Starters: John Stockton, Michael Jordan, Paul Pierce, Willis Reed, Bill Walton
Bench: Mark Price, Sidney Moncrief, Michael Redd, Bobby Jones, Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire, Artis Gilmore
Starting Point Guard: John Stockton (No. 24 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 13.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 10.5 assists
With my back-to-back picks I wanted a point guard and a center. John Stockton seemed like a good fit as the NBA record-holder in assists and steals (No. 2 of all time in steals is my first-round pick). He was also an efficient shooter, which is a skill I focused on.
Plus I dig the short shorts.
Starting Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan (No. 1 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists
This was the only no-doubter of my draft given that I felt almost obliged to pick Michael Jordan. In my opinion, he’s the best player in history. I’ll take 30 points per game with a side of amazing defense, please. Mmm, tasty!
Starting Small Forward: Paul Pierce (No. 49 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 22.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists
Needing a small forward, I took my first current player in Paul Pierce, a guy I personally dislike but I think is actually underrated. He shouldered the load on some supremely crappy Boson Celtics teams, so I’m confident he can take on the primary scorer role on Michael Jordan off-nights.
He’s also developed into a great three-point shooter (which will help spread the floor) and a good defender. Showing that he is a jack of all trades, Pierce will also serve as my player rep to the gang alliance.
Starting Power Forward: Willis Reed (No. 48 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 18.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists
With my next two picks, I needed to fill out my starting lineup. I wanted a strong scoring threat at power forward, so Willis Reed was the best fit. He was an efficient scorer (there’s that word efficient again, get used to it), a great rebounder and a solid defender. In addition, he has been known to play through torn thigh muscles, which is an element I felt my team had been missing.
Starting Center: Bill Walton (No. 25 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists
For my second white dude in two picks, I went with Bill Walton as my starting center. Given assurances that I could assume he would be healthy for the purposes of this exercise, Walton was another great fit. I felt that his versatility (great passer and defender, soft touch around the hoop) would be an asset. And if he does get hurt, I can always sub him in at commentator.
Bench Guard: Mark Price (No. 96 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 15.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists
Continuing to fill out my bench, I went with Mark Price as my backup point guard. As one of the best shooters to ever play (one of five members of the 50-40-90 club), he fills a need as another three-point threat, but more importantly, he gives me a chance to represent my school: Georgia Tech.
Bench Guard: Sidney Moncrief (No. 72 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 15.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists
What better way to start building a bench than with one of the best defenders ever? You know what, let me just let my boy Michael Jordan tell you about Sidney Moncrief: "When you play against Moncrief, you're in for a night of all-around basketball. He'll hound you everywhere you go, both ends of the court. You just expect it." I’ll take Jordan’s word for it.
Also, he averaged close to 16 points per game for his career and scored those points…you guessed it…efficiently. Anyone know a good synonym for efficient?
Bench Guard: Michael Redd (No. 121 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists
In this spot I wanted a guard who could score in bunches, the type of player I could give a couple of shots to a game as a heat check and continue to play if they were feeling it. Thus I went with Michael Redd. He holds the record for the most three-pointers in a quarter (eight), so there’s that.
Bench Forward: Bobby Jones (No. 120 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists
I picked another efficient scorer and great defender in
small forward Bobby Jones. An eight time All-Defensive First Teamer, Jones made his name on that end but also chipped in 11.5 PPG for his NBA career at a 55 percent clip (higher if you include ABA).
Furthermore, Jones’s personality makes him a perfect glue guy. As Julius Erving puts it in Michael Louthian's classic 30 Christian Impact Athletes, “He’s a player who’s totally selfless, who runs like a deer, jumps like a gazelle, plays with his head and heart each night, and then walks away from the court as if nothing happened.”
Bench Forward: Chris Bosh (No. 144 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 20.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists
With the last pick in the draft, I chose as Mr. Irrelevant someone who has recently become accustomed to irrelevancy in Chris Bosh. He also went to Georgia Tech, so now one-sixth of my roster is GT affiliated.
Oh, and I think I failed to mention that he can actually play a little, so if worst comes to worst I won’t have a 13-year-old coming off the bench like another team in this draft.
Bench Forward: Amar'e Stoudemire (No. 73 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 21.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists
Now in possession of a lock-down defender off the bench, I decided to go to the other extreme and get a superb big man scorer in Amar’e Stoudemire. Sure his defense is criticized, but based on his role on this team, I don’t really care. Plus, he hasn’t played on teams that emphasize defense.
A potential John Stockton-Stoudemire pick-and-roll excites me, pairing the short shorts with the goggles.
Bench Center: Artis Gilmore (No. 97 overall)
Career Per-Game Stats: 18.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists
I ended my search for a backup center with Artis Gilmore. He fit my desire for an all-around player in that he could score, rebound and defend (five NBA All-Defensive Teams). But what really drew him to my attention is that he’s the NBA all-time leader in field-goal percentage, which I think is pretty cool (and efficient!).
He also filled a need in that my team did not have any Artis’s prior to this pick.