All-Time NBA Mega-Draft: Rounds One and Two

Who doesn’t love a good draft?

Draft beer, the NBA Draft, the movie Draft Day, conscription; ok maybe not the last one, but drafts (for the most part) are fun. Everyone has a good time, the people getting drafted (again non-military) get to usually fulfill a lifelong dream while the people drafting are having fun, joy, and merriment (or going fast if you’re racing). In sports the draft is the beginning of a career and the best way to make you team better. In everyday life, people use drafts all of the time. Friends get together for a fantasy football draft, podcasters may have a friendly movie draft, or parents have a kid draft (you don’t want to be last in that one), but for the most part these hypothetical “just for fun” drafts are short and unfinished. Let’s change that.

Most previous All time NBA lists or drafts are capped at 100 players. “The top 100 players in NBA history”, “Re-drafting the first round of the 1984 NBA Draft”, “one player every team should draft”, and so on. It’s usually a fun exercise but I’m usually left wanting more. who is the 121st best player ever? So we decided to take all 30 current NBA teams and using a snake-draft format, draft a full 15-man roster for each team. If you can do math at home that’s 450 players in total plus a head coach for each franchise. If your immediate reaction is ” I can’t even think of 450 NBA players”, well neither can I so that’s not an excuse to sit this one out.

This whole exercise started out as a podcast which you can listen to here for even more expert analysis and insight on each pick. The reason this also turned into a blog is because I thought it would be easier for the listeners to keep track of all of the picks if I write them down because god knows we could hardly keep track of them ourselves.

The rules of the game were fairly simple. We took all 30 current NBA franchises and put them into a randomizer to get the draft order. We flipped a coin to see who would get the first pick (me) and then alternated teams between the two of us. When it came to drafting players there were no rules. If you wanted to take Stephon Marbury first, then you’re an idiot and kind of ruined the project, but no one is going to stop you. You could construct a team anyway you saw fit. All-point guards, only Europeans, every player from the 1992 Timberwolves, whatever you wanted to do was legal. Like the purge but for NBA nerds.

Without further ado, here are rounds 1-2 of the All-Time NBA Mega-Draft. (Don’t @ me if your favorite players are eight spots lower than where you would have taken them in your 450 person hypothetical draft.)

Round 1: The Building Blocks

Pick 1: Indiana Pacers (Phil): Michael Jordan

Stats: 6x NBA Champion, 5x NBA MVP, 6x Finals MVP, 14x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, 9x All-Defensive, 1x DPOY, 10x Scoring Champ, 1984-85 ROY, Hall of Fame

An absolute no-brainer of a first overall pick. MJ is quite clearly the greatest basketball player of all time and sadly still has the best Space Jam movie ever made. The GOAT could take a team of high school players and probably make the playoffs against the rest of the mega-draft field. It makes me happy that the Pacers got him, because they fucking hate him.

Pick 2: Miami Heat (John): Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Stats: 6x NBA Champion, 6x NBA MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 19x All-Star, 15x All-NBA, 11x All-Defensive, All-Time Leading Scorer, 2x Scoring Champ, 1969-70 ROY, Hall of Fame

LeBron fans are coming for John for denying a Heatles reunion and allowing him to fall past the second pick but Kareem is arguably the best big man ever and at any point between 1946 and 2015 would be the slam dunk player you wan to build your team around. Unfortunately for him it is 2021 and we’ve finally figured out that versatile wings are the most valuable players in the game. Kareem does have one thing going for him, he’s a better actor and MJ and LeBron.

Pick 3: Denver Nuggets (Phil): LeBron James

Stats: 4x NBA Champion, 4x NBA MVP, 4x Finals MVP, 17x All-Star, 17x All-NBA, 6x All-Defensive, 2003-04 ROY, 1x Scoring Champ

A gift from the dumbass gods, somehow LeBron falls to the Nuggets with the third pick. Some will argue that he should have been the obvious number one pick (those people are wrong), but LeBron is clearly the best player we’ve seen since Jordan (and the worst actor). He’ll somehow get knocked in this exercise for building a super team, but that’s kind of the point.

Pick 4: Utah Jazz (John): Magic Johnson

Stats: 5x NBA Champion, 3x NBA MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Magic Johnson is going to fucking hate Salt Lake City. I give it about 16 games before he requests a trade to the Lakers or the Heat. His twitter handle will be a must follow during the season for all the obvious stuff he’s going to “notice” while he’s there. @MagicJohnson: Wow, sure is cold in Salt Lake City in February. @MagicJohnson: Awful lot of white people around me. @MagicJohnson (channeling his inner Eric Bledsoe): I don’t want to be here. He’ll still probably turn it into a party city.

Pick 5: Charlotte Hornets (Phil): Bill Russell

Stats: 11x NBA Champion, 5x NBA MVP, 12x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, 1x All-Defensive, Hall of Fame

Russell his going to bring his 11 rings to Charlotte and a franchise that doesn’t have a lot of experience winning. The best defensive player in NBA history is the perfect anchor for this smaller market team, and Russell will be a big part of the community as well. The perfect value/character pick at number five.

