Over the last week, I’ve read a few interviews with former NBA stars selecting their all time starting five. I’ve disagreed with all of them. For instance, Dr. J didn’t include anyone that played in the 80s or later and Karl Malone left Michael Jordan off his list (obviously still bitter).
Anyway, I decided to go one step further and not only choose a starting five, but my all-time NBA team which means 12 spots total.
I won’t go into detail about each selection because honestly, the names speak for themselves in most instances. It’s not like I included someone like Manute Bol as my center.
PG – Magic Johnson
SG – Michael Jordan
SF – Larry Bird
PF – Kevin Garnett
C – Bill Russell
PG – Oscar Robertson
SG – Jerry West
SF – Elgin Baylor
PF – Tim Duncan
C – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Additional thoughts and expected criticisms:
- Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett could easily be switched between my first and second five. However, I thought Garnett’s intensity and defensive skills fit better with the first unit. Can you imagine trying to penetrate the paint with him and Russell blocking the way?
- No Wilt Chamberlin? No Kobe Bryant? – I agree both players are awesome. However, I feel that both would dominate the ball too much and have shown in the past they can struggle to play with other superstars on their teams. If we were choosing a list of best one on one players, both would make my list.
- No Lebron? – Not yet. He might be the best player in the league now and the one with the most physical tools of all time. However, his commitment to defense has always been sporadic and until last year, he shied away from pressure situations (something he’s doing again in this year’s NBA finals). I need more than one year of him playing with a killer instinct for him to be on my all-time team.
- Scottie Pippen? – Absolutely. The ultimate glue guy and perfect for a team like this. He is also in my opinion, the single best shut down defender to ever play the game.