When is comes to the NBA, dozens of greats have hit the floor and proven to be the best at their position. This begs the question; who would be inducted within the all-time starting five? Let’s take a look:
At point guard, how can you not go with Earvin “Magic” Johnson? Throughout his career, Magic was one of the best passers we have ever witnessed. In his twelve-year career, the Lakers point guard averaged over 10+ assists in nine of those twelve years. Without the eventual health issues, there is no telling what additional numbers Johnson could have put up.
As an obvious point, the starting shooting guard would have to be Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan. Well known since he hit one of the most clutch shots in NCAA history in 1982, Jordan led UNC over Georgetown with a game-winning jumper. Looking back at his achievements, this was a player who emerged as a 6x NBA champion, 5x NBA MVP, 6x NBA Finals MVP, and 10x NBA scoring champion. If that alone doesn’t tell you that he deserving of a spot, then I don’t know what will.
As for the small forward position, I’m going to give the slight edge to LeBron James over Larry Bird. Based on physical dominance, James seems like the right candidate for the start. Coming out of high school, LeBron is noted as one of the most highly scouted prospects we have ever seen. Glancing at his accomplishments, “King James” is a 3x NBA Champion and Finals MVP, 4x NBA MVP, and 12x NBA All-Star. In addition, James has led his teams to seven straight NBA Finals appearances, and is one of the youngest players to reach 30,000 points at the age of 33. Currently within his fifteenth season, James is averaging 27.9 points per game to go with 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists. When his career is all said and done, LeBron James will go down as one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.
Starting at power forward, I’m rolling with Spurs great Tim Duncan. When talking about Duncan, some attributes that come to mind include loyalty and consistency. Essentially, this is a player who can be compared to the San Antonio Spurs version of Derek Jeter. Involved in 19 seasons in the NBA, Duncan spent all of them with the San Antonio Spurs. In the age of “super teams”, it’s a rarity to see one player spend their entire career with one franchise, and Duncan was able to chase a few rings in the process. Statistically, Duncan averaged 19.3 points per game to go along with 10.9 rebounds per game, all while shooting 50% from the field.
At Center, I’m going to have to go with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Lakers great is easily a top five talent of all-time, and the numbers back it up. Through his career, Abdul-Jabbar averaged 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and shot 55% from the field. How many players have averaged a double-double throughout their whole career? Known as a 6x NBA Champion, 2x Finals MVP, and 19x NBA All-Star, Abdul-Jabbar needs an honorable spot in this hypothetical starting roster.