Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Who Would You Put On Your All-Time Greatest NBA Roster?

Though it seems hard to believe, it has been well over twenty-two years since the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team known as "The Dream Team" first played together. Comprised of professional basketball players from the U.S. for the first time and loaded with future Hall of Famers, the Dream Team trounced each of their opponents while easily winning the gold medal.

With an NBAtv documentary and a book by Jack McCallum telling the story of the '92 squad, there has been much debate about whether another team could ever be assembled that could surpass the '92 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

Although it's always difficult to compare players from different eras since they never had a chance to compete against one another, it is fun to speculate on who the greatest to play the game have been. If I could have an all-time, top-12 NBA roster, I would go with the following players (with mention of their championships won, individual honors and career averages):

  • Michael Jordan (6x NBA Champion, 5x MVP, 14x All-Star, 30 pts, 6 rbs, 5 assts/game)
  • Magic Johnson (5x NBA Champion, 3x MVP, 12x All-Star, 20 pts, 7 rbs, 11 assts/game)
  • Oscar Robertson (1x NBA Champion, 1x MVP, 12x All-Star, 26 pts, 8 rbs, 10 assts/game)
  • Kobe Bryant (5x NBA Champion, 1x MVP, 16x All-Star, 25 pts, 5 rbs, 5 assts/game)
  • Jerry West (1x NBA Champion, 14x All-Star, 27 pts, 6 rbs, 7 assts/game)
  • Larry Bird (3x NBA Champion, 3x MVP, 12x All-Star, 24 pts, 6 rbs, 10 assts/game)
  • Tim Duncan (5x NBA Champion, 2x MVP, 14x All-Star, 20 pts, 11 rbs/game)
  • Julius Erving (3x NBA/ABA Champion, 4x MVP, 16x All-Star, 24 pts, 9 rbs/game)
  • LeBron James (2x NBA Champion, 4x MVP, 10x All-Star, 28 pts, 7 rbs, 7 assts/game)
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6x NBA Champion, 6x MVP, 19x All-Star, 25 pts, 11 rbs/game)
  • Bill Russell (11x NBA Champion, 5x MVP, 12x All-Star, 15 pts, 23 rbs, 4 assts/game)
  • Wilt Chamberlain (2x NBA Champion, 4x MVP, 13x All-Star, 30 pts, 23 rbs, 4 assts/game)
If I had to go with a starting five, I'd pick Magic at the point, Jordan at shooting guard, Dr. J at small forward, Tim Duncan at power forward and Kareem as my center. Between the five of them, there are a total of 20 MVP awards and 25 titles. That would be a tough starting five to beat.

So those are my picks. Who would you place on your greatest team?

For an informative and often humorous look at who some former NBA players would pick on their all-time team, check out this video from 2011 where the NBA on TNT crew makes their selections:

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