NBA Rankings: If the Old Could Become Young Again, Which Team Would Win?

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NBA Rankings: If the Old Could Become Young Again, Which Team Would Win?
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The conclusion of the NBA finals, which doubled as Dallas’ first NBA championship and Cleveland’s first major victory in the finals in any professional sport since 1964, forces us to face a harsh reality.

Namely, that this offseason looks like it’s going to be extended a bit.

The threat of an NBA lockout has been looming for the past two years. But we have been too distracted by the fascinating story lines (love them or hate them, when the MoHeatos play, we can’t help but watch), and the high level of play on the court to see it coming.

Additionally, there has always been the hope that the NBA will learn from the follies of the NFL.

But, as the great Bill Simmons highlighted last week, the two leagues are in unique situations. The NFL has a problem figuring out how to divide their ungodly profits, whereas the NBA has no such profits to divide.

There is sure to be excessive coverage on the status of NBA labor negotiations in the coming weeks, especially after the draft ends (hey, give Dan Gilbert credit—he did win something before LeBron did).

So, to take my mind off of this depressing reality, I came up with a little exercise, one rooted entirely in fantasy. It’s a little wacky, yes, but bear with me.

Did anyone else notice how many washed up stars played small roles in these playoffs?

In game 6 of the finals alone, we saw Jason Kidd making key plays down the stretch, Juwan Howard clanking two free throws, and Mike Bibby watching the game from his front row seat.

That got me thinking: what if they weren’t so old? In other words, if we could put every NBA player in a time machine and set them back to the age of their best season, which team would win the title?

The prospects of such an idea should make any NBA fan giddy.

The league, already the deepest it has been since Jordan’s gambling suspension (I mean baseball experiment!), would receive a massive infusion from former greats regaining their abilities. Every game would be an all-star game (see, I told you this would get your mind off of the lockout).

After playing with the idea in my head a little bit, I set out to rank what I shall call the Ageless Wonder teams.

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