Some people like to claim that basketball is like a giant game of chess. Taking this idea, I would like to expound upon it by making relevant comparisons to the modern day basketball player.
Limited in their abilities, these players are able to do only one thing. Not quite talented or skilled enough to move diagonally, these players can develop their game into that of their more skilled brethren, but until then, they are stuck moving in one continual motion. Players like Jason Kapono, Peja Stojakovic, Derek Fisher, Damon Jones, and Andre Miller are all examples of this critical but limited role.
More capable than their pawn friends, these players have limitless potential and are vital to any team they play for. Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Carlos Boozer have a tremendous impact on every game they play in. They are not the most complete players in the game, but influence the contest more than everyone excluding the queen.
More valuable than a pawn, but not quite a queen, these players play a critical role in the wins and losses of their teams. A noble character, the knight displays courage, craftiness and dignity in all aspects of the game. Players like Shane Battier, Shaquille O’Neal, Tony Parker, and Chris Bosh all display the characteristics of the knight.
A sort of more developed pawn, the bishop can only move diagonally and cover half of the board. However, its range of capabilities far exceeds that of the pawn. Dwight Howard, Ray Allen, Michael Redd, Ben Gordon, and Allen Iverson are examples of these supremely talented players but are limited to certain areas of the game.
The Best of all the pieces, the queen has the most impact on any game its in. Players like Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James are the most versatile players in the league who impact the game the most. Not invincible, these players can be stopped if the opponents are willing to designate their entire strategy to stopping them.
Mostly incapable of impacting the game, the king’s only job is to not lose the game. Like their crowned counterparts, coaches fill a similar niche. They survey the land and watch as their legions of followers fight their battles on their command.