State of Origin is the showpiece of the NRL calendar ever year, and has been for some time.
It’s an event unique to rugby league and arguably Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry.
But what if this concept were taken to America.
No, I’m not talking about the controversial 1987 showpiece match played in California – but hypothetically, what if the NBA adopted the concept?
Before anyone freaks out I am not suggesting that this absolutely has to happen, or that it’s even a possibility.
However, I would much rather see an abridged state of origin concept take over the NBA’s increasingly mundane All-Star Weekend.
Eligibility rules used were fairly relaxed – just like in the NRL incarnation. If a player had grown up in state x and played high school basketball in state y, he was eligible for either.
International players were also eligible, providing they had played basketball in America prior to playing professionally (either in high school or college) – see Deng, Luol.
Nevertheless, through nothing more than my own interest, I have compiled what I deem to be some of the NBA’s most lethal ‘state of origin starting fives’, in no particular order.
Who do you think would win an NBA ‘state of origin’ tournament?
CALIFORNIA – Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), James Harden (Houston), Paul George (Pacers), Brook Lopez (Brooklyn), Tyson Chandler (Phoenix)
ILLINOIS - Derrick Rose (Chicago), Dwyane Wade (Miami), Andre Iguodala (Golden State), Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia)
INDIANA – Mike Conley, Jr (Memphis), Eric Gordon (New Orleans), Gordon Hayward (Jazz), Zach Randolph (Memphis), Mason Plumlee (Portland)
MARYLAND – Ty Lawson (Houston), Victor Oladipo (Orlando), Rudy Gay (Sacramento), Carmelo Anthony (Knicks), Alex Len (Phoenix)
NEW JERSEY – Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Luol Deng (Miami), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves)
NEW YORK – Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Danny Green (San Antonio), Tobias Harris (Orlando), Taj Gibson (Chicago), Joakim Noah (Chicago)
NORTH CAROLINA – Chris Paul (Clippers), Stephen Curry (Golden State), PJ Tucker (Phoenix), David West (San Antonio), Hassan Whiteside (Miami)
OHIO – CJ McCollum (Portland), Kevin Martin (Timerwolves), LeBron James (Cleveland), Jared Sullinger (Boston), Kosta Koufos (Sacramento)
TENNESSEE – Lou Williams (Lakers), Jodie Meeks (Detroit), Corey Brewer (Houston), Thaddeus Young (Brooklyn), Brandan Wright (Memphis)
TEXAS – Deron Williams (Dallas), Wesley Matthews (Dallas), Jimmy Butler (Chicago), Chris Bosh (Miami), LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio)
VIRGINIA – Brandon Jennings (Detroit), JJ Reddick (Clippers), Ben McLemore (Sacramento), Ed Davis (Portland), Meyers Leonard (Portland)