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Kelly Oubre makes The Ringer’s ‘Make-(Expletive)-Happen All-Star’ team

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

There are some NBA players who simply make things happen.

Some are stars. Some are role players. All of them go all out — trying to dunk over guys any chance they get, even when there might be a 3-pointer available. Leaping into passing lanes. Slapping the floor. Celebrating gleefully during play.

Sound like anyone familiar?

The Ringer’s Rob Mahoney made a list of such players and dubbed it the “Make-(Expletive)-Happen All-Stars.” Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre made the team.

Oubre exists in a world beyond moderation.

Shooting frequently wasn’t enough to make the list. Restraint, as The Ringer wrote, “is a detriment.” A player needs to go all-out, all the time, on both ends of the court.

Oubre’s tenacity and athleticism allows him to play the game differently than many role players. He skies for dunks and throws in a head bang upon landing. On defense, he jumps into lanes to swipe the ball — at times, The Ringer writes, “rotating to the point of over-rotating.”

On offense, he attacks constantly. Remember that game against the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 8 in which Oubre caught the ball in the corner but instead of taking the wide-open 3, he pump faked nobody, drove to the rim and jammed it over Paul Millsap?

That’s the kind of thing a player needs to do to be a Make-(Expletive)-Happen All-Star.

NBA coaches will tell you that this is a good problem to have—that, especially at the professional level, the need to rein in a player is preferable to the alternative.

Oubre missed Wednesday’s game with a right knee injury, and an extended absence would be devastating for Phoenix.

His explosiveness is important for the Suns, a team that needs more scorers. He’s averaging 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds this year and shooting 36% from behind the arc during fourth quarters. Oubre plays a vital role in making Phoenix look competent on the court — and sometimes, downright good.

That doesn’t mean every decision he makes is the right one.

Where Oubre runs into trouble is with his decision tree, which skips all the intermediate judgments in favor of the most extreme solutions.

Mahoney’s example was when Oubre tried to rectify his airballed layup by dunking on Toronto Raptors big Serge Ibaka. It didn’t work.

It was the best kind of chaos, and all because Oubre tried to quiet his yips with a wild overcorrection.

“The best kind of chaos.” That’s something the Suns need more of, instead of organizational chaos they’ve grown accustomed to over the last decade.


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