Who Is the Greatest?: The NBA's Question for the Ages

Ryan WelchCorrespondent IApril 22, 2008

Bleacher Report is a great website.  It allows people to debate, share opinions, and learn from different perspectives.  One of the most common debates I have seen explored here is who is the greatest.  Who is the greatest of all time?  Who is the greatest right now?  Who is the greatest play maker, passer, center, scorer, leader or defensive player?  The answer is not so simple, which is evident by the amount of debate that any of these articles bring along with it.  I am going to give my opinion in the way that I believe it should be given for a team game.  I am going to name a dream team with an emphasis on who was the best for each position.  Let's face it, Michael Jordan owes a lot of his legacy to the people that helped him win a championship and the circumstances in which he played in.  Jordan would not have been the same player had he been drafted by the Trailblazers and had to share the ball with Clyde Drexler in a much smaller market than Chicago.  So without further ado, here is my All-time team.


Starting PG

Magic Johnson - Magic is amazing for a lot of reasons, but having a 6'9" floor leader is an advantage that no one else has ever had.

Starting SG

Michael Jordan - Arguably the best player at any position ever

Starting SF

Oscar Robertson - Did everything you would need to have done on a basketball court.  This guy was the most complete player of his generation and as big of a reputation that this guy has I believe he is extremely underrated.

Starting PF

Tim Duncan - Stats aren't the whole story.  This guy is all time great and we have had the fortune of watching him do it right in front of us.

Starting C

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - To me he is the perfect center.  He was a shot blocking genius, he has the most unstoppable offensive move of all time, and he was simply a winner on every level that he competed on.


Backup PG

John Stockton- I am not a Stockton fan but this guy was the best pure point guard ever.  Cousy has a claim to this position as well but the all-time assist and steal leader gets the edge.

Backup SG

Kobe Bryant - I am going to get a lot of flack for this but the guy is unquestionably one of the greatest offensive forces ever and he plays great defense.  If you had to put Jordan on the bench for a breather, who better to back him up.

Backup SF

Larry Bird - Great shot, better hustle.  No one has ever done so much with so little.  This guy is a basketball god.

Backup PF

Karl Malone- Number two in scoring and would have had multiple championships if he wouldn't have run into the Chicago Buzzsaws.

Backup C

Wilt Chamberlain - 50 points 25 rebounds as an average for one season. 100 points in one game, but the best of all is he never fouled out of a single game.  Wow.

11th man

Bill Russell- Defensive genius, great leader and in today's game could play either post position.  Oh, and he won 11 championships so he gets the nod.

12th man

LeBron James- Does things that no one else has ever done.  Magic couldn't run like this.  Michael wasn't nearly as big.  This guy is the real deal.  It may be a little early to be putting him on an all-time team, but I am going to take a page out of the original dream team's book and put an unproven guy in the lineup.  (I think LeBron fits better here than Christian Laettner did on that one.)


Now before you say too much I have obviously left a few names out of my list, but that is the fun of this.  I want to see who you would choose.  Thanks guys and let's keep this site going it is a lot of fun.