NBA: All-Time Eastern and Western Conference All-Star Dream Teams
Haven't you ever wanted to put the best players in the history of the NBA on the floor for one game?
In this article, I will pick Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams that represent a group of the best players of all time.
For players who represented both the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams, they will only be eligible for the team in which they spent the majority of their career. For example, Jason Kidd would be on the Western Conference Team, as that is the conference he spent the majority of his career.
Each team will have 13 players(5 starters and 8 reserves).
This game would feature matchups that we have all dreamed of including:
Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant
Magic Johnson vs Lebron James
Shaq (in his prime) vs Dwight Howard
Eastern Conference Starting PG: Oscar Roberston
Now, Oscar Roberston was part of the Cincinnati Royals, who were actually part of the NBA's Western Division and the Bucks, who were then part of the Midwest Divison. However, for the sake of this article I am going to include Robertson on the Eastern Conference's squad, as this is the conference his teams would've filtered into today.
Oscar Robertson was a 12x All-Star and the only player in the history of the game to average a triple-double throughout an entire season. The career 25.7 PPG, 9.5 APG, and 7.5 RPG player landed his spot into the NBA's Hall of Fame and onto the position of the starting PG for the Eastern Conference all time team.
Eastern Conference Starting SG: Michael Jordan
The greatest player to ever pick up a basketball lands here as the starting SG for the Eastern Conference.
The 14x All-Star and 6x NBA champion should be no surprise here. The all time NBA leader with 30.1 PPG throughout his career was not only amazing on the offensive front, but he also was a regular on the NBA's All-Defensive Team with eleven career selections.
Eastern Conference Starting Forward: Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley, despite his persisting that he is great golfer, definitely made the right choice to play professional basketball. Despite being a goofball off the court, Barkley became a mentally tough and dedicated player on the court compensating for his 6'6" overweight body. He is truly one of the most unique successful players to ever play in the NBA.
Barkley just barely makes it onto this team, as he slightly played more games in Philadelphia than for Phoenix and Houston. Also, he had his better years of his career while playing for the 76ers.
When you think about it, for a SG sized player to out-rebound players who are 4-6 inches taller than him every night is truly exceptional. The career 54% shooter averaged 22.1 PPG and 11.7 RPG.
Barkley was an 11x NBA All-Star.
Eastern Conference Starting Forward: Larry Bird
Bird was one of the greatest pure shooters of all time, especially for his position. He could hurt you from the post or from the 3-point line. Honestly, Bird could shoot from any spot on the floor, at any angle of release, and you wouldn't be surprised if it found a way to get in the hole.
The 12x All-Star and 3x NBA champion also averaged a double-double throughout his career averaging 24.3 PPG and 10.0 RPG.
Eastern Conference Starting Center: Wilt Chamberlain
There has never been a more dominating player in his era other than Wilt Chamberlain. He was a freak athlete decades ahead of his time physically. The 7-foot-1 center did it all. In one season, he averaged 24.3 points, 23.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game. He might be the greatest individual performer the NBA has ever seen, which easily lands him a spot on this team.
Now, you might be wondering why Wilt is on the Eastern All-Star Team instead of the Western Team. My answer is simply that Chamberlain simply had his better years when he was playing for Philadelphia, rather than when he was playing for the Lakers.
Chamberlain was a 13x All-Star and his career averages were 30.1 PPG and 22.9 RPG.
Eastern Conference Reserve: Isiah Thomas
The point guard of the "Bad Boys" Pistons earns the first reserve spot for the Eastern Squad. The 2x champion and 12x All-Star was known for his flash on and off the court. One of the quickest PGs ever was also known for his excellent passing ability.
The 2000 Hall of Fame Inductee averaged 19.2 PPG and 9.3 APG is the Detroit Pistons all-time leader in points, assists, steals, and games played.
