5 Starters 7 Reserves
gotta have Rodman in there, best rebounder in memory
I’m going to cheat and try Russell at the 4:
This is harder than I thought. I’m not really sure what to do with the players I haven’t really watched. Also, I’m getting hung up on choosing the best team versus the most talented team or combination. For example, I might consider guards like Joe Dumars or Dennis Johnson for their defense and versatility or someone like Dennis Rodman for role playing. Oh what the heck. Off the top of my head:
G Magic Johnson
G Michael Jordan
F Larry Bird
F Kevin McHale
C Kareem Abdul Jabbar
I tried to stick with players that I saw play. I also considered two other factors: defense and passing—along with the latter the notion that these players could play together and not get in each others way. With the exception of Kobe, I think all of these players are either good or great passers and they’re unselfish. he asterik by Kobe indicates my hesitation because I’m not sure he could gel with the other players or if he would break up the chemistry. But he can play two positions, defend, rebound and provides a great deep threat.
I liked Dumars because I’m thinking he could lock down a speedy point guard. Scottie could handle the opposing team’s 3. Kareem could provide you with offense of course, but if you need someone more physical, you got Shaq. McHale or Duncan could fill in for center, if you needed that. (If I could play Olajuwon at the four I might consider that, but his passing is just OK.)
I’d kinda like to have a better back-up 1. DJ and Dumars can play the one, but they’re not great at it, imo. (I thought of Isiah Thomas, who would be great as a one; plus, he can d up when he wants and he’d be really fun to watch in transition.)
The thought of playing Dumars, Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Shaq at the same time would be sick—at least in terms of defense. The other team wouldn’t score!
I like the moving Russell to the 4.
I’d like to put Rodman on the team, too, but I can’t choose him over—McHale or Duncan. Actually, I could probably just one of them, and just take Rodman.
I’ll go with :
ie : 95-96 Bulls
I’m not sure that’s the best Bulls team. On paper, one would say they’re the best, but in terms of execution, I’m not sure. (I didn’t see them play enough to say with any confidence. My impression is that, as time went on, they didn’t excecute as well, particularly on offense—not that it matter much given the competition.)
Yeah, I saw nearly every game those teams in the ’90s played, and the teams from the first three-peat were superior offensively to those from the second, although the second was a little bit better defensively overall.
You have to also look at the competition. The first earlier team seemed to play tougher teams.
Be that as it may…that is my pick…“my all-time dream team”.
The 1995-96 (72-10) Bulls are considered by many (fans and media alike) as the greatest NBA team of all time, much like the fabled 1927 Yankees and the 1970 Brazil national team…but I base my choice not on anything I’ve read (god forbid), but on having watched those great 90’s teams.
I’m going to cheat a bit too and move Wilt to forward:
C Bill Russell
F Wilt Chamberlain
F Larry Bird
G Michael Jordan
G Magic Johnson
Love the Maravich pick, by the way, Muleyhaven.
^He would at least make the team fun to watch. :)
Comments on other players:
Julius Erving is my all-time favorite sports athletes (heroes). I started playing basketball because of him, and I always wanted to play with the same grace and class because of his example. Still, I think his greatness has diminished a bit for me—primarily because I don’t think he’d be so successful if he played in today’s game.
I like the Moses Malone pick, but what prevented me from picking him up was his passing—not that he was necessarily a “bad” passer—but he often wouldn’t pass (i.e., when doubled or triple teamed). Still, he was effective, but I prefer a guy who would pass in those situations.
I think Charles Barkley is a great player, but he’s a tweener, and you’d have to accomodate his game (which isn’t such a bad thing).
I’m not Karl Malone fan.
“primarily because I don’t think he’d be so successful if he played in today’s game.”
Heresy! Outside of Lebron and maybe Durant, what SF can handle him?
“I’m not Karl Malone fan.”
I like Malone, my problem with taking Malone for my own team was that he needs a particular type of point guard to be really effective, so I felt if I was taking Malone I needed to take Stockton as well. I have to take Robertson and Magic above Stockton, so I couldn’t justify a third point guard on the roster.
“I think Charles Barkley is a great player, but he’s a tweener, and you’d have to accomodate his game (which isn’t such a bad thing).”
