Guard: Steve Nash (1996-Present)
The primary cog in the Suns' high-powered machine has emerged as arguably the league's best point guard in the past ten years.
The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player recipient has quietly ranked among the NBA's elite: Amidst Jason Kidd, new superstars Chris Paul and Deron Williams, and steady talent Tony Parker, it's easy for Nash to get lost in the shuffle.
In the end, however, it's Nash that I would want on my team.
Nash is a creator—if it looks like an offensive possession is about to go to waste, Nash will consistently produce scoring opportunities out of thin air.
It is this ability that merits him a spot on this roster.
His offense skill set is extremely consistent, as Nash is one of only five players to shoot 50% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc, and 90% from the charity stripe for an entire season. In fact, the seven time All Star has more 40-50-90 seasons (5) than any other player in NBA history.
Guard/Forward: Kobe Bryant (1996-Present)
The 12 time All Star, eight time All-NBA first teamer, and five time NBA Champion is widely regarded as the most competitive player in the modern era.
"The Kobe scowl," more or less Bryant's "game face," looks just about as intimidating as fighting Mike Tyson.
Bryant has only won one Most Valuable Player Award, but many NBA experts have consistently ranked him the NBA's premiere player over the past half-decade or so—a title that Kobe has backed up on both sides of the court. His explosive offensive numbers are thoroughly complemented by his defensive skill set, as the Black Mamba has made the NBA All-Defensive first team eight seasons, including the last five in a row.
Bryant has a knack for the buzzer beater and his scoring versatility is arguably unparalleled in today's game. Kobe could hurt you from anywhere on the floor—be it above the rim, through the lane, or five feet behind the three point line, there is not a moment that a defender can fall asleep on this man.
His explosiveness manifested itself in his 81 point performance against the Toronto Raptors a few years ago, the second most single game point total in NBA history.
Forward/Center: Tim Duncan (1997-Present)
The first pick in the 1997 NBA draft has certainly lived up to the hype.
He may not be the flashiest player, but Timmy is the beacon of consistency.
The two time NBA MVP has made a living off of the bank shot, dominating with fundamentals in an era where everyone else has seemingly forgotten how to execute a simple pick and roll. A 12 time All Star and four time NBA Champion, Duncan has anchored the Spurs mini-dynasty throughout the past decade.
Like Kobe, Duncan's place on this roster could be attributed just as much to his defense; he also is an eight time All-NBA Defensive first teamer.
It is important to note the magnitude of these accolades, especially considering the caliber of big man Duncan has consistently had to guard: Over the past decade, the Western Conference has featured the likes of Shaq, Yao Ming, Dirk Notwitzki, and Kevin Garnett, most of whom usually appeared in the playoffs.
To triumph against those players on the defensive end is no easy feat. He has averaged 21.1 ppg and 11.6 rpg for his career, a double double.
Final Analysis: They may not look as legendary as some of their predecessors, but this team is perhaps the most consistent of the bunch.
Their combination of inventiveness at the point, uncompromising skill and competitiveness on the wing, and reliability down low would be extremely tough to beat. Their defense should not go unnoticed, as Kobe and Duncan may be the best candidates in a game of "stop this NBA legend."
I figured this modern-day team would stir the most debate, so I have listed reserves at each position
Guard, Jason Kidd: A triple double machine, easily could have made this roster. Nash made the cut over Kidd because of his two MVP Awards
Forward: LeBron James: Probably the most dominant player right now, but Kobe had a better decade. Plus, LeBron didn't enter the league until 2003.
Center: Shaquille O'Neal: Shaq should have been on one of the rosters, be it the 1990's or the 2000's. The big diesel is simply a victim of time. His most dominant years were more or less between 1995-2005, which makes him an odd man out for the purposes of this list.