Pick 6: Milwaukee Bucks (John): Wilt Chamberlain

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 4x MVP, 1x Finals MVP, 13x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, 2x All-Defensive, All-Time Leader in Rebounds, 1959-60 ROY, 7x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Is it possible to have sex with every person in a city, because Wilt is definitely going to try it in Milwaukee bringing new meaning to the Cream City nickname. Wilt’s individual stats are legendary, but I’m worried how he’ll fair going up against the best of the best every night. Bill Russell owned him during their careers and Wilt never had anyone to match his height and athleticism. Now in a league with the likes of Shaq, David Robinson, and Giannis, it will be interesting to see how he holds up.

Pick 7: Phoenix Suns (Phil): Larry Bird

Stats: 3x NBA Champion, 3x NBA MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, 3x All-Defensive, 1979-80 Roy, Hall of Fame

The desert air will do wonders for Larry Legend’s back issues so Phoenix is the perfect landing spot for the three-time champ. The hick from French Lick can turn his good ole’ Midwestern persona into a modern day Wild West cowboy. Like Val Kilmer in Tombstone, Bird has a chance to walk around town spouting non sequiturs, calling people a daisy, and shooting the shit out of everyone he sees.

Pick 8: Minnesota Timberwolves (John): Hakeem Olajuwon

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, 12x All-NBA, 9x All-Defensive, 2x DPOY, Hall of Fame

What better way to replace Kevin Garnett in Minnesota than a wholesale upgrade to Hakeem Olajuwon. The Dream is one of the most well-rounded players in the history of the NBA. He’s one of the best defensive players to ever do it, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and he had an array of post moves and made David Robinson his bitch in the 1995 Western Conference Finals. He’s the perfect player to build around and should give Wolves fans hope that John didn’t totally blow it for them already.

Pick 9: Philadelphia 76ers (Phil): Shaquille O’Neal

Stats: 4x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 15x All-Star, 14x All-NBA, 3x All-Defensive, 1992-93 ROY, 2x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Uh oh, 76ers fans just turned on Ben Simmons for missing a shit ton of free throws in the playoffs, and here comes Shaq, a career 52.7 percent free throw shooter that drops to 50.4 percent in the playoffs. Hack-a-Shaq will be in full force in Philly, but who the hell cares he’s the most physically dominant player of the last 40 years. Shaq can bully any other center in the paint whether he’s in shape or not (lay off the cheesesteaks perhaps) and is a slam dunk pick at 9.

Pick 10: Houston Rockets (John): Tim Duncan

Stats: 5x NBA Champion, 2x NBA MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 15x All-Star, 15x All-NBA, 15x All-Defensive, 1997-98 ROY, Hall of Fame

Rounding out the top ten is the big fundamental himself Tim Duncan. TD presided over a dynasty in San Antonio, winning five championships from 1999 to 2014. He might not be the flashiest player ever, but Duncan got the job done and is arguably the greatest teammate since Bill Russell. He’s a steal with the tenth pick as any team built around Duncan will compete for a title for the next 15 years.

Pick 11: Boston Celtics (Phil): Kobe Bryant

Stats: 5x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 18x All-Star, 15x All-NBA, 12x All-Defensive, 2x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

I may never be able to show my face in Boston after taking Kobe Bryant with the 11th pick. Kobe might be on the Mount Rushmore of most hated players in Boston sports history. He beat the Celtics in 2010 to secure the fifth championship in his illustrious career. If the Celtics can get over the fact that he’s a lifetime Laker, they’ll instantly fall in love with his tenacity and drive to win, but it’s going to be hard to win over the Boston fans who love grit and grind stars like Dave Cowens and Kevin McHale above the flash and celebrity that Kobe brought back to the Lakers.

Pick 12: Detroit Pistons (John): Kevin Durant

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 11x All-Star, 9x All-NBA, 4x Scoring Champ, 2007-08 ROY

Detroit and Durant seem like a perfect fit. Everyone hated the Bad Boy Pistons in the ’80s, and everyone kind of hates KD today. He seems to be a natural shit stirrer a la Isiah Thomas back in the day. This exercise is tailor made for Durant, he gets to play with other all-time greats and build a super team and if people don’t like it, who cares because it’s not real. But mega-draft Twitter is real and KD will be the villain from day one.

Pick 13: Washington Wizards (Phil): Oscar Robertson

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 12x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, 1960-61 ROY, Hall of Fame

It’s interesting that Washington just got rid of the new king of the triple double in Russell Westbrook and are bringing in the original triple double king in Oscar Robertson. The Big O averaged 30.4 points, 10 rebounds, and 10.7 assists per game over the first six seasons of his career. He didn’t win a championship until 1971 when he finally teamed up with Kareem, but Oscar is the ultimate Swiss Army Knife and the perfect point guard to build around.

