, yea it's cool to have a 40 inch vertical during a dunk contest, but can you explode through the lane in a real game and finish above the rim, or dunk on the defender waiting for you?
What do you guys think is the best physical attribute to have?
My personal opinion on the vertical leap of guards has more to do with their style of play than their explosiveness. In the NBA you need strength and an aggressive style of play, as a guard, to drive the lane and slam one down on a 7 footer on a regular basis.
I remember Speedy Claxton being extremely explosive, he was capable of extremely quick bursts of speed and quick jumps. He wasn't slamming it down on 7 footers because he prefered to toss up a floater and was 170 lbs. It's much easier for Derrick Rose or Westbrook to make the highlight reel because they are pushing 200lbs and are more aggressive in their style of play.
Yes, those guys are very explosive, but it's not like Claxton wasn't. It's just size and style of play. That's just my 2 cents. Jimmer Fredette has a max reach of 10'10'' but you'll probably never see him dunk in an NBA game. It's because of his style of play more than it is his explosiveness, he's very capable of quick bursts of speed and high explosive leaps shooting his jumper. He just never takes it to the rack with the expectation of dunking on someone.
If you have a very quick first step and a high vert, most likely you are an explosive athlete. I just think it has more to do with each guy's personal style of play.
Maybe so, but Iverson had no problem going up top on people in his prime, and he was smaller than Claxton, but I see where your coming from, but I still think some players just can't get off the ground as fast as others.
Explosion and wingspan. Most players without pure skill can make a living in the NBA using these two. Those alone can make you a great NBA defender, applied with effort and "want to". Look at guys like Rondo, Durant, and D.Howard. They have those ridiculous wingspans playing an integral part in the way they play the game.
Derrick Rose, Westbrook, LeBron, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard all are quick off the floor and it sends them skying whenever they take a leap. The ability to get past defenders can also be attributed to the explosion factor.
Being a basketball player, I can say that I don't get many dribble drives because I'm not explosive. I try to make use of hesitiations and whatnot to make all my moves. I keep that Paul Pierce thing going on ya know?
Quickness, hands down... Without quickness a player can never truly be effective... Quickness and savvy is the best combination IMO.. No slow footed NBA player has ever lasted in the league long unless they were 7 ft or taller...
Surprised no one has mentioned height/wingspan seriously yet. No NBA player goes without critiques about their size. In fact it's one of the most important decider as to whether teams give them a chance in the first place..
^ There are countless examples of players that were "too short" or had "average wingspans" that make significant contributions to teams and sometimes All-Star games every year. NBA history is riddled with wide bodied 6'7'' power forwards and slow short armed guys with a deadly jump shot.