Eastern Conference Reserve: Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson, pound for pound, was one of the toughest player to ever play the sport of basketball. Iverson won four scoring titles and had a career average of 26.7 PPG. Iverson's scoring ability was unlike any other player to play SG. At only 6', Iverson relied on his speed and dazzling ball-handling abilities to get him to score.
The 11x All-Star would provide instant scoring to the Eastern squad.
Eastern Conference Reserve: Lebron James
Lebron James is an absolute beast. With one of the most gifted bodies the NBA has ever seen, Lebron has quickly jumped into the position as the best player in the NBA. James is still only 26 years old, and he will most likely be the best player in the NBA for years to come. He has the body of Karl Malone and the passing ability of Magic Johnson, which has created countless defensive mismatches in the NBA. No player in the NBA can really shut down Lebron James, rather, they just try to slow him down as much as possible.
The 7x All-Star will be around for quite a long time to come, and he could plant himself as one of the best players of all-time if he can win a few rings.
Eastern Conference Reserve: Julius Erving
Before Michael, there was Dr. J. His afro dazzled crowds when he would perform his signature cradle dunk in transition, or his beautiful finger roll. His aerial moves made him one of the most exciting players to ever watch, and in his prime would've been a welcome addition to this All-Star team.
The NBA champion and 11x All-Star was also a very fundamentally sound player, using his post game and jump-shot to create a strong offensive force that other teams feared.
Erving's career averages were 24.2 PPG and 8.5 RPG.
Eastern Conference Reserve: Kevin McHale
Kevin McHale redefined the post game. He mastered almost every move possible in the post, making it nearly impossible for opposing defenders to try and stop him. The sidekick to Larry Bird provided an offensive and strong defensive spark to help the Celtics to three championships in the 80's.
Averaging 17.9 PPG and 7.3 RPG throughout his career, this 7x All-Star locks up one of the reserve spots. He would provide an outstanding post threat to the Eastern squad, against a very deep and big frontcourt from the Western All-Stars.
Eastern Conference Reserve: Bill Russell
The 6-foot-11 center was the most physically dominating player of his time. It seemed at times that he was truly a man playing against children. One of the greatest players of all-time could've easily been a starter for the Eastern squad, but in this game, he will equally share minutes with Wilt Chamberlain. The man won 11 championships in the 13 seasons he played in.
He was not the greatest offensive player, but what he lacked on offense was greatly accounted for on the defensive front. Although blocks were not an official stat in the NBA during his era, journalists would say that he would average 6-8 blocks per game. He is the greatest shot-blocker in the history of the game.
Also, he might be the greatest rebounder of all-time averaging 22.5 RPG throughout his career.
Eastern Conference Reserve: Dominique Wilkins
Now, we must remember that this is an All-Star game, and part of the draw to the game is that you will always see exciting plays. Dominique "Human Highlight Film" Wilkins is the perfect player to provide that extra spark to this game. The prolific scorer is often overshadowed by other more successful players who won more championships than Wilkins, but this guy could flat-out score.
This 9x All-Star would unleash his full arsenal of post moves, mid-range jump shots, and powerful slams to put fear in the minds of his opponents. He was a clear fan favorite in Atlanta, for his signature windmill dunk, which would definitely be shown in this hypothetical game.
Dominique Wilkins averaged 24.8 PPG and 6.7 RPG throughout his career.
Eastern Conference Reserve: Dwight Howard
I would find it quite interesting to see Dwight Howard play against the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. It would be matching up the three most dominant players of their era, and letting them go one on one against each other. Dwight Howard might have a lot more muscle on Chamberlain and Russell, but those two players had better post moves than Dwight.
Dwight is still only 25 years old, but this already 5x All-Star is making quite a name for himself, and if he gets paired up with a better team, the results could be quite dangerous for the rest of the teams in the league. Dwight is easily one of the best three players in the game, but I could definitely say he is the most irreplaceable player in the league. There is no one else in the league who can do what Dwight does.
Dwight's career averages are 18.2 PPG and 12.8 RPG and they continue to improve year after year.
