Skip to main content

User login

The Static Page

December 1, 2010 by Eaglecorps911

By Brian Harris
It’s a pretty safe assumption to make that anyone who has more than a passing interest in sports has put together their all-time favorite team at some point. The premise of picking an all-time team has stirred many an argument between people who are seated on barstools.
From simply picking what you feel are the best players at the position to picking players that who mesh well as a team, there’s different ways to figuring out your all-time team.
The idea for writing this stemmed from my re-reading “The Book of Basketball” by Bill Simmons. As I tore through the 700-page book, I started to feel that I was enough of an educated fan of the NBA to put together a team that not only represents the proverbial “cream of the crop” throughout the league’s history but also a team that would work together in a mostly-cohesive fashion.
I’m sure that when you read this, you will think “Why did he pick so-and-so over that guy” but that question is what makes this so interesting; there is no right answer, it all depends on the different things that you value as a fan. With all that being said, here’s MY all-time NBA starting five:
Center-Shaquille O’Neal
For 20 seasons now, Shaq has treated the paint like Andre The Giant treated people in battle royals. Surprisingly quick and agile for his size, Shaq was not only a threat to snap a glass backboard like a Slim Jim but could also spring a fast break either with a rebound that he simply tore from the air or with a steal. In an era where the center wasn’t nearly as important as it was during the days of Wilt and Dr. J, Shaq tore apart players like Greg Ostertag, Dikembe Mutombo and Todd MacCulloch like a T-Rex and used their carcasses as stepping stones to assert himself as the premier low-post player of the past 20 years.
Power Forward-Tim Duncan
“The Big Fundamental” is without a doubt, the most underrated player of the past several years. How is he left out, year after year, out of any discussion on the best players in the NBA today?
Using both a killer low-post and solid mid-range game, Duncan has built a career regular season average of 21 and 12 and a playoff average of 23 and 12 in addition to four rings, three Finals MVPs, two regular-seasons MVP and NBA rookie of the year in 1997. Simply put, Duncan has done a lot and has gotten about half the respect he deserves.
Small Forward-Larry Bird and Shooting Guard-Michael Jordan.
To be very honest and blunt, there’s simply no reason that I should explain what makes Jordan and Bird the epic players that they were. Both these players were gifted with both out-of-this world talent and a Jack The Ripper-like killer instinct. Jordan is simply the best basketball player who has ever lived and Bird is the most skilled basketball player ever.
Point Guard-Steve Nash.
For this team, a point guard was needed that wasn’t necessarily all that concerned with his own stats but a point guard who could run a high-octane, high-scoring offense and nobody has done that better in the last few years than Steve Nash. Nash is like Bobby Fischer with the way he sees scoring opportunities open up before they do. Plus can you imagine the damage he can do with Bird and MJ on either wing.
So as you see my starting five is built on the premise of Nash using Bird and MJ on the perimeter and having Shaq and Duncan inside to clean up and break down the interior. When it comes to my bench, I feel that it should act as the finishers, the ones who break down a team after the starters smack them around the floor.
My bench is full of people who can turn up the tempo of a game with both offense and defense, therefore breaking the other team’s spirit. Here now are my bench players on my all-time NBA team:
Magic Johnson- You need someone on your bench who can play more than one position, so why not have someone who can play all five. Magic is best known for his epic duels with Bird and running the “Showtime” Lakers. What most people don’t know is that he’s 6’9” and was extremely tough and quick, so much so that he even filled in for Kareem Abdul-Jabaar while he was injured.
Allen Iverson- A.I’s scoring prowess and menacing swagger are legendary. His high-octane game has led him to be recognized as one of the all-time greats and a person who was the catalyst in giving the NBA its hip-hop tinged attitude that you see today.
Bill Russell- 11 titles in 13 seasons, all with one team. Completely defined the art of defensive basketball. His peers both respect and fear him. Made Wilt his b***h. ‘Nuff said.
Scottie Pippen- The Robin to MJ’s Batman. Besides being one of the 50 greatest NBA players ever, Pippen was a great perimeter defender and a monster on the offensive glass.
Kobe Bryant- The closest we’ll probably see to another MJ. You can see the evolution and maturation in his game over the years.
LeBron James- LBJ is the evolutionary Magic. His size, skill and athleticism is freakishly impressive. Like Nash, he sees plays develop before they actually do.
Bill Walton- Before his feet betrayed him, Walton was up in the upper echelon of centers. Walton had a solid mid-range game and NOBODY had better outlet passes.
I’m sure that many people will disagree with some of my picks. Which is a good thing as the arguement is the best part of the whole thing.

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes