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All-Time Lakers Team vs. All-Time Non-Lakers Team: Even Michael Jordan Can't Beat This Lakers Superteam

All-Time Lakers Team vs. All-Time Non-Lakers Team: Even Michael Jordan Can't Beat This Lakers Superteam

The Los Angeles Lakers have had some of the greatest players of all time play for their franchise. The likes of Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have all suited up in purple and gold. More specifically, they have all dominated the NBA and won titles as members of the Lakers.

Most recently, LeBron James is the latest all-time great to play for the Lakers and captured an NBA title with the franchise two years ago. Looking back at these five dominant names, do the Lakers have the greatest assembly of talent ever?

By giving the all-time Lakers competition from 5 all-time non-Lakers in a 5-on-5 matchup, we might have enough to answer that question. We will collect Stephen Curry, the greatest 3-point shooter ever, and also 6-time NBA champion Michael Jordan. 4-time scoring champion Kevin Durant will also join these two great scorers, along with 5-time champion Tim Duncan and 2-time champion Hakeem Olajuwon. In an all-time great matchup, here is how a best of 7 series goes down.

Magic Johnson vs. Stephen Curry

Magic Johnson vs. Stephen Curry

Players with different skill sets, Magic and Curry will go to battle in their own manner. Johnson brings size and playmaking, along with all-time great intangibles and floor leadership. With Magic’s size and court vision, Curry will have a tough time playing defense.

Meanwhile, Curry’s movement off the ball and deep-range shooting will put pressure on Magic. The Golden State Warriors star will always be a threat from three when pairing up with other all-time great players, so Magic will have a handful on his hands as well. Even if both stars are different, their impacts cannot be ignored.

Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan

Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan

The marquee matchup comes down to the two greatest shooting guards ever: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Kobe and Jordan are essentially the same players, with similar skill sets and advantages. Bryant loves going one-on-one, and so does Jordan.

Both stars also play terrific defense and always take their games to another level when competing with stakes on the line. The slight difference lies in the fact that Jordan is more efficient than Kobe, and will likely defer to the right play instead of playing “hero ball” which Bryant will do on occasion.

LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant

LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant

Another magical matchup will come between LeBron James and Kevin Durant. James historically had the edge over Durant in postseason showdowns, but once Durant got a superteam behind him, The King struggled to gain wins. Overall, this matchup will be extremely close in every facet.

James is a much better floor general and passer and will make the right play for his superstar teammates. Meanwhile, James is also much stronger than Durant and more physical. KD will hold his own as a sharpshooter and will put a ton of pressure on the Lakers stars with spacing, so this will be a very intriguing matchup.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Tim Duncan

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Tim Duncan

The evenest matchup might come between Abdul-Jabbar and Duncan. Both bigs will have the offense run through them at times and will do solid jobs at playing defense and rebounding. Kareem has the most unstoppable shot ever with the skyhook, and not even the brilliance of Tim Duncan can affect that.

Meanwhile, Duncan is a force on the glass and is the ultimate team player. Even if he cannot keep up the scoring of Kareem and is slightly shorter, his passing and basketball IQ will even up any advantages that the Lakers center brings. Overall, this matchup will be pretty even over 7 games.

Shaquille O’Neal vs. Hakeem Olajuwon

Shaquille O’Neal vs. Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon got the better of Shaquille O’Neal in past history, but we are talking about the most dominant Lakers version of Shaq in this series. Shaq is larger than Olajuwon and more powerful, so he will be a physical force over the series. But O’Neal will also struggle with defending Hakeem’s impressive post moves.

Hakeem has the most unstoppable post-game in NBA history, other than Kareem and Kevin McHale, so he will not have issues averaging 22 PPG and 12 RPG in the series. Olajuwon will also do a great job of limiting O’Neal to averaging under 28 PPG, a great feat on its own. Overall, this matchup will be extremely close and very entertaining.

All-Time Lakers Advantage

The Lakers fit together in every facet, but their greatest strength is their incredible leadership and playmaking. Magic Johnson and LeBron James are the two greatest playmakers ever, as they have incredible size and passing skills that cannot be taught. More so than Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan, or Kevin Durant; Magic and James will be the two most dominant passers on the court.

Pairing two all-time great passers with dominant scorers in Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar means the all-time Lakers will get the perfect shot on the floor every time. Unlike the all-time non-Lakers, this team can rely on two superstars to lead the offense in many ways instead of scoring and shooting.

