“If you could make up an ultimate team with the greatest NBA players, past or present, who would be your dream starting five?”
It’s a question that is asked a too often but also a question every basketball fan loves to be asked. The creativity and imaginary capabilities are endless. While some fans teams consist of staple stars, such as Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, others stray against the grain propose legitimate arguments for current stars, such as Steph Curry or Russell Westbrook. Although it is easy to disagree, neither is wrong. This is merely a dream after all.
But what if stitched up the proposal a bit and asked ourselves a little more personal form of the question?
If you could collect a dream team of your favorite NBA players, in the time of your youth, who would be your starting five? [*youth: before turning 18 and becoming an irresponsible adult.]
Now we are getting somewhere in understanding one another.
Do you already have a few extraordinary, colorful names in mind? Are you already exchanging legendary Celtic Larry Bird for another Celtic legend, Paul Pierce? Can you already point out in the stockyard of your friends which one already has pinned bad boys Dennis Rodman and/or Metta World Peace? This question becomes a little interesting once we involve the fun factor and relieve so much emphasis on greatness.
But here we go…
THE STARTING FIVE PRE-2003.
PG: John Stockton, Utah Jazz. Who wear short shorts? He wear short shorts. Stockton made wearing short shorts cool during a time when “the baggier, the better” was the trendiest thing. Not only was he old school in his attire style, but he was also old school in his play. This guy holds the all-time record in assists in NBA history with 15,806 in total. Talk about a team players…
SG: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Orlando Magic. If it wasn’t for Jordan or Grant Hill, Penny would have been considered the coolest NBA player in the 90’s. Hands down. Not only did this guy have a fun name, it was electric to watch him and Magic teammate Shaquille O’Neal face off against Jordan and Bulls.
SF: Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, Portland Trail Blazers. There’s no way I’m walking away this conversation without bringing up my love for the Portland Trail Blazers. Born in the southern Oregon, I grew up a HUGE fan of the only professional team of the state. What was great was that they were also a playoff competitor every year in my young years. A major contributor to their success was this man, No. 22, Clyde Drexler. He was not quite on the same playing level as Air Jordan [honestly who was?] but Drexler certainly gave him a good run for his money.
PF: Larry Johnson, Charlottle Hornets. In the 90s, the Charlotte Hornets were what the Oklahoma City Thunder were in the early 2010s. They weren’t the best team in the NBA, but they had suited three all-star elites and gave every good team a fight to the finish. No NBA team wanted to cross paths with this swarm of players. Larry “Grandmama” Johnson was one of the reasons many feared this hive. Despite his friendly nickname, Larry Johnson was everything but a fun competitor. Notorious for being the rock of the group, Grandmama would put players on the hardwood and make them wish they’d stay. [This dream team wouldn’t be complete without a “Muscle”.]
C: Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets. Now, I must admit. Growing up, I wasn’t too fond of the Houston Rockets. They were a good. Really good. They were also heavy rivals to my favorite team, the Trail Blazers. But Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon was extraordinary. He could put any all-star center into glitch mode. Along with respectable athletic abilities, he was also as humbling of a competitor. No one could speak a foul word on this Rocket legend.