Eastern Conference Honorable Mention List
Honorable mentions in case of injuries:
Bob Cousy, PG
Derrick Rose, PG
Dwyane Wade, SG
George Gervin, SG
Scottie Pippen, SF
Patrick Ewing, PF/C
Moses Malone, C
Western Conference PG: John Stockton
The all-time NBA leader in both steals and assists, He was your prototypical PG. Stockton was deadly off the pick-and-roll, by always making the right decisions and delivering a perfect pass. He has the ideal court vision and ball-handling abilities that every PG today would die for. It's a shame that this team player never won an NBA title.
The 10x All-Star averaged 13.1 PPG and 10.5 APG throughout his career.
Western Conference Starting SG: Kobe Bryant
Well Earth, you finally get your Kobe vs Michael match-up.
The clear 2nd best shooting guard in NBA history, Kobe is the closest thing this generation has ever seen to Michael Jordan. He has Michael's athleticism and his will to win. He is the master of creating his own shot, and even if you give him the slightest bit of room to get the shot off, he'll make it and then wink at you as he's running back on defense.
This 13x All-Star and 5x NBA Champion has averaged 25.3 PPG in his career, and he will be a future Hall of Famer.
Western Conference Starting Forward: Magic Johnson
For the sake of this list, I'm going to put Magic as a forward, even though he would have a lot of the PG responsibilities for this team.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson is the most versatile player in NBA history. He not only could play every position, but he also dominated every position. The 6-foot-8 PG is one of the top 5 players in league history. He would thrive in this fast-paced game today, as he was the best player in history when in transition. He had the speed, court vision, and finishing capabilities that made him nearly unstoppable.
In a match up of Magic Johnson vs Oscar Robertson, the crowd would be constantly cheering as these are two of the greatest play-makers this sport has ever seen. I wouldn't be able to count the number of alley-oops and no-look passes between the two of them.
In Magic's short career, this 12x All-Star and 5x NBA champion averaged 19.5 PPG, 11.2 APG, and 7.2 RPG.
Western Conference Starting Forward: Tim Duncan
Quite possibly the most boring player in NBA history, but there is no doubt that he is an excellent player. There were definitely better scorers and rebounders at this position, but no one did it all as well as Tim Duncan. His body of work includes four NBA championships, nine All-NBA first teams, eight All-Defensive First teams, and three NBA Finals MVPs. There was nothing exciting about it, but Tim Duncan did whatever it took for his team to win.
This 13x NBA All-Star has averaged 20.6 PPG and 11.4 RPG throughout his career.
Western Conference Starting Center: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
With the combination of Bill Russell's knowledge and Wilt Chamberlain's athleticism, they combine to form the game of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He's the all-time NBA leading scorer with 38,387 points, was named to the All-NBA Defensive team 11 times, and is the only modern era player to lead the league at least once in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, minutes played, field-goal percentage and PER.
The man could do it all, and he had the most dominant and unstoppable shot in league history-the sky hook. With his length and consistency, he became the most dominant center over the span of 20 years.
With a an all-time league best 19 All-Star selections, Kareem averaged 24.6 PPG and 11.2 RPG on an outstanding career 56% FG% in his career.
Western Conference Reserve: Jason Kidd
To be honest, it was kind of a toss-up between Steve Nash and Jason Kidd in this position. I would love to give both players a spot, but the Western squad has a very deep frontcourt and I tried to get as many of them in as I could. So, I went with Jason Kidd here because he has an NBA championship and Steve Nash does not.
Jason Kidd is second all-time in assists and third all-time in steals. Jason Kidd is not the greatest scorer, but he will find a way to beat his opponent in so many different ways.
With six All-NBA selections, nine All-Defensive Team selections, and ten All-Star selections, Jason Kidd has built quite a career.
Kidd has averaged 13.2 PPG and 9.1 APG in his career.
Western Conference Reserve: Jerry West
With nicknames like "The Logo" and "Mr. Clutch", it was an easy choice putting Jerry West on this list.