My thinking on Barkley is that he’s a Swiss Army knife. He does a lot of things well and he was very efficient offensively.
Moses was such a dominant rebounder (even against the other great centers of his era) that he was hard to pass up.
heh. First of all, let me say that I take no pleasure in taking this position. Doc’s perimeter game wasn’t very solid (at least not be today’s standards), and I’m not sure his moves and quickness would allow him to get to the hoop as effectively as he did in the past. Perhaps we could say that his athleticism is comparable to MJ’s, VC’s, etc., but he didn’t have the type of moves or pull up jumper that many of them have now. At 6’ 6", I’m not sure how effective he’d be at the 3 spot.
Are you thinking, he’s got to play the pick-and-roll to be effective? Magic could run that pick-and-roll fairly well, so maybe you’re thinking of something else. Are you thinking in terms of penetration?
Do you think Robertson is a true 1? (I have no idea as I haven’t seen him play.)
I agree with all this, and on offense, since you can build the offense around other players, he really isn’t an inconvenience. (Just let him go for the offensive rebounds.) But on the defensive end, I’m not sure about putting him with on the other team’s 4. He played against McHale and other fours, so he must have been able to do that, but I just feel like you might have to make adjustments for him (which, I guess you could do on this team).
No argument there. (He could probably play at the 4 spot, too.)
“Magic could run that pick-and-roll fairly well”
He was adequate+, but not great enough to make me take Malone rather than, say, Barkley or Duncan, who were more versatile offensively (I’m giving up a bit defensively with Barkley, but I feel like Barkley being able to work himself into the offensive flow of whoever else is on the court offsets this).
“Do you think Robertson is a true 1?”
Yup. Again there’s a bit of an accounting to be made for the difference in era, but Robertson could do everything Magic could do and was a better shooter.
I’m willing to bet that Oscar was probably the superior defender as well.
He was adequate+, but not great…
But you have to remember Magic never had someone like Malone to run it with. In any event, even if they could run the pick-and-roll well, that wouldn’t be enough for me to choose Malone, either.
Even you go strictly by statistics that would seem true. But Magic had the mindset of a 1 and his passing was on another level. (I’m thinking of court awareness and ability to thread the needle.) We talked about Reggie Theus, and he got some assists. MJ played the 1 and also got assists. But those two guys aren’t point guards—not because of skill level so much as the mindset and spirit of a 1. With the Big O, I wonder if he had that mindset and spirit—and that same passing ability as Magic.
Robertson seemed to have a better pull-up or turnaround jumper, but what about his range. At some point, Magic became a very effective 3-point shooter. (It wasn’t pretty, though.)
At some point, Magic became a very effective 3-point shooter. (It wasn’t pretty, though.)
I don’t think this is true. Magic was a career 30.3% 3-point shooter. He became better in the latter part of his career, but barely making 30% as a point guard is actually quite substandard at the NBA level.
I’d grant that Magic was probably a more willing and able passer than Oscar though. But that doesn’t mean that Oscar wasn’t a natural one because he was a natural one and played that position all his career. Michael never really played the one. He had the ball in clutch situations, but that wasn’t really him running the offense as a point guard. It was just a matter of the best offensive player of all time naturally handling the ball and making decisions in the clutch. If anything, Scottie played more of a point forward than Michael playing point guard.
“but what about his range. At some point, Magic became a very effective 3-point shooter. (It wasn’t pretty, though.)”
Hard to say for sure because Robertson was well before the 3-point era, so there wasn’t as much motivation to shoot from the perimeter, my feeling is that he would have been a pretty good long range shooter as well, but it’s hard to substantiate that not having seen a ton of tape of him.Great fade away jumper (generally credited as the “inventor” of it, too), though, and an outstanding pump fake.
I’m willing to bet that Oscar was probably the superior defender as well.
Based on what, though?
He became better in the latter part of his career, but barely making 30% as a point guard is actually quite substandard at the NBA level.
Yeah, he wasn’t a great shooter in the early part of his career, so I guess it depends on which Magic we’re talking about. I guess I’m assuming we’re talking about the players at their prime.
But that doesn’t mean that Oscar wasn’t a natural one because he was a natural one and played that position all his career.
Well, imo, just because you play the 1 that doesn’t mean you’re a 1—or at least not a good one. Didn’t Marbury play the 1? He wasn’t a 1 in my opinion—not in terms of the mentality.
He had the ball in clutch situations, but that wasn’t really him running the offense as a point guard.
That’s not what I’m thinking about. I’m thinking of the time that Doug Collins moved Jordan to the 1 position. It was a short-lived experiment, though. (But if I recall correctly, he was getting a little more assists.)
my feeling is that he would have been a pretty good long range shooter as well, but it’s hard to substantiate that not having seen a ton of tape of him.
Right—especially with guys who are great at the medium range j off the trouble. Some of those guys don’t turn out to be great 3-point shooters. Rip Hamilton is sort of like this (although he improved at the 3). There’s another player that comes to mind, but his name escapes me. He played for Houston, Phoenix and the Kings (when they were at KC, I think). He had a great medium range jumper, especially off the screens. The guy was a machine. But he couldn’t really shoot the 3.
Great fade away jumper (generally credited as the “inventor” of it, too), though, and an outstanding pump fake.
Based on the footage, I agree. It reminds me of Jordan and Kobe.
Oh, and my team would be…
C Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
PF Tim Duncan
SF Larry Bird
SG Michael Jordan
PG Oscar Roberson
Tough leaving out Hakeem, Pippen, Moses, Elgin Baylor, Isaiah Thomas… but this has to be the list. Hakeem was fortunate to get two rings, Shaq was a bit unlucky in getting only 4, even though his work ethic or lack thereof was mainly what prevented him from getting at least six.
I know a thing or 2 about ball, here we go:
PG: Bob Cousy
SG: Michael jordan
G- Magic Johnson
G- Michael Jordan
F- Larry Bird
F- Bill Russell
C- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
BN- Oscar Robertson
BN- James Worthy
BN- Moses Malone
BN- Reggie Miller
BN- Bill Walton
BN- Kobe Bryant
BN- Tim Duncan
Honorable mentions: Elgin Baylor, Hakeem Olajuwan, Shaq, John Stockton, Jerry West… Kinda hard.
Some of those guys don’t turn out to be great 3-point shooters. Rip Hamilton is sort of like this (although he improved at the 3).
With all due respect, I think you’re basing a lot of your observations on subjective interpretation than the actual objective data. If you’re going to say that Magic became a very effective 3-point shooter, (which really isn’t quite true. He improved, but he was never a good 3-point shooter at any point in his career), Rip is positively Ray Allen-esque.
Rip is a career 34.7% shooter from the 3-point range, which is like night and day compared to Magic’s 30.3%. In 05-06, Rip shot 45.8% while playing 80 games. He made 44% of his treys in 07-08 while playing 72 games. These are gaudy numbers. In his 12-year career, Rip has shot better than 35% from the 3-point line 6 seasons. In 13 seasons, Magic shot better than 35% only TWICE. 38.4% in 89-90 while playing 79 games. Then he shot 37.9% in 95-96—his comeback season—while playing only 32 games and starting just nine of those. Those are what a statistician would consider “outliers”. In fact, Magic shot less then 20% from the 3-point line in four of his 13 seasons, which is really atrocious for a point guard. He became an adequate 3-point shooter later in his career, but saying he was very effective 3-point shooter is not supported by any numbers but only by selective memory.
Come on, Jazz, now. I know that none of us here really got the chance to watch Oscar in action, but from everything that’s been said about Oscar by his peers and writers and the available footage and the gaudy stats, how can you even suggest that Oscar may not have been an effective one? He averaged 9.5 assists in a 14-year career and ranks 5th in all-time assists and ranks behind Magic who ranks 4th in all-time assists! Let’s not insult the guy by mentioning Stephon Marbury in the same paragraph!
Now I don’t have any stats to back up my guess that Oscar may have been the superior defender, but I think there are compelling reasons to make that case. Magic, by his own admission and according to his peers, was considered a below-average defender. Oscar was more athletic than Magic and was probably more of a hustle player as well, considering that he averaged 7.5 rebounds at 6’ 5" whereas Magic averaged 7.2 at 6’9". But you’re right, it’s only a guess after all.
“Let’s not insult the guy by mentioning Stephon Marbury in the same paragraph!”
Precisely what I was gonna say… It’s “The Big O”, the only other person that I’ll tolerate with that nickname next to Roy Orbison. Back off Obama.
Starbury is a footnote in NBA history, and will be remembered only for being one of the biggest prima donna’s ever.
With all due respect, I think you’re basing a lot of your observations on subjective interpretation than the actual objective data.
Yes, it is subjective interpretation, and let me freely admit that it might not be reliable. I’m going by memory and my “eyes.” (Add to that, I haven’t watched a ton of Rip Hamilton—mostly playoff games or highlights. So I don’t put much stock in my own opinion about Magic vs. Rip. I’ve also said that I didn’t think Magic was a great shooter in the early part of his career, but became a solid three point shooter in the later part of his career. Let me put it this way: you couldn’t just give him open looks out there. He could hurt you.
Btw, if I recall correctly, Jordan wasn’t a great perimeter shooter early in his career. He became a lot better one, including improving his range later on. When we talk about Jordan’s shooting, I’m assuming we’re talking about the Jordan who had better range. And that’s the same way I’m looking at Magic.
…how can you even suggest that Oscar may not have been an effective one?
Because I just don’t look at stats. The way I’m thinking about a 1 isn’t just a guy who gets a lot of assists. I’m thinking of a 1 in terms of a certain mentality. Some players play the 1 position and function as a 1, but aren’t really true point guards, imo. Not sure if that makes sense or not, but that’s sort of what I’m going by. I haven’t seen Robertson play, so I, personally, can’t answer this question or not, not with any confidence anyway.
And I’m not saying Marbury is on the same level as Robertson. My point is that just because a player plays the point guard position, that doesn’t make you a true point guard. AI played the 1, too, but he never really was a true point guard, imo—and it had more to do with a way of thinking. (Imo, AI is a tweener, who, was able to convert to a 2. And I give credit to Larry Brown for making that move. I also give credit to AI for learning to move without that ball and shoot and play off the catch.)
If we’re just going to look at stats, then I guess you can ignore my comments, because my opinions are based heavily on what I’ve seen.
Sure, Jazz, there are combo guards out there playing point, but Robertson was not that . . . along with Cousy it was Robertson who defined the modern NBA point guard (should mention some lesser-knowns like Slater Martin too, though).
Magic Johnson was 6’9 and between 215 and 250 lbs during his career, not quite standard PG size, but he’s considered by many (even here) to be the greatest PG to ever play the game… do you consider him a 1 Jazz? I’ve seen The Big O play before, and I’ve seen him run an offense… I just can’ see what point you could possibly be trying to make…
Sure, Jazz, there are combo guards out there playing point, but Robertson was not that . .
Based on the highlights, Cousy really did seem like a true point guard—and a very good one at that (My impression is that he was ahead of his time.)
Magic Johnson is definitely a 1. Size and height have nothing to do with what I’m talking about. It’s a mindset and maybe even a “spirit.” Here’s another way to look at it: at the other end of the spectrum is the “shooter’s mentality.” These players love to shoot and have a more self-centered mindset. The mindset of the 1 is the opposite. They’re thinking about the other players, and not how they can score a basket. Point guards focus on everyone else—trying to get the whole team to execute as well as trying to set up individuals to score. The former is important because some guards know how to drive and dish, and they don’t mind doing this, but a true point guard also thinks about all the players and the offensive execution. They’re thinking about the ball movement and the flow of the ball and the way players are moving (at least the really good ones think this way). “Thinking” may not be emphatic enough. They’re focused on these things—and sometimes their scoring and shooting suffers because of this. (Doug Gottlieb was a really extreme example of this.) Pass first, shoot second—and they’re comfortable with this, maybe even prefer it. Most players like to score, but the point guards I’m thinking of don’t think that way.
Now, you add to this really good court awareness, vision and passing ability—and then you’ve probably got a really good point guard. (Btw, Bird is one of the only players that I think had both the killer instinct/scorer’s mentality and this mentality of the point guard. He wasn’t a 1 per se, but when I watch him play he had the awareness and passing ability of a great 1. That’s my opinion, anyway.)