Superteams have become the norm in the NBA these days, and we currently have one right now with the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn have a dynamic trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons; an incredibly talented group of starts that will likely lead the team to a deep playoff run this year and going forward. But throughout time, we have also seen a variety of superteams in different eras. Before Brooklyn, the most recent one was the Golden State Warriors dynasty with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. LeBron James also formed a superteam in Miami alongside Hall of Famers Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
But what if we could create the three greatest superteams of all time: the 90s superteam, the 2000s superteam, and the 2010s superteam. The 90s saw a dynamic dynasty in the Chicago Bulls, a squad led by the GOAT in Michael Jordan and excellent supporting stars in Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. During the 2000s, we saw a Lakers superteam led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant who were the two best players in the world on one team. Of course, we are seeing an incredible rise of superteams forming in the modern era.
But by creating the three superteams, we can form the three greatest teams ever. The 90s superteam will have a lineup led by Michael Jordan and Karl Malone, while the 2000s superteam will be led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The 2010s superteam will be led by 4-time NBA champion LeBron James and the greatest shooter ever in Stephen Curry. Here is how each team will line up on the court and which squad is the best in all areas of the floor.
Starting Lineup: John Stockton, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon
The 1990s might be the best era considering all factors: aggression, defense, flash, style, and superstar players at the top of their games. The league was becoming more wide open to encourage offensive play but also keeping defensive aggression in the game. This meant it was hard for players to score a lot of points, but the best players truly shined on the court for everyone to see.
At point guard, John Stockton lines up as a 9-time assist champion and the best floor general of all time. Stockton made everyone around him better, even the likes of Karl Malone who was already one of the best players ever. Stockton had his unique style of play, using his craftiness as a scorer and passer to impact the game at a Hall of Fame level.
Michael Jordan lines up next to Stockton to form the greatest backcourt of all time. Jordan is the greatest scorer ever, and it isn’t really close considering he is a 10-time scoring champion with an elite ability to put the ball in the basket. With Stockton feeding him the ball, Michael will pick his spots in mid-range and also find enough space to attack the rim.
All-time great sidekick Scottie Pippen will start at the wing, as the player primarily responsible for being the primary defender. Pippen will understand he is surrounded by Hall of Fame players and will focus on his ability to defend 3 positions at an elite level while doing the dirty work on the court.
Karl Malone is a natural power forward because he has the size at 6’9” and 250 lbs to bang down low and also stretch the floor from mid-range. The Jazz legend is one of the greatest scorers ever, forming a dynamic duo alongside Hakeem Olajuwon in the post. Malone was also an elite competitor, meaning he will fight every forward he goes against without any fear.
Finally, Hakeem Olajuwon completes the lineup as the only true big man. Olajuwon was so dominant, he can certainly handle being the only post-player in the lineup. A dominant post scorer with an array of moves, players from the 2000s and 2010s superteams will struggle to handle the former Rockets superstar.
With the lineup complete, it is obvious the 90s superteam has fit 5 top-50 players ever of which 4 of them are in the top-12. With a mix of scoring, defense, and skill; the 90s superteam will be terrifying to play against.
Starting Lineup: Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal
The 2000s saw the rise of Michael Jordan’s replacement in Kobe Bryant and an incredibly dominant force in Shaquille O’Neal. Of course, Tim Duncan began his dominance to solidify himself as the greatest power forward ever to pass Karl Malone.
Allen Iverson, one of the greatest scorers ever, will start at the point. Iverson was a gunner who preferred to score the ball over creating for others, which is why he is a 4-time scoring champion with a career average of 26.7 PPG. With elite speed and quickness, The Answer will be a force alongside Kobe Bryant.
The Black Mamba will be the go-to scorer for the team, elevating his game to counter the likes of Michael Jordan and James Harden. Kobe is also an elite defensive player who cherishes one-on-one matchups and will lead his team in scoring on most occasions. Bryant will also be a solid leader for his team.
Tracy McGrady will start at the wing, an elite go-to scorer with almost as much firepower as his teammate Kobe Bryant. T-Mac is also an elite playmaker, and will actually lead his team in assists on most occasions. McGrady receives a ton of praise for his scoring ability, and for good reason, but his greatest attribute might have been his ability to create for others.
The greatest power forward ever, Tim Duncan will bring his excellent fundamentals to the court every time he steps foot on it. The Spurs legend brings elite defense to the floor, defending the rim with skill and force while also being a post playmaker. Alongside Shaquille O’Neal, the 2000s superteam will be the most complete on both ends of the floor - especially on defense.
Finally, the most powerful player of all-time starts at center. Shaquille O’Neal had no answer for the majority of the 2000s, averaging over 20 PPG and grabbing over 10 RPG consistently. An immovable force in the paint who demanded the ball when in position, Shaq will be a leader for his team while being an intimidator on the court due to his size and power.
Starting Lineup: Stephen Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo
The 2010s stars rely on pure offensive firepower, often using floor spacing to their advantage. What they lack in pure defensive ability, they make up for it with shooting and elite scoring ability. At the point guard spot, Stephen Curry brings his ability as the best shooter ever. The Golden State Warriors star will have no problem finding his range against any opponent.
James Harden will not be a key defensive stopper, but his ability to create offense for himself and his teammates will be critical for the 2010s superteam. James will actually bring the ball up on occasion, sharing the duties with LeBron James and Stephen Curry. The Beard will get to the rim at any time, and his patented stepback three-point jumper will be tough to defend.
The greatest small forward ever and the best all-around player on his team, The King starts at the wing spot while also acting as the primary playmaker. LeBron tends to play better when surrounded by superstar teammates because his versatility makes them nearly unbeatable. An improved shooter with the highest basketball IQ on his team, LeBron will be the leader for his team.
Kevin Durant starts at power forward, although he will be positionless when he plays with his teammates. There is no way you can place Durant in a box because he can space the floor with ease, and has the skills of a top-5 scorer of all time as a 4-time scoring champion. KD can shoot over any defender, and despite his slender physique, he will be dominant.
Finally, in a typical 2010s small ball team, 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will start at center. The Greek Freak has the versatility to be a primary defensive stopper, although he will have his struggles against skilled big men including Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal. Giannis is best at handling the ball and attacking the rim, so he will be important for the 2010s stars.
Which Superteam Is The Strongest?
The best superteam has to be the 1990s collection of superstars because they combine toughness with basketball IQ and skill. There is no doubt that in a 7-game series, the 90s stars have the most stamina and skill to overcome adversity. Against the 2000s superteam, the 1990s stars have better playmaking ability and leadership thanks to John Stockton. The Jazz legend usurps Iverson and T-Mac as a playmaker, and that means his teammates will be better on the floor. Not to mention, Hakeem Olajuwon will be a force to handle on the post as he takes advantage against a slower Shaquille O’Neal. Of course, Michael Jordan is also the greatest player of all time and wills his team to victory in a hard-fought 7 games. Against the 2010s superteam, there is no doubt that Jordan and company take care of business in under 7 games.
Jordan will completely dismantle James Harden in one-on-one matchups, and the raw leadership of guys like Stockton and Malone will be too much to handle. The size and scoring of Karl Malone will compensate for Kevin Durant’s offensive ability, and Olajuwon has more size and skill against Giannis in the post. The 2010s will fall in love with the three at their advantage, but the 1990s simply have more size and defensive ability.
The second-best team has to be the 2000s superteam. Stopping Iverson, Bryant, and McGrady is nearly impossible over a game, let alone a series. These three scorers have a combined 8 scoring titles between them, even that still pales in comparison to the 10 scoring titles that only Michael Jordan has. Even if the 2000s are not quite as good as the 1990s superteam, they will have their way with the 2010s superteam.
Iverson is so elite offensively, Stephen Curry will struggle to stay in front of him. Similarly, James Harden will struggle to stop Kobe from going off while also struggling to shoot a high percentage against a 12-time All-Defensive player. T-Mac against LeBron will be the most exciting matchup due to their athleticism and offensive ability, but the 2000s big men will overpower and own the post against a slender Kevin Durant and undersized Giannis Antetokounmpo.
That means the 2010s superteam will likely lose to both the 1990s and 2000s superteams in a series. The shooting ability of Curry, Harden, and Durant will give the team a chance to win any game, but over a 7-game series for example, consistently relying on shooting against elite defenders will not work. The 2010s superteam will also struggle on defense, mainly in the post, because they are undersized and generally uninterested in stopping players.
Even if the 2010s superteam have incredible shooting ability, the 1990s and 2000s superteam have all-time great scorers and also defensive stoppers at the highest level. Giannis will have too much to handle as the starting center, and without help against the likes of Duncan, Olajuwon, and O’Neal; it will end up being too much. In a nutshell, the 1990s team has the perfect mix of the best guard play ever and winning intangibles while the 2000s team has enough defense and size to usurp the 2010s team that relies on their shooting.
1st Place: 1990s Superteam
2nd Place: 2000s Superteam
3rd Place: 2010s Superteam