West was a great combo guard because he could do a lot with the ball in his hands. He had the basketball IQ to lead the offense, the speed to blow by defenders, and the consistency to hit the mid-range jump shot.
Jerry West retired as the all-time leader in playoff points scored, but was soon passed up by five others such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. If this game were to come down to the wire, West would be on my short list to have the ball in his hands for the last play.
Jerry West averaged 27.0 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game on his way towards becoming a 12x All-Star and NBA champion.
Western Conference Reserve: Elgin Baylor
Elgin Baylor might not be a name you are familiar with, but he is definitely worthy of a spot on this team.
Baylor was an undersized forward, coming into the NBA as a 6-foot-5 player. However, he began to work around his height with moves like his signature running bank shot, which he could easily get the shot off over taller players.
Elgin became an 11x NBA All-Star, but he never could win a ring during the Celtics dynasty in the 60's. His Hall of Fame career was headlined by his 27.4 PPG and 13.5 RPG averages throughout his career.
Western Conference Reserve: Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett is the most intense and passionate player this generation has ever seen in the NBA. Garnett had one of the most complete post games in NBA history, simply because he could do it all. He had an impossible jumper to block and he was an excellent passer from the post. He was also an excellent defensive player, grabbing every rebound he could and physically dominating his opponents.
His career achievements include being a 14x All-Star, 11x NBA All-Defensive Team, MVP, and NBA champion. His career averages as of now are 19.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game.
Western Conference Reserve: Karl Malone
Karl "The Mailman" Malone may have had the best built NBA body in NBA history until Lebron James came into the league. The 6-foot-9, 250 pound power forward was the definition of power basketball in the 80's and 90's. Not only did he have an excellent post game, but he was also the pick-and-roll master along with John Stockton.
The only achievement this 14x All-Star, 11x All-NBA First Team selection, 4x NBA Defensive Team, and 2x MVP player didn't receive was a championship trophy.
Karl Malone averaged 25.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in his career.
Western Conference Reserve: Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is the best NBA player to ever come from Europe. At 7 feet tall, Dirk might also the greatest shooting big-man to ever play this game, other than possibly Larry Bird. His fade-away jump shot is simply impossible to guard, as you can see here.
Dirk is certainly not the quickest player, but a few years ago he learned new post moves, rather than relying only on his excellent jump shot. As you can see from his rejuvenated offensive approach, the results led him to his first NBA championship.
The 10x All-Star and 9x NBA First and Second Team selection has averaged 23.0 PPG and 8.4 RPG while also shooting a career 38% from the 3-point line.
Western Conference Reserve: Shaquille O'Neal
Shaq once proclaimed himself the most dominant player in NBA history, and he's not too far off from reality here. Other than Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell in their time periods, their wasn't a more physically dominating player than Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq has broken the backboard on numerous occasions, and I can only count on one hand other people who have done that.
Arguably the best post-scorer ever, Shaq was huge, yet quick on his feet. With a 60% career FG%, Shaq ranks 2nd all-time. He also ranks third all-time in player efficiency, only behind Michael Jordan and Lebron James.
O'Neal's accolades include four NBA championships, 15 All-Star selections, 2x NBA scoring champion, and 8 All-NBA First Team selections.
His career averages were 24.6 PPG and 11.2 RPG.
Western Conference Reserve: Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon had both the quickness and strength to become one of the best two-way players the NBA has ever seen. With one of the most graceful moves the NBA has ever seen, the Dream Shake-Olajuwon dazzled opponents and crowds with his quick pivot movements and pump-fakes.
You can see Hakeem in the record books as he is the all time leader in blocks, top ten in scoring, top ten in steals, and 11th in rebounds.
The 12x NBA All-Star and 2x NBA champion averaged 21.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, and 3.1 BPG in his career.
Western Conference Honorable Mention List
Steve Nash, PG
Chris Paul, PG
Clyde Drexler, SG
James Worthy, SF
Kevin Durant, SF
Bill Walton, C
David Robinson, C