There have been many great players ply their trade in the NBA over the years but who really were the cream of the crop? Here we put together the five names we think make the NBA all-time dream team.
Before we dive into the names, we need to apply a couple of caveats to our selections. First, there will be no shoehorning players into our team. The best player of each position will get in. Secondly, we’re excluding any player still playing.
So who makes the NBA all-time team?
The Point Guard – Magic Johnson
Let’s start out by apologising to Steph Curry who pushed Johnson close. Unfortunately, Johnson just has that sprinkling of Magic – and the trophy cabinet to boot – to give him the edge. Five NBA Championships throughout the Eighties was a mighty impressive run with Johnson named Finals MVP on route to three of them.
On top of that, the Lakers legend also has three season MVP awards to his name along with 12 All-Star appearances, 11 of which came in consecutive seasons.
The Shooting Guard – Michael Jordan
Obviously it’s Michael Jordan. We don’t care what anybody says, MJ is the GOAT and simply has to make the NBA all-time team. He led the Bulls to six NBA titles and was named Finals MVP in every single one of them.
Throw in five MVP awards, 14 All-Star games with 18 years separating the first and last and 10 years of being the NBA’s leading points scorer and the reason he can’t be ignored is blatant. Just think, he achieved all that despite two false retirements.
The Power Forward – Tim Duncan
For a guy who didn’t start playing basketball until late on in his development Tim Duncan didn’t half turn out good. The San Antonio Spurs had plenty of history of doing well at a divisional level but they’d struggled to translate that to success when the going got tough. Duncan transformed that fortune.
He arrived as the first overall pick in 1997. Two years later the NBA finals MVP – the first of a trio of wins – helped the franchise to their first ever NBA crown. A further four triumphs would follow meaning Spurs haven’t won the Championship without Duncan. He was hugely influential on that team; Duncan is a 15 time All-Star, two time MVP and its little surprise he’s in San Antonio now as a coach.
The Small Forward – Larry Bird
We know Bird spent time as a Power Forward too but predominantly he was a SF. His position in our team might come under threat when LeBron James calls it a day but, until then, Bird is the word. Bird spent his entire career with the Celtics and single handed dragged them into title contention. His Rookie of the Year award was just the start.
He made the All-Star game in all but one season; that was only because of surgery keeping him out of all but six games. Three NBA Championships and a hat-trick of MVP awards was probably less than his quality deserved.
The Center – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Who else? If anyone can feel aggrieved that we’ve labelled Jordan the GOAT it is Abdul-Jabbar. He arrived into the NBA from UCLA in 1969 and he instantly looked, not only at home but, a level above most players. His second season saw him defy the NBA betting odds (read more about it here) to fire the Bucks to glory as he was named MVP after leading the scoring charts.
It was just a taste of what was to come. By the time he called it a day some 20 years after his first foray onto the court he had racked up six titles, six MVP wins, 19 All-Star appearances and more NBA points than anybody in history; that’s a record that still stands today.
There you have it, our NBA all-time team. If you think we’ve got anything wrong, then let us know below.
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