There would probably never be a consensus when picking the all-time best starting five in the NBA. Choosing the best will always bring up heated debates that never settle anything. And it is ungrateful to choose. First of all, you have to determine the criteria; will you judge on behalf of their silverware and awards, will you look at the numbers, or will it be your “artistic impression”?
When you have to determine a starting five, it is often crucial that those players presented superior basketball skills throughout their basketball career. Still, that is sometimes overlooked because careers are typically determined by how many rings a player won.
If finding proper criteria is tough, wait until you come to pick a player from different eras. How would prime MJ and Kobe square up? Would LeBron be as successful playing in the Larry Bird era? Would Shaq be as dominant against Kareem, Wilt, or Russell? These all are legitimate questions that you have to answer in your head before putting down the greatest of all-time list.
Selecting the best squad also means that you have to think about their chemistry on the floor. It wouldn’t be wise to stack five guards or five centers in the mix. There is also a matter of their listed position that determines their role in that team.
George Iceman Gervin hadn’t had such problems on the Knuckleheads podcast. Firstly, he was asked to start, bench, and cut one of these three legends: Dr. J, Oscar Robertson, and Elgin Baylor.
“I don’t know much about Elgin, but Bill Russell told me how he could put it in the hole. We all know Oscar. He’s done things that nobody else hasn’t done. And then talk about Doc. It’s hard for me to pud Doc down, but as a coach, you have to make decisions, so I would put Elgin down. And I would keep Doc and O”, said Gervin, who then picked out his favorite five players.
“Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and LeBron. I would put LeBron and Kevin (Durant), you know, I put them in the same kind of bag. So those are my top guys I think of”, Gervin said.George Gervin, via Knuckleheads Podcast
And there you have it – Iceman’s team sounds pretty good, considering KD would come off the bench for them. Those Magic and Kareem pick and rolls would be deadly, and who could stop MJ, Dr. J., and LeBron after getting the ball? Not bad Iceman, not bad at all.