Pick 14: Memphis Grizzlies (John): Julius Erving

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 2x ABA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 3x ABA MVP, 11x NBA All-Star (5x ABA), 7x All-NBA, 5x All-ABA, Hall of Fame

Memphis seems to be a small market that is actually built for Dr. J. He refused to go to Milwaukee in 1972, but Memphis is a bit cooler, jazzier than Memphis which fits the mythos surrounding Julius Erving. Arguably the sexiest player that ever lived both on and off the court, and will bring his fluid above the rim style of play to Tennessee, the Grit and Grind Grizzlies they are not. This will be the early favorite for the League Pass team of the year.

Pick 15: Golden State Warriors (Phil): Steph Curry

Stats: 3x NBA Champion, 2x NBA MVP, 7x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 2x Scoring Champ

Had to do it. Steph Curry is Mr. Bay Area, they love him there. We’re going to sell a million jerseys and this is the first team that is prioritizing three-point shooting. Curry is the greatest shooter in history and will drag out old guards to the tree-point line and make them pick him up as soon as he crosses mid-court. Bob Cousy, Isiah Thomas, John Stockton and others are going to have a hell of a time chasing him all around the court for 48 minutes.

Pick 16: Dallas Mavericks (John): Moses Malone

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 3x NBA MVP, 1x Finals MVP, 12x NBA All-Star (1x ABA), 8x All-NBA, 2x All-Defensive, Hall of Fame

Moses brings the big beef to Dallas as the fifth best rebounder ever. A three-time MVP, Malone finally took the 76ers over the hump when he was traded to Philly in 1982 and led them to the 1983 title. He doesn’t have much of a mid-range game, but can hold his own in the paint against bigger centers like Shaq and Wilt. Moses might be the most underrated and forgotten about inner-circle Hall of Famers and getting him at 16 is an absolute steal.

Pick 17: Cleveland Cavaliers (Phil): Karl Malone

Stats: 2x NBA MVP, 14x All-Star, 14x All-NBA, 4x All-Defensive, Hall of Fame

After just missing out on Moses, the Cavs have to settle for the other Malone, Karl. The Mailman was no slouch scoring 36,928 points in his career, second all time to Kareem. He teamed up with John Stockton to make two-straight NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. Unfortunately, they ran into the Jordan Bulls buzzsaw and never got over the hump. Malone will need a good running mate, but can lead his team deep into the playoffs.

Pick 18: Chicago Bulls (John): Jerry West

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 14x All-Star, 12x All-NBA, 5x All-Defensive, 1x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Jerry West was so good he once won Finals MVP in 1969 for the losing team. The fucking Logo was a next level scorer who could have scored 40 points per game if there was a three-point line in the ’60s. West made the All-Star team ever year of his career and was every bit the face of the league as Russell, Wilt, Oscar, and Elgin Baylor were. The Bulls won’t get their beloved Michael Jordan, but they get the original great two-way scoring guard in Jerry West.

Pick 19: Toronto Raptors (Phil): Kevin Garnett

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 15x All-Star, 9x All-NBA, 12x All-Defensive, 1x DPOY, Hall of Fame

Kevin Garnett is an absolute psycho and my favorite athlete ever, so I had to take him in the top-20 and give him to the Raptors. It kind of mirrors real life when he was drafted by the Timberwolves in 1995. Toronto is a newer franchise with little history in its side other than the Kawhi championship in 2019. Now, Garnett has a chance to go to a lesser franchise once again and become the face of sports in the city and bring his tenacity to build a winner in the frozen tundra. KG might be the most versatile player in the last 25 years. A 6’11” center with guard handles who can knock down mid-range shots in his sleep and step out to three all while being one of the greatest defenders of his era. The man almost took 34-year-old Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell to a championship. If he can do that, he can win in Toronto with anyone.

Pick 20: Brooklyn Nets (John): David Robinson

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 10x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, 8x All-Defensive, 1x DPOY, 1989-90 ROY, 1x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

The Admiral better hope The Wolves are eliminated so he doesn’t have to see Olajuwon again in the playoffs, because we all know how that goes. Other than being Hakeem’s bitch, Robinson was one of the most physically gifted centers ever. A chiseled 7’1″ Adonis, Robinson was a dominant scorer before Duncan got there as well as a shut down defensive center. He’s a good building block but the nets will need to pair him with another all-time great in order to compete in the East.

Pick 21: Sacramento Kings (Phil): Dirk Nowitzki

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 1x Finals MVP, 14x All-Star, 12x All-NBA

Dirk was a one-man wrecking crew when he led the Mavericks to a title in 2011. He can do it all on offese. The best shooting big-man ever (not counting Karl-Anthony Towns yet) he patented the one leg fade away that became so lethal. He’s proven he can win a championship on his own, and he might need to do it again in Sacramento.

