If I were going to start a basketball team from scratch, I would certainly pick Michael Jordan, I just wouldn’t be fool enough to pick him first. I mean, I’d want to win after all, not just sell sneakers or attract a worldwide audience. And since I wanted to win, I’d do what anybody that wanted to win would do with the first pick for a from-scratch basketball team; I’d take
11-time Champion, Son, in 13 years. That means that he only didn’t chip twice and his last two chips he got as player coach.
Strength(s): Could defend anybody. I mean, he would hold Chamberlain in virtual check when Chamberlain was a 50ppg scorer. Also grabbed anything coming off the boards. And the cast he won his last chip with was entirely different from the cast he won his first one with.
Knock(s): Couldn’t shoot for shit. 44% from the floor for your career? Come on, Bill.
If we were to make this a moment-in-time thing, then there was no better player ever than Magic Johnson at 20 years-old. Just coming off chipping as a college sophomore, he wins the chip his rookie NBA year while playing center because Kareem had gone down. 5 Time Champion, 9 Finals appearances. Do the math.
Strength(s): Before his knee injury in his second season, he also might have been the best NBA athlete ever. Could pass, rebound, and back then, even defend.
Knock(s): Never had a jumper. Even after he worked on it, the best it became was a set-shot. Also, never won without Kareem.
Highest ppg scoring average ever and for the mothafuckas that claim he was a chucker, he shot 50% from the floor, bitch. 6 rings, you know the score. Never lost for the chip. Never lost when the money was on the line.
Strength(s): Could get to the cup against anybody, could guard virtually anybody but the biggest bigs and the smallest smalls. His “old man” game ended up being nearly as deadly as the above-the-rim antics of his youth.
Knock(s): Never won without Scotty. Started feeling himself so much that he quit basketball for a while to look like an idiot on the baseball diamond.
4. Larry Bird
People talk about having an edge and being a “killer” and whatnot and they cite Kobe Bryant but get this straight; Bird was the greatest killer in the history of the NBA. So pissed was he that Magic chipped in their shared rookie season, that Larry Legend made damn sure he got himself a ring the very next year. He ended up getting another 2 also.
Strength(s): No wasted shots, no wasted movements. Didn’t chuck, could pass and could rebound. Could run the floor and had a handle. You were at Larry Bird’s mercy when he had the rock in his hands.
Knocks(s): Defense. Couldn’t stop a new car with his foot on the brakes.
5. Lew Alcindor
And there’s a reason I’m taking him as Alcindor and not as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. By the time he became Abdul-Jabbar, he was a jazz aficionado, a laid back degenerate weirdo and freak. After the ring he copped in Milwaukee, he just happened to chip another 5 times because, after he’d been on the Lakers for a while, they picked up a kid out of Michigan State named Ervin “Magic” Johnson.
Strength(s): The perfect center. Could run, score, defend and rebound. He came out of UCLA seemingly bent on proving he was the best ever.
Knock(s): Wasn’t a self-starter. It can be argued that Oscar Robertson got him his first chip and that Magic got him all the rest.
Who’s YOUR 5?