So in another one of the threads, I called Lebron a truly special player even by HoF standards - a real inner pantheon guy with a very limited number of peers. There was some disagreement based on his limited career (to date), as compared to guys like Jordan who have a career worth of accomplishments at this point. I'm not here to argue that point. It did inspire me to think of the following scenario, though: you and a friend are competing in a fantasy draft against each other. You're putting together a 5 man team consisting of any player in basketball history at his peak. First question - is there any way Lebron isn't in that game? What other players are definite shoo-ins? I'd say Jordan and maybe Wilt. Probably Magic. Not sure about anyone else.
Second (and more interesting thought exercise, I think) - what does your mock draft board look like? Just based on initial thoughts, my board has MJ number one, and after that, a C for sure. So my board (I draft in tiers):
Jerry West/Chris Paul
That's my initial draft board. Now, I'm not saying these are the greatest players in history, or even the best at their peak (though many are, of course), necessarily. I'm trying to put together a team here - guys that complement each other. So someone like Kareem, despite being a better player all-time and at his peak than some of these guys, is out because I don't like how he fits next to Shaq or Wilt (who I WILL have), whereas I do like how Duncan, Hakeem, Garnett and Dirk would fit next to them. Likewise, you'll notice a serious lack of outside shooting on that team, hence Chris Paul, Dirk and Jerry West, whereas I won't even consider Isiah because of his lack of shooting. Depending on who I get I'll alter my picks to try to make sure they fit, and also to match up with your team as you make picks.
Now, the third question. It's not a fantasy draft, you're just putting together the very best squad you can. Who's your 5? Mine is: MJ, Lebron, Larry Legend, Duncan, Wilt. No PG you say? Fine with me, I have two point forwards and Duncan. You play any PG not named Magic and my team will demolish them. I like the mix of defense, team offense and superior physical talent on that team. Needed Larry in there for his shot, and really like having great team players with a huge bball IQ like him. Other guys I considered for the team: Shaq, Dirk, Garnett, Jerry West. Don't think I can get by throwing Magic in there, just not enough shooting. Maybe with Dirk but that's it. Think you have a better 5?
Two ending thoughts...not a single mention of Karl Malone anywhere. What can I say, I'm big into size, no chance I pick him on any of these teams. Second, would love to get some perspective from people who've been watching the NBA longer than myself. Share away!