Pick 22: Los Angeles Clippers (John): Elgin Baylor

Stats: 11x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, 1958-59 ROY, Hall of Fame

Baylor is the first player to really normalize playing above the rim. At 6’5″, 225-pounds, Baylor was a physical freak for the ’60s and no one could stop him from scoring at the rim. He averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in his career as a small forward, and famously went 0-7 in NBA finals. He retired after nine games in the 1971-72 season in which the Lakers went on the win the championship. It’s fitting he goes to the Clippers, because he absolutely destroyed the franchise as their executive from 1986-2008. Let him play, but dear god don’t let him anywhere near the draft.

Pick 23: Portland Trail Blazers (Phil): Charles Barkley

Stats: 1x NBA MVP, 11x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Charles Barkley is bringing on a new era of the Jail Blazers and it will be spectacular. He is not a role model, but he’s going to be the face of Portland and the driving force to keep Portland weird. Barkley is arguably the best player ever to never win a championship thanks in large part to Michael Jordan, but he’s got a real shot to advance far in Portland, just keep him off the golf course and out of the casinos.

Pick 24: Atlanta Hawks (John): Dwyane Wade

Stats: 3x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 13x All-Star, 8x All-NBA, 3x All-Defensive, 1x Scoring Champ

Most people nowadays remember D-Wade as Robin to LeBron’s Batman, the sidekick of the Heatles super team that won two titles and went to four-straight finals. We forget that young D-Wade put the Heat on his back and willed them to a championship in 2006. Yea he had Shaq, but Wade put in a finals for the ages and is a bonafide winner. The Hawks might be a dark horse, but don’w count out any team led by Flash.

Pick 25: Oklahoma City Thunder (Phil): John Havlicek

Stats: 8x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 13x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, 8x All-Defensive, Hall of Fame

Most of the seven people who actually read this are probably wondering the same thing, who the heck is John Havlicek? Bill Simmons is probably furious that Hondo didn’t go inside the top 15. Havlicek was one of the most well-rounded players of his time. A teammate of Bill Russell’s on the ’60s Celtics, Havlicek won eight championships. It might be a tough ask to have him be the face of a franchise, but Hondo is undoubtedly one of the greatest team players in NBA history.

Pick 26: Orlando Magic (John): Allen Iverson

Stats: 1x NBA MVP, 11x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 4x Scoring Champ, 1996-97 ROY, Hall of Fame

Holy shit Allen Iverson at 26 is easily the reach of the draft so far. AI is a legend, don’t get me wrong, but are you really trying to build a team around him? I understand that he dragged Theo Ratlif and Eric Snow to the finals, but he didn’t do a ton of winning outside of that one MVP season. Hopefully John has a plan and surrounds Iverson with responsible teammates.

Pick 27: Los Angeles Lakers (Phil): Kawhi Leonard

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 2x Finals MVP, 5x All-Star, 5x All-NBA, 7x All-Defensive, 2x DPOY

Kawhi is on pace to have the wonkiest resume of any top 30 players in the NBA. He was the 15th pick in 2011, slowly improved year-by-year to become a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and the 2014 Finals MVP with the Spurs. Then he sat out for almost a year while clashing with the Spurs staff about his foot injury. Then he got traded to Toronto, led them to a championship, and left after one season for the Clippers of all franchises. Now he has a chance to win three championships and three finals MVP’s with three different franchises. Only LeBron James has done that. A weird career for fun guy Kawhi.

Pick 28: New Orleans Pelicans (John): Isiah Thomas

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, 5x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Dude’s probably reading this like “I met the qualifications to be drafted in the top 20, but they didn’t pick me.” Zeke is a top-five point guard ever, a good scorer and even better playmaker who can lead a team to the promised land as he did in back-to-back seasons with the Bad Boys. He just seems to rub people the wrong way and MJ will probably make it his personal mission to make sure Thomas doesn’t sniff the playoffs with the Pelicans.

Pick 29: New York Knicks (Phil): Giannis Antetokounmpo

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 2x NBA MVP, 1x Finals MVP, 5x All-Star, 5x All-NBA, 4x All-Defensive, 1x DPOY

This pick is looking a lot better now that Giannis is a champion. He’s a modern day Shaq who can physically dominate the competition in the paint. Giannis has taken it to the next level and can handle the ball and drive to the basket. He’s a three-point shot away from becoming the greatest offensive weapon in history. Knicks fans are going to love him, I hope they have Chick-fil-A in NYC.

Pick 30: San Antonio Spurs (John): Chris Paul

Stats: 11x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, 9x All-Defensive, 2005-06 ROY

Again, this pick looks a lot better now that CP3 finally made the finals for the first time in his 16-year career. Paul might be a bitch of a teammate, but is arguably the best two-way point guard of the modern era. He should be a perfect fit for the Spurs way of life, and a solid pick to finish off round one of the mega-draft.

