We have seen some tough teams throughout the history of the NBA. From the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls that went 72-10 to the Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson duo that helped the Golden State Warriors finish 73-9, the NBA has some great teams to choose from if they need a superstar battle on display. However, which team of former and current players would be the best?
These superteams were constructed based on judging the pool of players that played for that franchise. Based on a subjective selection, these players were deemed as the best players in franchise history at their positions; thus, creating the starting lineup.
San Antonio Spurs Legendary Superteam
(PG) Tony Parker, (SG) Manu Ginobili, (SF) George Gervin
(PF) Tim Duncan, (C) David Robinson
It was no mistake that the starting lineup for the Spurs superteam contains all of the top-5 scoring leaders in franchise history. All five players had a hand in helping small-market San Antonio own the fifth-most NBA championships (5) in league history.
Starting with the “Big 3” of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan, the Spurs won four NBA titles together. Parker is the franchise leader in assists, Ginobili the franchise leader in three-point field goals and steals, while Duncan leads the franchise in games, points, field goals, and rebounds. All three are first-ballot Hall of Fame-caliber players.
David Robinson teamed up with Duncan to win a title in 1999 and was a part of the team’s 2003 run as well. Robinson finished his career as the all-time leader in blocks and was a 10-time All-Star. Robinson did all of this while missing the first two years of his career due to serving in the Navy. As for George Gervin, he finished second all-time in points scored in a career that saw him land on the NBA All-First Team five straight years from 1978 to 1982.
Golden State Warriors Legendary Superteam
(PG) Stephen Curry, (SG) Klay Thompson, (SF) Rick Barry
(PF) Kevin Durant, (C) Wilt Chamberlain
Before we get to the modern-day players, let’s talk about the automatic bucket that was Wilt Chamberlain. His 100 points in a single game remain an NBA record and will likely never be broken. Chamberlain was a 13-time All-Star and led the league seven consecutive seasons from 1960 to 1966. During this era, the center position was essential and Chamberlain was a beast.
Some may not remember Rick Barry, but his 36.3 points per game are the most averaged during an NBA Finals in league history. He is also the only player to ever reach the 50-point mark in Game 7 of the playoffs in either league. After playing with the San Francisco Warriors, Barry made the jump to the American Basketball Association and became the all-time leading scorer in league history (30.5 points per game). He is one of four players to win a championship in the NBA and ABA.
As for the modern-day “Big 3” that was Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant, this team was a true definition of a superteam. Along with Draymond Green, Curry and Thompson helped the Warriors win 73 games before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Altogether, Curry, Thompson, and Green have won three NBA titles together. After the Warriors set an NBA record for wins, Kevin Durant joined the team and secured two NBA Finals MVP trophies as he helped Golden State win two championships in 2017 and 2018. Curry, Thompson, and Durant are still going strong and could build to their already impressive resumes.
Miami Heat Legendary Superteam
(PG) Dwayne Wade, (SG) Jimmy Butler, (SF) LeBron James
(PF) Chris Bosh, (C) Alonzo Mourning
We have already touched on the talents of LeBron, but it’s worth mentioning that James led the Heat team to four appearances in the NBA Finals and two championships. In 2010, James and Chris Bosh signed with the Heat franchise to join Dwayne Wade to form the “Big 3.” At the time, Wade had already won a championship in 2006. All three are going to be future first-ballot Hall of Fame players.
Bosh left Toronto as the all-time scoring leader and had a great six-year run in Miami. Before a life-threatening issue forced Bosh to retire early, Bosh averaged 18.0 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks. As for Wade, he left Miami as the career leader in games played, field goals, free throws, points, and assists.
At the center position, we could probably have given Shaq the nod, but Alonzo Mourning made a good enough case. Mourning spent 11 years in Miami and is the all-time leader in blocks (1,625). Mourning served as a role player and veteran voice during the Heat’s championship run and finished his career as a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
At the other guard position, have we seen a better option than Jimmy Butler? Granted, Butler has a small sample size, but he is coming off a season that he led the Heat to the NBA Finals. In terms of other great guards in Heat history, names like Mario Chalmers, Goran Dragic, and Tim Hardaway come to mind. For now, it’s safe to say that Butler has the biggest impact on his current team. It’s too bad that this Heat team never met the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Chicago Bulls Legendary Superteam
(PG) Derrick Rose, (SG) Michael Jordan, (SF) Scottie Pippen
(PF) Dennis Rodman, (C) Artis Gilmore
Naturally, three members of the Bulls nucleus that led two different three-peats had to be on the roster. Jordan’s 6-0 record in the NBA Finals is often used as the main argument for keeping LeBron as the No. 2 greatest players in NBA history. Jordan is the franchise record holder for points, rebounds, assists, and steals. His partner in crime, Scottie Pippen, wasn’t just the second-best option on the team, but one of the best overall players himself. Pippen is just one of six players ever to record over 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,000 assists in his playoff career.
The only stat that Jordan doesn’t own blocks and that belongs to the great center in Artis Gilmore, who finished with 1,029. Gilmore also holds the record for field goal percentage, finishing his Bulls career shooting 58.7%. If Dennis Rodman played alongside Gilmore, this Bulls team would have two of the best defenders in NBA history playing in the paint. Rodman was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year before he came to the Bulls. When Rodman played in Chicago, he led the league in rebounding all three championship seasons.
As for Derrick Rose, it’s possible that the Bulls would have a championship in Chicago if Rose never tore his ACL. Rose finished the 2010-2011 season as the youngest MVP in NBA history. Rose finished the season with 25.0 points, 7.7 assists, and led the league in offensive box plus/minus (6.3). Ever since 2012, Rose hasn’t been the same explosive player. With a healthy Rose and Co., this would have been a great NBA Finals against the Lakers superteam.
Los Angeles Lakers Legendary Superteam
(PG) Magic Johnson, (SG) Kobe Bryant, (SF) LeBron James
(PF) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, (C) Shaq O’Neal
Naturally, Magic Johnson should lead the franchise at point guard. Johnson was a magician with the basketball and could complete nearly any pass ever needed. According to advanced analytics, Johnson finished with an assist percentage of over 40% eight times in his career. Right before he was diagnosed with HIV and forced to retire, Johnson finished the season with an assist-percentage of 49.3%. In his career, he finished assisting on 40.9% of the Lakers’ offense.
At shooting guard, leaving Kobe Bryant and his 33,643 career points is impossible. Bryant’s 81 points during the 2005-2006 season rank as the second-highest point total in NBA history. Playing alongside LeBron James would give the team a superteam in the modern era. James ranks third on the all-time scoring list (34,263) and passed Bryant last season. Bryant and James have won an Olympic gold medal together, so who knows what this team could have done surrounded by Hall of Fame talent.
If the Lakers needed a basket, they could dish it out to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time leader in points with 38,387 in his career. Then, opposing teams could try and stop a 7-foot-1, 325-pound center in Shaq. O’Neal could go down as the best center of all time, not just for his size, but for his ability to finish down low. O’Neal led the league in field-goal percentage 10 times. If he was in the paint, you were not going to stop him. Altogether, it’s questionable who would have the firepower to stop this team as a whole.