I've seen all-time starting fives for teams assembled and even all-time 12-man lineups put together before for individual teams, but never all 30 teams in the NBA.
Well, that all changes here as you can find the best 12-man lineup for each and every team that currently exists in the league. And, I've even taken it one step further and ranked them from worst to best. You can probably guess which franchises will be high up in the rankings though (Celtics and Lakers anyone?) and which will kick them off (the newest franchises of course).
But first, a few ground rules.
2. If a player has played for multiple teams in his career, he is only eligible on the team with which he spent the most seasons. In the event of a tie, games played becomes the tiebreaker. If that is the same for two franchises...well, don't worry about it because it never happened.
3. Players are eligible for positions that they played at some point and are listed at. Larry Bird may have been a small forward, but he dabbled at power forward and remains listed as a forward and not an exclusive small forward for example.
4. All players are taken during their primes. Yes, obviously even Adam Morrison could beat George Mikan right now, but that's not the way this works.
With that taken care of, read on and enjoy!
Point Guard: Raymond Felton
Shooting Guard: Matt Carroll
Small Forward: Gerald Wallace
Power Forward: Emeka Okafor
Center: Primoz Brezek
Bench: DJ Augustin (PG), Melvin Ely (PF/C), Ryan Hollins (C), Brevin Knight (PG), Sean May (PF), Adam Morrison (SF), Bernard Robinson (SF)
Don't spend too much time looking at this team as the rest are all infinitely better. Adam Morrison actually making the squad should say it all.
Point Guard: Jose Calderon
Shooting Guard: Vince Carter
Small Forward: Morris Peterson
Power Forward: Chris Bosh
Center: Sharone Wright
Bench: Andrea Bargnani (PF/C), Doug Christie (SG/SF), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Joey Graham (SF/PF), Jason Kapono (SF), Anthony Parker (SG), Alvin Williams (SG)
Point Guard: Dwyane Wade
Shooting guard: Eddie Jones
Small Forward: Jamal Mashburn
Power Forward: Glen Rice
Center: Alonzo Mourning
Bench: Bimbo Coles (PG), Kevin Edwards (SG), Briant Grant (PF), Udonis Haslem (PF), Voshon Leonard (SG), Grant Long (PF), Rony Seikaly (C)
Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning should be able to carry this team against normal competition, but this is no normal competition.
Point Guard: Jason Williams
Shooting Guard: OJ Mayo
Small Forward: Shane Battier
Power Forward: Shareef Abdur-Rahim
Center: Pau Gasol
Bench: Mike Conley (PG), Michael Dickerson (SG/SF), Marc Gasol (PF/C), Rudy Gay (SF), Mike Miller (SF), Bryant Reeves (C), Hakim Warrick (PF)
With White Chocolate running the show, this team would be entertaining. They would also have great team unity with both Gasol brothers on the same roster joined by Shane Battier.
Point Guard: Gary Grant
Shooting Guard: Randy Smith
Small Forward: Corey Maggette
Power Forward: Blake Griffin
Center: Bob McAdoo
Bench: Elton Brand (PF), Eric Gordon (SG), Chris Kaman (C), Bob Kauffman (PF/C), Danny Manning (PF/C), Ken Norman (SF/PF), Eric Piatkowski (SG/SF)
Blake Griffin is already good enough to start on this team, which is both an insult to the team as a whole and a compliment to Griffin at the same time.
Point Guard: Chris Paul
Shooting Guard: Dell Curry
Small Forward: Larry Johnson
Power Forward: David West
Center: Jamaal Magloire
Bench: Mugsy Bogues (PG), PJ Brown (PF/C), Baron Davis (PG), Kenny Gattison (PF/C), JR Reid (PF), Marcus Thornton (SG), David Wesley (PG)
Chris Paul would have to stay on top of his game with a bunch of good point guards waiting behind him. The rest of the starting lineup, though, is rather safe.
Point Guard: Jameer Nelson
Shooting Guard: Penny Hardaway
Small Forward: Nick Anderson
Power Forward: Hedo Turkoglu
Center: Dwight Howard
Bench: Darrell Armstrong (PG), Terry Catledge (SF/PF), Pat Garrity (SF/PF), Marcin Gortat (PF/C), JJ Redick (SG/SF), Dennis Scott (SF/PF), Scott Skiles (PG)
While the entire starting lineup is very solid, the bench is quite weak. Redick is a valuable role player for example, but he has no business on a team's all-time 12-man lineup.
Point Guard: Jason Kidd
Shooting Guard: Drazen Petrovic
Small Forward: Richard Jefferson
Power Forward: Buck Williams
Center: Brook Lopez
Bench: Otis Birdsong (PG/SG), Albert King (SG/SF), Kerry Kittles (SG), Bill Melchionni (PG), Brian Taylor (PG), Keith Van Horn (PF), John Williamson (PG)
With Jason Kidd and Drazen Petrovic in their primes, this backcourt would be capable of absolutely lighting up the scoreboards. The frontcourt is a little bit weak though.
Point Guard: Micheal Williams
Shooting Guard: Tony Campbell
Small Forward: Wally Szczerbiak
Power Forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Christian Laettner
Bench: Troy Hudson (PG), Al Jefferson (PF), Kevin Love (PF), Sam Mitchell (SF), Anthony Peeler (SG), Isaiah Rider (SG), David West (SG/SF)
Kevin Garnett is good enough to carry this team even though his supporting cast is not quite as good as the past few teams.
Point Guard: Mark Jackson
Shooting Guard: Reggie Miller
Small Forward: Danny Granger
Power Forward: Jermaine O'Neal
Center: George McGinnis
Bench: Ron Artest (SF), Roger Brown (SG/SF), Mel Daniels (C), Dale Davis (PF), Clark Kellogg (SF/PF), Billy Knight (SG/SF), Chuck Person (SF/PF), Rik Smits (C)
The last of what I would call the lower-tier teams, the Indiana Pacers are solid across the board but by no means great.
Point Guard: Fat Lever
Shooting Guard: David Thompson
Small Forward: Alex English
Power Forward: Antonio McDyess
Center: Dan Issel
Bench: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (PG), Carmelo Anthony (SF), Byron Beck (PF/C), Marcus Camby (PF/C), TR Dunn (SG), Nene Hilario (PF/C), Ralph Simpson (SG/SF)
This team of underrated players (Fat Lever, Alex English, Antonio McDyess, Dan Issel and Nene Hilario all qualify there) is good enough to force Melo to the bench.
Point Guard: Derek Harper
Shooting Guard: Mark Aguirre
Small Forward: Michael Finley
Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki
Center: James Donaldson
Bench: Rolando Blackman (SG), Erik Dampier (C), Brad Davis (PG), Josh Howard (SG/SF), Sam Perkins (PF/C), Jason Terry (SG), Jay Vincent (SF/PF)
It's hard to doubt Dirk Nowitzki after he willed the Dallas Mavericks to a championship. What could he do with an even better team surrounding him?
Point Guard: Steve Nash
Shooting Guard: Walter Davis
Small Forward: Dick Van Arsdale
Power Forward: Shawn Marion
Center: Amar'e Stoudemire
Bench: Alvan Adams (PF/C), Rex Chapman (SG), Connie Hawkins (PF/C), Kevin Johnson (PG), Dan Majerle (SG/SF), Charlie Scott (SG/SF), Paul Westphal (SG)
With Thunder Dan and KJ coming off the bench, this team ushers in a new tier of teams—the ones that can actually compete with almost anyone in this hypothetical league.
Point Guard: Mark Price
Shooting Guard: Austin Carr
Small Forward: LeBron James
Power Forward: John Williams
Center: Brad Daugherty
Bench: Terrell Brandon (PG), Jim Chones (PF/C), World B. Free (PG), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C), Campy Russell (PF), Bingo Smith (SG/SF), Anderson Varejao (PF/C)
This team wins the prize for best collection of names. Who else has a LeBron, World B. Free, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Campy Russell and Bingo Smith?
Point Guard: Sam Cassell
Shooting Guard: Ray Allen
Small Forward: Marques Johnson
Power Forward: Terry Cummings
Center: Andrew Bogut
Bench: Lucius Allen (PG), Bob Dandridge (SG/SF), Sidney Moncrief (SG), Paul Pressey (SG/SF), Michael Redd (SG), Glenn Robinson (SF), Brian Winters (SG/SF)
Ray Allen is as deadly as they come from the three-point line and he'd get a lot of open looks playing with this group.