Round 2: The Quickening

Pick 31: San Antonio Spurs (John): Patrick Ewing

Stats: 11x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 3x All-Defensive, 1985-86 ROY, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Chris Paul

Patrick Ewing is the ultimate “almost but not quite there” superstars in the NBA. He led the Knicks to the finals twice only to be thwarted by Hakeem’s Rockets in 1994 and injured against Duncan’s Spurs in the lockout-shortened 1999 season. It only fits all too well that he’s paired with Chris Paul, the other premier player in the last 25 years who has gotten so close but never won a championship. they should trade for Barkley.

Pick 32: New York Knicks (Phil): Steve Nash

Stats: 2x NBA MVP, 8x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Steve Nash was one Robert Horry hip check away from a finals appearance in 2007, and never got another chance at a championship. He transformed Amar’e Stoudemire into an All-Pro player and would do wonders with Giannis catching lobs and running the pick-and-roll. The Knicks are back!

Pick 33: New Orleans Pelicans (John): Scottie Pippen

Stats: 6x NBA Champion, 7x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 10x All-Defensive, Hall of Fame

Teammates: (Checks notes) Isiah Thomas

Who the fuck is putting Scottie Pippen on the same team as Isiah Thomas? Zeke is probably sitting in his mansion thinking that this is a betrayal on levels that no one has ever seen! There are going to be nightly brawls in the locker room. I know every hates IT, but Scottie Pippen mega hates IT and is not afraid to remind everyone.

Pick 34: Los Angeles Lakers (Phil): Kevin McHale

Stats: 3x NBA Champion, 7x All-Star, 1x All-NBA, 6x All-Defensive, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Kawhi Leonard

Now this is a team I can get behind. Kawhi can initiate the offense and create his own shot and Kevin McHale can do a lot of the dirty work down low. He’s one of the best post scorers we’ve seen and can hold his own alongside Kawhi on the defensive end. Very few holes in this team early on.

Pick 35: Orlando Magic (John): James Harden

Stats: 1x NBA MVP, 9x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 3x Scoring Champ

Teammates: Allen Iverson

Remember when I said AI was a bad pick unless you surround him with responsible teammates? Yea, James Harden isn’t that kind of teammate, he’s basically beef stew Iverson with a beard. This team will never practice, never play defense, probably get on each other’s nerves, but this is the number one pick of strip clubs everywhere. I don’t know what the club scene is like in Orlando, but they’re about to make a lot of money.

Pick 36: Oklahoma City Thunder (Phil): Bob Pettit

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 2x NBA MVP, 11x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, 1954-55 ROY, 2x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Teammates: John Havlicek

This team would win 19 championships if it was 1966. Alas, it’s 2021 so Hondo and Bullet Bob’s achievements have wasted away like those people on an M. Night Shymalan beach, but they’re two of the greatest to ever do it. Pettit made an All-NBA team every year of his career.

Pick 37: Atlanta Hawks (John): Anthony Davis

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 8x All-Star, 4x All-NBA, 4x All-Defensive

Teammates: Dwyane Wade

John finally got his head out of his ass and made a good pick in the second round. AD is the perfect big to play alongside D-Wade. He dominated the Heat on his way to a championship with the Lakers and LeBron James in the bubble, and will form a formidable two-way duo with Wade.

Pick 38: Portland Trail Blazers (Phil): Bill Walton

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 1x Finals MVP, 2x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, 2x All-Defensive, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Charles Barkley

The prodigal son returns 44 years after leading the Blazers to a championship in 1977. A foot injury wreck Walton’s career, but the biggest Dead Head on national television was one of the best centers in history during his short prime. He’s so high right now he probably thinks it’s still 1978, and is definitely going to keep Portland weird.

Pick 39: Los Angeles Clippers (John): George Mikan

Stats: 5x BAA/NBA Champion, 4x All-Star, 6x All-BAA/NBA, 3x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Elgin Baylor

Teaming the original GOAT with Elgin Baylor would be unstoppable in 1956. Mikan might have trouble matching up against the likes up Wilt and Shaq, but his fundamentals are unmatched and will bring a winning quality to this throwback team.

Pick 40: Sacramento Kings (Phil): Jason Kidd

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 10x All-Star, 6x All-NBA, 9x All-Defensive, 1994-95 ROY, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Dirk Nowitzki

Jason Kidd won a championship with Dirk in 2011 so why not run it back. Kidd was one of the most versatile point guards in league history and will be the exact opposite of what the Kings have gotten used to over the last two decades. We’ll have to make sure he isn’t allowed to drink soda on the sidelines though.

Pick 41: Brooklyn Nets (John): John Stockton

Stats: 10x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, 5x All-Defensive, All-Time Leader in Assists, Hall of Fame

Teammates: David Robinson

This will be the least vaxxed team in the league. John Stockton was part of one of the most dynamic duos in the ’90s with Karl Malone, and has formed another dynamic duo post career teaming up with conspiracy theories. Stockton will not have many fans in Brooklyn.

