Friday, 7 October 2011


Our 'Player's Ball' feature takes a look at best players and teams. Today is the all-time best starting line-up.


Sorry Shaq, you may be the daddy but Wilt the stilt towers over you and everyone else to get this position 100% and this is not because of the still untouched, won't be for awhile 100 point game (sorry Kobe). It's not about the legend or the statistical averages he stacked higher than his number of partners. Nobody comes close to screwing with Chamberlain, not even Kareem and his all-time point leading sky-hooks can catch up (sorry 'cap). Bill Russell couldn't even stop him and Wilt could put the D on the Celtic ring bearer too. From Phila to killer Cali' and the Lakers Wilt was all killer and no filler as he took up the whole paint and changed the game to make it his lane. Even with three guys tripling him in the painted area Wilt had the key to it all. He owned it and everyone. Now who else could dominate this position?


Tim Duncan isn't just the quietest, greatest Power Forward in the L right now, he's also the greatest in that position ever. Even Charles Barkley would shout that out. Silence the critics who talk him down as boring. Bored to death more like. This is one purple and gold killer that never donned green and white. Basically speaking this T-Bot gets the job done and his black and silver Spurs clicking on an everytime basis like a machine. His factory of talents have led to victory laps even when the Admiral David Robinson set sail for the last time. Giant Timmy even took his old San An boys to the NBA's best record last season. Duncan over everybody, Amar'e, McHale, whoever. The centre position may have gravitated to the four in the late nighties but that's when the T-Bot took control and made it and the league his own. No one else computes.


No team flies without Bird. This is Larry's legend. The legacy? Well that belongs to the Celtics and this guy brought Boston so much green you could call him Red. The champagne and success was on the hick from the French Lick. He may have not looked like a basketball player but his game translated into one of the greatest. He changed the sport and how it was marketed in the mainstream along with rival/friend Magic Johnson and he showed Earvin and Laker showtime that green-collar Boston hard-work was the real good luck. Bird hit everything from three and from anywhere showing he could hit shots that could land him on the blacktop streets. His greatest quality wasn't his charismatic confidence it was his genuine selflessness. From the 'Lick Flick' lightening, Magic like behind the head passes to the blood, sweat, tears and years he helped assist the Boston Celtics with. He gave his team absolutely everything and that's why he definitely makes ours.


The greatest of all time (and we're talking about sport and not just basketball) of course makes the all-time best scorer. Got Mike? Then you've got your go to scorer who can go toe-to-toe with anybody, offensively or defensively, Shaq or Kobe. Got Mike? Then you've got a defensive stopper, a Knick stopper, a crowd stopper and a revolution starter. Got Mike? Then you've got the greatest competitor who's ever played a game of basketball or monopoly. Got Mike? Then you've got a basketball monopoly and dynasty. Got Mike? Then you've got someone that never gives up and never really retires. Got Mike? Then you've got the air in your building and the man who shakes the foundations from his Nike's. Got Mike? Then you've got sponsorship and a real endorsement. Got Mike? Then you've got the best ever...period. Who else you gonna pick? Sam Bowie?


Now how about some Magic? Who else to share this legendary backcourt with M.J. then M.J. A man who produced thrillers like pop's M.J. With Quincy Jones cool. Remember the time? Earvin 'Magic' Johnson was a pharoahe in this league, at the top of the Lakers pyramid. This no-look wizard won't pass up anything and will unselfishly even play centre if you ask him. Never fear Magic's here. With him your in safe, slight of hands. Without him there's nothing left to pull out your hat, no ace in the hole. There was no showtime without him and no greater competitor for Jordan to beat and truly take the torch off. The greatest player this league has seen not named M.J. with a Jeffrey. Without him Kareem, Bird and the NBA itself would never have been the same. The Basketball was an extension of him, not the other way round and so was the sport. His tricks of the trade changed the game. He's still making major moves in the business world today trying to bring the NFL to Los Angeles, and who else to quarterback this team the the man that brought the NBA to the world?


Your sixth man doesn't need to be your star of stars but in this case he needs to be one in his own right. Your sixth man doesn't have to be a swingman but if he's going to be effective he's got to over a few position. Being the best dunker could help get some points on the board and fans off the 'bored' too. Maybe some style wouldn't hurt either, a 'fro or some high socks. It helps team identity if this guys iconic, or capable of starting a cultural revolution. A sixth man needs to be able to score, D, bang and board like he could start, or why should he play. He needs to make seamless transitions like from the ABA to the NBA. Thank the basketball God's for Julius. Erving is just what the good Dr. J ordered. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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