There have been countless books, articles and barroom debates aimed at determining the greatest teams and greatest players in NBA history, assembling the greatest starting five or 12-man NBA roster in history.
I’ve had lots of fun debating these topics in the past and cannot promise that such an article, authored by me, will not make its way onto this site. However, the problem with these simple debates is that they neglect an entire universe of star players who fall short of the top 15 or 20 in the game’s history.
To address this, I’ve put together an all-time starting five for each NBA franchise (I’ve omitted the Charlotte Bobcats), consisting of players who suited up in at least 200 games (a bit of wiggle room was used here) for a franchise. I tried to adhere to a strict C, PF, SF, SG, PG line-up, not just two guards, two forwards and a center—though this rule was bent on occasion.
I didn’t invent a convoluted, John Hollinger-esque formula to determine these line-ups—this is based on statistical productivity with some consideration given to the era in which a guy played, and contribution to team success, with presence during high points in franchise history and “face of a franchise” status playing a big role.
Many results are as expected, but some forced me to stare at the numbers and admit that my initial perception had changed.
Rather than go nuts and give you 29 starting fives to consider in one sitting, I will post these one at a time, over the next month. We’ll start with teams of the Atlantic Division. Have fun reading and debating. Whether you agree or think I’m an idiot, don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m eager to hear your opinions.
Leading off this series is the Boston Celtics. As a lifelong Lakers fan that grew up in L.A. in the 1980s, there are a handful of guys here that are very easy for me to hate, but with their talent and toughness, there’s no way to avoid respecting them.