Pick 42: Toronto Raptors (Phil): Ray Allen

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 10x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Kevin Garnett

The biggest “what if” in Timberwolves history is finally answered by pairing KG with Ray Allen, just as god intended. The Wolves picked Allen with the fifth pick in the 1996 NBA Draft only to trade him to the Milwaukee Bucks for the fourth pick, Stephon Marbury. Marbury was a star alongside KG, but forced his way out of Minnesota after just 2.5 years. Ray Allen is one of the greatest shooting guards of all time and finally teamed up with Garnett in 2007 in Boston where the two won a championship and played in two NBA Finals. Oh, what could have been if they had been able to team up in Minnesota for a decade in the prime of their careers. Could they have won a championship? Possibly, KG took the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals in 2004 and was a Sam Cassell hip injury away from taking down the Lakers. Allen led the Bucks to an improbable run the the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001. It still haunts me to this day. I need answers, and that’s why I finally did it. Lets finally see what you could have done together.

Pick 43: Chicago Bulls (John): Bob Cousy

Stats: 6x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 13x All-Star, 12x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Jerry West

Jerry West and Bob Cousy would be your dad’s favorite team. Cousy was a baller even before teaming up with Bill Russell, and he can run the show while West racks up the points.

Pick 44: Cleveland Cavaliers (Phil): Walt Frazier

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 7x All-Star, 6x All-NBA, 7x All Defensive, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Karl Malone

Walt Frazier might be one of the most underrated players from the ’70s but he led the Knicks to glory twice and is an NYC legend on par with Joe Namath. He’d pair well with Karl Malone and bring some glitz and glam to Cleveland.

Pick 45: Dallas Mavericks (John): Elvin Hayes

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 12x All-Star, 6x All-NBA, 2x All-Defensive, 1x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Moses Malone

The beef boys are ready to grab every rebound in Dallas. Malone is third all-time in rebounds and Elvin Hayes is sixth. The lane is gonna be clogged, but no frontline will be able to matchup with this duo.

Pick 46: Golden State Warriors (Phil): Rick Barry

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 8x NBA All-Star (4x ABA), 6x All NBA, 4x All-ABA, 1965-66 ROY, 1x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Steph Curry

If Steph Curry is the most beloved player in Warriors history, Rick Barry might be the most reviled. Barry was an asshole, but god dammit he could score. One of the best scoring forwards ever he led the Warriors to a championship in 1975. Fans will hate him (and his kids) but he and Steph would be unstoppable.

Pick 47: Memphis Grizzlies (John): Reggie Miller

Stats: 5x All-Star, 3x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Julius Erving

Memphis may have just skyrocketed towards the top of the League Pass rankings with this pick. Reggie Miller is one of the most fun players to love, and even more fun to hate.

Pick 48: Washington Wizards (Phil): George Gervin

Stats: 9x NBA All-Star (3x ABA), 7x All-NBA, 2x All-ABA, 4x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Oscar Robertson

The Iceman might not be the best fit alongside a high usage point guard in Oscar, but they will be one of the hardest backcourts to defend. The two Hall of Famers could each go off for 50 on any given night. The defense might not be amazing, but Gervin will sell tickets.

Pick 49: Detroit Pistons (John): Willis Reed

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 7x All-Star, 5x All-NBA, 1x All-Defensive, 1964-65 ROY, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Kevin Durant

Willis Reed seems like a perfect fit in Detroit. He’s tough, plays hurt in game 7, and sounds like he should have been a Motown star. Reed’s motor and Durant’s scoring prowess will do damage and could be the perfect mid-pick pairing at 12 and 49 respectively.

Pick 50: Boston Celtics (Phil): Dominique Wilkins

Stats: 9x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 1x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Kobe Bryant

Holy shit the Celtics just became the most exciting team ever assembled with Dominique and Kobe. Two of the best dunkers ever, the days of team play and fundamentals are over in Boston. Yes, Wilkins never won in the NBA and never got out of the second round, but that’s why you pair him with one of the best winners ever. Dominique can just run around and dunk on everyone for three quarters and then get the fuck out of Kobe’s way in the fourth. Boston might not be the best team out there, but dammit it’s going to be everyone’s favorite.

Pick 51: Houston Rockets (John): Tracy McGrady

Stats: 7x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 2x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Tim Duncan

TMac returns to Houston to team up with Houston’s tormentor for 20 years in Tim Duncan. He’s the Riggs to Duncan’s Murtaugh.

Pick 52: Philadelphia 76ers (Phil): Paul Pierce

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 10x All-Star, 4x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Shaquille O’Neal

Pierce is going to shit his pants the first time the 76ers fans boo him for only scoring 19 points in a big game. Hack-a-Shaq will be in full effect after watching Ben Simmons’ free throw meltdown in the playoffs last year. Things could get flushed down the toilet quickly in Philly.

Pick 53: Minnesota Timberwolves (John): Gary Payton

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 9x All-Star, 9x All-NBA, 9x All-Defensive, 1x DPOY, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Hakeem Olajuwon

GP made the finals with Shawn Kemp in 1996. Olajuwon is a 5000% upgrade over Kemp, and should be able to take Payton to the promised land. This is the best defensive team in the league already and will play scrappy. David Robinson is going to have nightmares about this team.

Pick 54: Phoenix Suns (Phil): Russell Westbrook

Stats: 1x NBA MVP, 9x All-Star, 9x All-NBA, 2x Scoring Champ

Teammates: Larry Bird

Larry bird is going to throw hands with Westbrook the first time Russ dribbles up the court and takes a pull up three late in the shot clock without passing to anyone.

Pick 55: Milwaukee Bucks (John): Clyde Drexler

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 10x All-Star, 5x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Wilt Chamberlain

This is a wonky fit in Milwaukee. Wilt is going to be distracted by the bustling Wisconsin nightlife so Drexler will have to carry the load day to day. The last pro player selected to the dream team could feel another slight falling to the 55th pick and work up a dark-horse MVP season.

Pick 56: Charlotte Hornets (Phil): James Worthy

Stats: 3x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 7x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Bill Russell

Two of the greatest winners ever form an interesting foundation to a team that might not be flashy but will do the little things to get the job done.

Pick 57: Utah Jazz (John): Bob McAdoo

Stats: 2x NBA Champion, 1x NBA MVP, 5x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, 1972-73 ROY, 3x Scoring Champ, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Magic Johnson

McAdoo has some big shoes to fill as he takes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s spot as Magic’s running-mate. McAdoo is no Kareem, but was a dominate center in his own right in the ’70s.

Pick 58: Denver Nuggets (Phil): Alonzo Mourning

Stats: 1x NBA Champion, 7x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, 2x All-Defensive, 2x DPOY, Hall of Fame

Teammates: LeBron James

If he had two good kidneys, Alonzo Mourning would be 10-20 spots higher in this draft. After Shaq, Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Ewing; Mourning was probably the next best center during the heyday in the ’90s. He and LeBron create one of the most imposing frontlines in the league and will be nearly impossible to score on.

Pick 59: Miami Heat (John): Dennis Johnson

Stats: 3x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 5x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, 9x All-Defensive, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem gets the defensive-minded point guard who guided the Sonics to a championship before two championship runs with Larry Bird and the gang in Boston in the ’80s. John could have had DJ in the third round, but you can’t fault him for taking the three-time champ.

Pick 60: Indiana Pacers (Phil): Robert Parish

Stats: 4x NBA Champion, 9x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, Hall of Fame

Teammates: Michael Jordan

MJ gets his former teammate (Yea Parish finished his long career in Chicago) for another run at a title together. Parish is almost underrated because of his longevity and being overshadowed by Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, but he is one of the best centers ever and will pair beautifully with Jordan. What a steal with the last pick of the second round.

Five Athletes that should get ‘Last Dance’ Treatment

Two months into quarantine and things are ever so slightly starting to loosen up. It couldn’t have come at a better time because people are running out of things to do. First we had Tiger King to entertain us during the lockdown, then trash reality tv shows like Love is Blind and Too Hot To Handle shamed us into watching them. Arguably the most enthralling television phenomenon that people around the world followed religiously was The Last Dance, the 10-part documentary chronicling the life and career of the greatest athlete of all-time, Michael Jordan, and the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls.

The Last Dance was rushed to come out during the lockdown and kept sports and non-sports fans entertained for the last five weeks. The last two episodes of the doc aired Sunday night and now there is an Air Jordan sized hole in the entertainment landscape for the millions of people who are still on lockdown. The natural question following the final episode is “who else could have a Last Dance style documentary?

There are thousands of famous athletes that could and have been subjects of documentaries over the years, but how many of them could live up to Michael Jordan? The answer is not many. Jordan is the most famous athlete of all-time across any sport and took the NBA global in the ’90s. No one would quite have the same allure as Jordan, and most athletes didn’t let a film crew follow them around for a full year to document their final title run.

There would have to be some criteria that athletes would have to meet before we pick which five athletes could have a 10-part documentary about them. First and foremost, the subject athlete would have to still be alive. You need to be able to talk to them and have all-encompassing interviews like the producers had with Jordan for The Last Dance. You wouldn’t want to have to rely on archival interviews and footage for your 10-part project. Unfortunately that crosses off several great candidates including: Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Wilt Chamberlain, and most tragically Kobe Bryant. The other obvious criteria for any documentary is the subject has to have an interesting story. Jordan isn’t just interesting because he was the best, he had a great story. He wasn’t a prodigy, he had to work hard, he didn’t win for years, then became the face of the NBA and basketball around the world, he had the signature shoes, he was in Space Jam, he up and retired at the height of his career, there’s signature games to recall, a cast of characters to interview, and dozens of subplots to bring to light. Would that be the same for say LeBron James? He was a prodigy, has always been the best, didn’t win, made a decision, won some championships and is very famous. Does that sound quite as interesting? No scandals other than his handling of the decision makes him a poor subject for a 10-part series. There would be little to no drama so historically boring guys without great stories like LeBron, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Tim Duncan and others would be out because it would be too boring.

So that leaves us with a slightly shorter list of athletes that could have a The Last Dance type documentary made. Here are my five picks that fit the criteria and could carry a 10-part documentary that people would care about.


1.) Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is probably the only athlete to come close to Jordan’s global popularity in the 21st Century. Woods is arguably the greatest and most important golfer of all-time. He rose to popularity in the mid-to-late 1990’s and was an absolute rock star from 1997-2008. Then it all came crashing down. Most know the story. Woods injured his leg, missed some time on the tour, then all of a sudden his wife was smashing his car with a golf club and we found he he banged every one except that wasn’t his wife while he was married. He had a popularity tailspin, his injuries mounted and most thought he was washed up for the better part of a decade. Then in April of last year, Woods roared back to the forefront and won the Masters, a comeback story for the ages. This documentary would have every element and you have a cast of characters to speak to including Woods, his caddies, others on the tour that he clashed with like Phil Mickelson, maybe coax his ex-wife into an interview, Lindsey Vonn and a whole cast of others along the way. This is the one athlete that I think, if done right, could come close to and possibly eclipse the popularity of The Last Dance.


2.) Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson is basically Dennis Rodman level crazy and Michael Jordan level athletic. Tyson was on of the most popular boxers and athletes of all-time during his prime. He was a knockout king, helped make boxing more palatable for the next generation into the ’90s, had his own video game and also had a lot of problems. He was nuts, he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear off, went to jail, his fall in the ring was as fast and shocking as his rise, and there have to be other Tyson stories that we haven’t heard yet that he could shed some light on during the interviews. Aside from Tyson you get Holyfield and other boxers of his era, lug in guys like Don King, the guys from the Hangover, and literally anyone from the ’80s and ’90s to talk about the Tyson era. It would be incredibly funny, dark, and one of the most interesting docu-series’ ever made. The only knock is there is already a Tyson doc, but it’s over 10-years-old and only about 90 minutes long. The more in-depth you get with Tyson, the more exciting little nuggets you will get.


3.) Barry Bonds

A Bonds documentary would be the hardest one to get made because it would hinge on him admitting that he did a shit ton of steroids, which he will never do, but the subject is interesting. Bonds is one of the greatest baseball players of all-time and the centerpiece of the biggest scandal in MLB history. He holds records that many in the game don’t acknowledge, and had a horrible relationship with the media and fans during his playing days. For the doc you have Bonds sit down like Jordan, drinking and smoking a big cigar, you somehow get him to open up and press him about the steroids and hopefully he admits what he did. You craft other stories with interviews with the other steroid users from the era including a Rodmanesque appearance from Jose Canseco, talk to Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, ARod, and let them attack Bonds for being the reason they all got caught. Talk to some slimballs from Balco and a bunch of trainers who were around Bonds and injected him or watched him do steroids and pin him down. This would be a pretty combative documentary but if he finally admits it, the 10-part series could be groundbreaking.


4.) Brett Favre

Trust me, a Favre documentary would be better than you think. His life and career have a lot more layers and most fans remember. He was incredibly popular in the ’90s and arguably the face of the league for a few years. Favre was a lot of fun for Packers fans and many other fans to root for, and is now almost a punchline 10 years after his career ended. A Favre doc could get into his early career and trade to the Packers, his rise to success and fame, addiction and rehab, comeback and Super Bowl win, Monday Night Football game after his dad died, eventual demise in Green Bay and feud with Aaron Rodgers, retirement saga, resurfacing with the Jets and then Vikings, almost taking Minnesota to a Super Bowl, iron man starting streak, subsequent sexual harassment accusations, and many other storylines. We get absolute gold during our interviews with Favre himself on his farm/ranch in Mississippi. Talk to his teammates and coaches (especially Mike Holmgren), get some good perspective from his wife, and bring in John Madden to just jerk him off for ten hours. Favre is simultaneously one of the most exciting, maddening, fun, and tragic figures in NFL history and would make for a surprisingly deep 10-part documentary.


5.) Bill Russell

We need someone to round out the list who wasn’t at the height of their career during the ’90s. Bill Russell retired over 50 years ago, but his impact on the NBA and sports is still being felt. Russell is one of the five greatest basketball players of all-time and led the Boston Celtics to 11 championships, making him the greatest winner in basketball history. Russell played in an era where Black players were treated like second class citizens, and had to fight just to be respected. He was integral in the civil rights movement and one of the most important activists of his time. Russell would have great perspective on the entire history of the NBA, and it would be incredible to hear what he has to say about his fellow NBA super stars like Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. You get other NBA legends talking about how Russell was the gold standard and motivated them to win. Get interviews with other activists from the time and talk about his activism. Even though most young sports fans might not have the same relationship with Russell as they do with Michael Jordan, Russell’s story is one worth telling.


Some honorable mentions who didn’t quite make the cut included: Hank Aaron, Lawrence Taylor, Willie Mays, Magic Johnson, Jim Brown, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, and Deion Sanders.