August 4, 2012

NBA Legends All-Stars: Third Team

#12 John Stockton, PG, Utah Jazz

Here is something I've wanted to do for a long time now, assemble the greatest starting 5 ever with some of the greatest players to ever lace 'em up. Here is my third team.

First Team | Second Team | Third Team | Fourth Team | Fifth Team

Point Guard:
John Stockton
6-1, 175 lbs.
Retirement Age: 41 | Experience: 19 Years

Analysis: Arguably the best pure point guard in NBA history, Stockton leads all players in assists and steals all-time. He even led the league in assists nine straight times. He was also a very good shooter, and could be relied on for crucial buckets.

Now Stockton is another great player without a ring, but don't make too much of that. He would thrive in today's NBA, and I'd still take him over almost any point guard.

Shooting Guard:
Jerry West
6-2, 175 lbs.
Retirement Age: 36 | Experience: 14 Years

Analysis: West is the third best shooting guard in NBA history, and one of the best scorers of all-time. Averaging 27 points per game for his career, West also averaged 7 assists and 6 rebounds for his career, as he was a very good all-around player.

He also had plenty of clutch moments in his career, and was a solid defender. He could easily be ranked in the top 10.

Small Forward:
Elgin Baylor
6-5, 225 lbs.
Retirement Age: 36 | Experience: 13 Years

Analysis: Elgin Baylor is one of the greatest Lakers of All-Time, but usually gets overlooked. It is very unfortunate that he retired just nine games into the 1971 season in which the Lakers won the championship.

Those facts aside, Baylor is arguably a top 10 player on his skills alone. He was an athletic forward with an excellent all-around game. Standing at only 6-5, he actually 20 rebounds per game during the 1960 season, averaging 14 per game for his career.

He doesn't get the credit he deserves as an all-time great, mainly because of his lack of hardware, but Baylor certainly should be in the top 20 on everyone's list.

Power Forward:
Karl Malone
6-9, 265 lbs.
Retirement Age: 40 | Experience: 19 Years

Analysis: "The Mailman" is the Greatest NBA Player to have never won a championship. One of the best power forwards of all-time, Malone was very productive during his 19 year NBA career.

Unfortunately, his teams fell short twice to the Michael Jordan led Bulls, but Malone was still a consistent performer for the Jazz. He's a 2-time NBA MVP, and the second all time leading scorer. Karl Malone would be a unanimous top 10 player with a championship or two.

Hakeem Olajuwon
7-0, 255 lbs.
Retirement Age: 38 | Experience: 18 Years

Analysis: Hakeem "The Dream" is one of the most dominant centers of all-time. He was the best big man of his era, and one of the most talented ever.

Defensively, he was amazing, he was an excellent rebounder, shot-blocker, and defender in general. He also had a complete offensive game, as he was so versatile in being able to score in different ways.

His numbers are certainly impressive, but what may be most impressive is that he managed to win 2 NBA titles without a great supporting cast.