Picking the NBA's All-Time Dream Team
Watching the pregame show for the Eastern Conference playoffs, I started thinking about the best all-time team you could put together: my version.
Well, here goes. The only requirements were that you played in the NBA and you were physically capable of lining up at the position I put you at, not that the position was your actual position (i.e. centers at PF, etc).
I threw together a starting lineup and a few bench players. This may not be to say that they are the best, just that I think they would make the best team (you may not need five scorers, maybe two scorers, a three point shooter, and some rebounding, whatever).
Starting Center: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Okay, this guy was the best at his position ever. I don’t think Wilt deserves that title because he played in a league where the average height was like a foot smaller than he is. There were very few 7 footers at that time, and once Kareem came into the league Wilt played like crap against him when matched up against a player of similar physique and talent.
Starting Power Forward: Bill Russell
Simply put he’s the most winningest player the NBA has ever had play. He won 11 titles with the Celtics and clearly if you needed the win you want him on your team. He’s 6’10” so I prefer playing him at the PF now th at the league average height is something like 6’8”, and he wouldn’t be among the biggest players any longer
Starting Small Forward: Larry Bird
Look, on any team you need a three point shooter to spread the floor. This team will have plenty of scoring, and a dead eye on the wing doesn’t hurt things. Bird was a great player, and was also selected to three All-Defensive teams and can hold his own on that end of the court, averaging nearly 2 steals and 1 block per game over his career.
Starting Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan
You can’t build this team and not take the greatest player to ever touch a basketball. Jordan was able to completely take over games and enforce his will to win games. He took the team on his back and made the big shots when they counted. There may never be anything that makes me feel quite like watching Michael Jordan play did, knowing you were watching the best there ever was turn his craft into an absolute art form.
Jordan was able to develop his game to accommodate insufficiencies in it from year to year, never being satisfied with already being the best, constantly wanting to improve himself. That lead to 6 NBA titles, and many more awards throughout his legendary career. It also landed him this spot on my version of an “All-Time Team”
Starting Point Guard: Magic Johnson
Magic was a playmaker like we’ve never seen. He stood at 6’9” at a time 7 footers in the league weren’t running rampant, and handled the ball well enough to be known as one of the greatest point guards in the history of the game.
I realize there are many other PG’s that might deserve this spot, Cousy, maybe someone from that era, but Magic gets it based upon skill on top of size. The smallest member of the starting lineup would be 6’6” with rockets for feet, and the next smallest would be 6’9” (both Bird and Magic).
6th Man: LeBron James
LeBron would be my backup that could be inserted at either the 1,2,3, or even 4 if need be. I like versatility coming off my bench, and that’s part of the reason he’s the 6th man and not starting in place of Bird. LeBron can do pretty much anything you ask him to, and having him here would make me rest comfortably if anything happened to any of my starters.
7th Man: Kevin Garnett
Here’s another versatile player who I believe has lined up at every position over the course of his years in Minnesota. He’s a true winner as well, a tenacious defender, and has a contagious attitude his teammates can’t help but catch on to. In addition he’s 6’11”/7’ and can line up at the 3 spot if you want him to, and as we all know already I love size.
8th Man: Oscar Robertson
Robertson I feel like I could start at either the 1,2, or 3 as well, so another versatile player that could do it all. This guy is the only guy on the books right now to average a triple double over a season in the past 50 years. He also averaged 33.8 points per game in college, which I believe is still the third highest average over a career in NCAA Men’s Basketball history.
9th Man: Hakeem Olajuwon
And for my last spot I’d have to take Hakeem, again you couldn’t go wrong lining him up at either the 5 or the 4. He was a beast on defense, arguably the greatest shot blocker of all time, and one of the greatest rebounders as well. He could score on the block as well, making him a truly well rounded player that deserves to make this team, if even on the bench.
Any thoughts? I know there are players who could have been selected to this team in place of others, like the two pictured here for instance, I want to hear your thoughts.