Point Guard: Terry Porter
Shooting Guard: Geoff Petrie
Small Forward: Clyde Drexler
Power Forward: Maurice Lucas
Center: Bill Walton
Bench: Lionel Hollins (PG/SG), Jerome Kersey (SF/PF), Jim Paxson (SG/SF), Cliff Robinson (PF/C), Brandon Roy (SG), Mychal Thompson (PF/C), Rasheed Wallace (PF/C)
With Clyde the Glide leading the way, this collection of great—but not too great—players could make some serious noise despite the fact that we're only halfway through the rankings.
Point Guard: Gilbert Arenas
Shooting Guard: Jeff Malone
Small Forward: Gus Johnson
Power Forward: Elvin Hayes
Center: Wes Unseld
Bench: Caron Butler (SF), Juwan Howard (PF), Bernard King (SF), Antawn Jamison (SF/PF), Jeff Ruland (PF/C), Rod Strickland (PG), John Wall (PG)
A solid group across the board, we all know that Gilbert Arenas can shoot. At least the rest of the team only has that ability on the court.
Point Guard: Gary Payton
Shooting Guard: Dale Ellis
Small Forward: Kevin Durant
Power Forward: Jack Sikma
Center: Detlef Schrempf
Bench: Fred Brown (PG/SG), Tom Chambers (PF/C), Spencer Haywood (PF/C), Shawn Kemp (PF/C), Rashard Lewis (PF), Russell Westbrook (PG)
Gary Payton is a stud on both ends of the court and Kevin Durant is one of the most talented scorers we've seen in a long time. This team is very very dangerous on both sides of the floor.
Point Guard: John Stockton
Shooting Guard: Pete Maravich
Small Forward: Adrian Dantley
Power Forward: Karl Malone
Center: Mehmet Okur
Bench: Thurl Bailey (PF/C), Mark Eaton (C), Rickey Green (PG), Darrell Griffith (SG), Jeff Hornacek (SG), Andrei Kirilenko (SF/PF), Deron Williams (PG)
Karl Malone and John Stockton were great together without a bunch of stellar players around them. The result when you add in Maravich, Dantley and the rest could be scary.
Point Guard: Tiny Archibald
Shooting Guard: Oscar Robertson
Small Forward: Peja Stojakovic
Power Forward: Chris Webber
Center: Jerry Lucas
Bench: Bob Davies (SG/SF), Wayne Embry (PF/C), Tyreke Evans (PG), Sam Lacey (C), Mitch Richmond (SG), Jack Twyman (SG/SF), Bobby Wanzer (PG)
Don't forget how good Peja Stojakovic was in his prime. This guy wouldn't be too out of place hanging out with the other greats on this team.
Point Guard: Tony Parker
Shooting Guard: George Gervin
Small Forward: Manu Ginobili
Power Forward: Tim Duncan
Center: David Robinson
Bench: Bruce Bowen (SF/PF), Sean Elliott (SF/PF), Avery Johnson (PG), Larry Kenon (PF), Mike Mitchell (SF), James Silas (PG), Alvin Robertson (PG/SG)
With the exception of the Iceman, most of this team already played together and was quite successful. Adding in Gervin just makes them all the better.
Point Guard: Lenny Wilkens
Shooting Guard: Lou Hudson
Small Forward: Dominique Wilkins
Power Forward: Bob Petit
Center: Dikembe Mutombo
Bench: Walt Bellamy (C), John Drew (SG/SF), Cliff Hagan (SG/SF), Joe Johnson (SG/SF), Josh Smith (SF/PF), Steve Smith (SG), Kevin Willis (PF/C)
The defensive ability of this team would be something to marvel at thanks to the overall athleticism. The backcourt here is particularly strong with Walt Bellamy and Josh Smith coming off the bench.
Point Guard: Allen Iverson
Shooting Guard: Hal Greer
Small Forward: Julius Erving
Power Forward: Charles Barkley
Center: Billy Cunningham
Bench: Bobby Jones (PF), Maurice Cheeks (PG), Samuel Dalembert (C), Andre Iguodala (SG/SF), Neil Johnston (C), Red Kerr (PF/C), Chet Walker (SF/PF)
The 76ers bring it up yet another notch with The Answer running the show. If the bench were a bit better (I can't believe I just said that about a bench that includes Maurice Cheeks and Chet Walker!), then this team could be really competitive.
Point Guard: Derrick Rose
Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan
Small Forward: Scottie Pippen
Power Forward: Horace Grant
Center: Artis Gilmore
Bench: Tom Boerwinkle (C), Ben Gordon (PG/SG), Toni Kukoc (PF), Bob Love (SF/PF), Jerry Sloan (SG/SF), Reggie Theus (SG), Norm Van Lier (PG)
While the bench isn't that great to be quite frank, I do not question Michael Jordan's ability to carry a team. This is especially true when Artis Gilmore, Horace Grant, Scottie Pippen and Derrick Rose are playing alongside him.
