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Sunday, September 23, 2018

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Eyes On NBA: The All-Time Starting Lineup

By @KingVaughnJr720


With the NBA Finals behind us, and the NBA season almost here again I would like to present my All-Time Starting Lineup. Recently, CBS Sports also released their list of the 50 Greatest Players of All-Time. In order for this team to be where they need to be, these players need to be the best versions of themselves. I will have my list soon, but for now, here are my Starting Five.

*Point Guard: Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Seasons: 13
Championships: 5
Finals MVPs: 3
MVPs: 3
All-Star MVPs: 2
All-Star Appearances: 12
All-NBA 1st Team: 9
All-NBA 2nd Team: 1
Assists Leader: 4 times



-The quintessential point guard. Magic Johnson is the standard that all point guards are measured by. At 6'9", Magic was a walking mismatch with his size, athleticism, and ball-handling skills to drive to the hoop or dish out a no-look pass. Magic opened up the world of scoring opportunities for his teammates. His IQ was at genius level. If you need someone to control the pace and tempo of the game, Magic is the point guard and leader that you need.

*Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan
Seasons: 15 (1985-1986 and 1995 are counted here)
Championships: 6
Finals MVPs: 6
MVPs: 5
All-Star Appearances: 14
All-Star MVPs: 3
Defensive Player of the Year: 1
All-NBA 1st Team: 10
All-NBA 2nd Team: 1
All-Defensive 1st Team: 9
All-Rookie Team: 1985
Rookie of the Year: 1985
NBA Scoring Titles: 10



-Who else would you choose as your starting two guard? The greatest basketball player that the world has ever seen. Michael Jordan's main assignments would be his greatest strengths: Scoring and Defending. That is the scariest thing to think about considering who he is surrounded by. This team needs players that can change the pace of the game, and Michael can do that in the blink of an eye.

*Small Forward: LeBron James
Seasons: 15 (going into his 16th)
Championships: 3
Finals MVPs: 3
MVPs: 4
All-Star Appearances: 14
All-Star MVPs: 3
All-NBA 1st Teams: 12
All-NBA 2nd Teams: 2
All-Defensive 1st Teams: 5
All-Defensive 2nd Teams: 1
All-Rookie Team: 2004
Rookie of the Year: 2004
Scoring Titles: 1



-If you are looking to build the Prototype for the ultimate basketball player, LeBron James would make a great template to start from. LeBron is lethal as a double threat on both ends of the floor (defensively in his prime at least). If you need someone to put on an onslaught from a scoring standpoint, he can do that. If you need a pivotal playmaker, he can do that as well. If you need someone who can be a threat defensively, in his prime, you can have that as well. This team would have a very interesting dynamic with LeBron at small forward considering you have Magic Johnson, the greatest point guard of all-time feeding you the ball along with Michael Jordan, the most dominant acorer of all-time at the two guard spot. LeBron is also a once in a generation player like everyone else in this starting lineup so he will make his presence known along with his teammates. When you consider his body of work and his consistency, LeBron James has officially taken Larry Bird's crown as the greatest small forward ever.

*Power Forward: Tim Duncan
Seasons: 19
Championships: 5
Finals MVPs: 3
MVPs: 2
All-Star Appearances: 15
All-Star MVPs: 1
All-NBA 1st Teams: 10
All-NBA 2nd Teams: 3
All-NBA 3rd Teams: 2
All-Defensive 1st Teams: 8
All-Defensive 2nd Teams: 7
NBA All-Rookie Team (1998)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1998)



The Big Fundamental. The quintessential power forward of his Era and All-Time. Tim Duncan modeled basketball technique at its finest. Duncan would bring great chemistry in a lineup with personalities larger than life. Tim would create great spacing in the front court as well as a great dynamic with the greatest center of All-Time. Duncan was not known for being flashy, but he was highly effective and efficient. He was a great weapon on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

*Center: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Seasons: 20
Championships: 6
Finals MVPs: 2
MVPs: 6
All-Star Appearances: 19
All-NBA 1st Teams: 10
All-NBA 2nd Teams: 5
All-Defensive 1st Teams: 5
All-Defensive 2nd Teams: 6
All-Rookie Team: 1970
Rookie of the Year: 1970
Scoring Titles: 2



If you wanted to build the perfect center in a lab, this is how he would turn out. When talking about the Greatest Centers of All-Time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a perfect storm. He is the ultimate combination of offensive dominance, solid defense, championships, great individual stats, and achievements. Jabbar had the one of the greatest offensive weapons (Skyhook), he retired as the All-Time leader in Blocks, he is STILL the All-Time scoring leader (38,387) and has the MOST MVP Awards (6). When you have that deadly combination in the paint, that is the ultimate exclamation point that anyone would want on their team. While there is a wide variety of great centers that you could choose from, Kareem has everything that I would want for my All-Time Starting Team.

-Vaughn

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