Point Guard: Calvin Murphy
Shooting Guard: Steve Francis
Small Forward: Tracy McGrady
Power Forward: Moses Malone
Center: Hakeem Olajuwon
Bench: Vernon Maxwell (SG), Yao Ming (C), Cuttino Mobley (SG), Mike Newlin (SG/SF), Ralph Sampson (PF/C), Otis Thorpe (PF/C), Rudy Tomjanovich (SF)
The Dream Shake worked well enough without Moses Malone playing alongside Hakeem Olajuwon. And if either of them get tired, Yao Ming can just get up off the bench and replace them.
Point Guard: Earl Monroe
Shooting Guard: Walt Frazier
Small Forward: Bill Bradley
Power Forward: Willis Reed
Center: Patrick Ewing
Bench: Dick Barnett (SG/SF), Harry Gallatin (PF/C), Richie Guerin (SG), Allan Houston (SG), Dick McGuire (PG), Willie Naulls (PF/C), Charles Oakley (PF/C),
If I had to pick one of these teams to root for, this one would be pretty high up on the list. Earl the Pearl, Walt Frazier and Patrick Ewing would be a pleasure to watch and Harry Gallatin is one of the most underrated players in the history of this league.
Point Guard: Isiah Thomas
Shooting Guard: Joe Dumars
Small Forward: Grant Hill
Power Forward: Dennis Rodman
Center: Bob Lanier
Bench: Chauncey Billups (PG), Dave Bing (SG), Dave DeBusschere (SG/SF), Richard Hamilton (SG/SF), Bill Laimbeer (C), Ben Wallace (PF/C), George Yardley (SG/SF)
Rip Hamilton is the worst player on this team, which is truly amazing. This Detroit bench could form a killer starting lineup for many other teams in these rankings.
Point Guard: Tim Hardaway
Shooting Guard: Paul Arizin
Small Forward: Rick Barry
Power Forward: Nate Thurmond
Center: Wilt Chamberlain
Bench: Joe Fulks (PF/C), Tom Gola (SG/SF), Chris Mullin (SG/SF), Jeff Mullins (SG/SF), Jason Richardson (SG/SF), Guy Rodgers (PG), Latrell Sprewell (SG/SF)
Nate Thurmond and Wilt Chamberlain were once traded for each other, but here they get to play on the same team. Oh, and Rick Barry, Tim Hardaway and Paul Arizin also get to start. How does it get better than this again?
Point Guard: Bob Cousy
Shooting Guard: John Havlicek
Small Forward: Paul Pierce
Power Forward: Larry Bird
Center: Bill Russell
Bench: Dave Cowens (PF/C), Tommy Heinsohn (PF/C), Dennis Johnson (SG/SF), Sam Jones (SG), Kevin McHale (PF/C), Robert Parish (C), Jo Jo White (PG/SG)
Is it any surprise that this team in in the top two? Paul Pierce does belong in the starting lineup of this All-World laden lineup and the rest of the squad isn't too shabby. But in the end, the bench pales in comparison to the final team in the rankings.
Point Guard: Magic Johnson
Shooting Guard: Jerry West
Small Forward: Kobe Bryant
Power Forward: James Worthy
Center: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Bench: Elgin Baylor (SF), Michael Cooper (SG/SF), Derek Fisher (PG), Gail Goodrich (PG), Robert Horry (PF), George Mikan (C), Shaquille O'Neal (C)
Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are all arguably among the top five players of all time. Jerry West may be a top 10, but he's definitely in the top 20. James Worthy kind of stinks in comparison as he's only a top 50 player.
Then on the bench we have Shaquille O'Neal (arguably top 10 but stuck behind Kareem), Elgin Baylor (top 20 but stuck behind Kobe), George Mikan (top 50 but stuck behind Kareem), Gail Goodrich (top 100 but stuck behind Magic). Also on the squad are Michael Cooper and Derek Fisher, great players but not all-time greats.
As for the final roster spot, Robert Horry claims it thanks to his penchant for making big shots. There are better players in Lakers history but he deserves to be on this team for that reason alone.
This lineup isn't even fair.
Adam Fromal is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer. Follow him on Twitter: @Fromal09.