All-Time Non-Lakers Advantage

The advantage that the non-Lakers have comes in their all-time great floor spacing. Stephen Curry is by far the greatest shooter ever and Kevin Durant is also a top-10 shooter to ever play the game. These two sharpshooters will make a living from the perimeter when playing alongside Micahel Jordan because the Chicago Bulls superstar will attract the bulk of the defensive attention.

Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon are known for their defense and paint scoring, but their presence in the post will allow Curry and Durant to heat up from the perimeter even more. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are very capable shooters, but they cannot keep up with Curry, Durant, and Jordan on the perimeter.

Who Wins A Best Of 7 Series?

So which group of superstars win this all-time great series? This series will go to 7 games because all 10 players on the court are some of the greatest talents to ever walk on the Earth. With not much to split them as a whole, the winning side will gain the edge in a matter of the slimmest of margins.

Game 1 of the series goes to Team Non-Lakers, led by a 40-point showing by Michael Jordan. MJ proves to be completely unstoppable, owning Bryant and every other player on the floor. With his unstoppable mid-range fadeaway and his explosives around the rim, Michael proves why he is the greatest player ever in the first game.

Game 2 goes to the Lakers’ stars. All 5 players score over 20 points, as Magic Johnson grabs a triple-double. The superstar point guard puts up 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists to give his team an edge in every way. Kobe leads all scorers with 34 points on 30 shots, outdueling Jordan who ends up with 30 points on 24 shots. Durant and Curry go missing, although they wake up in Game 3.

Durant and Curry combine for 9-20 shooting from deep, with 5 three-pointers coming in the first quarter alone. With this type of shooting, the Non-Lakers get out to a convincing 39-25 lead in the quarter. Duncan and Hakeem take over the rest of the way, putting up a combined 40 points and 25 rebounds while limiting O’Neal to 23 points. Jordan leads all scorers again, but the big men get the job done.

In Game 4, Bryant and LeBron James respond with big-time performances. The game heads to 2OT, thanks to multiple buzzer-beaters on both sides. In the most hotly contested game, the difference comes in the play of Bryant and James. LeBron scores 10 points in both overtime periods and dished out 3 assists, one of which fell to a Bryant And-1 over his idol Michael Jordan to win the game.

Game 5 goes to Shaquille O’Neal and the Lakers because the big man drops a monster 30-20 game with 4 blocks. In his first true MVP performance in the series, the Lakers simply ride on the back of their big man who takes over the game. Michael tries his best with 32 points and Steph contributes 28 of his own (6-12 from three), but their bigs have pedestrian games in comparison to Diesel.

Luckily, Hakeem and Duncan respond in Game 6. In the biggest blowout in the series, the Non-Lakers keep the series alive with fantastic performances across the board. Michael drops 40 points and 8 assists, Steph goes 6-14 from three, Durant chips in 32 points, and both bigs block 5 shots each. The Lakers have no answer for the opposition, scoring 95 total points in the game. With a shocking score of 129-95, the Lakers were not focused enough to get the job done. Trailing by double-digits for the majority of the game, all eyes will be set on Game 7.

Game 7 will be one for the ages. Skipping to the 4th quarter, the Non-Lakers hold a 5-point lead with 2 minutes remaining. After a Durant shot just rims out, Magic grabs the board and finds a running O’Neal with a massive And-1 opportunity which he ends up surprisingly making. Kobe switches onto Curry and blocks his three-point attempt, before finding LeBron with a breakaway dunk. In a matter of 1 minute, the game is tied.

Michael finally breaks the deadlock, nailing a contested jumper over Kobe with 40 seconds remaining. The Lakers need to respond, which they do after LeBron feeds Kareem for a skyhook. With 22 seconds on the clock, the final shot falls to Michael Jordan. Michael makes his move with 8 seconds left, only to run into a double-team which forces a pass to Duncan on the corner. The big man spins and puts up a jumper over a recovering Shaq that barely misses the mark.

In overtime, Michael and Kobe take over. The shooting guards go toe-to-toe with buckets each to start the quarter, but the Lakers swarm Jordan and force tough shots from Durant for two straight possessions. Bryant switches onto Curry and drains a three-pointer to put the game up by 3 before Magic picks a wild Durant pass and finds James for an easy slam. Jordan responds with a jumper, but once again, Bryant switches onto Curry to nail a contested jumper to seal the deal for the Lakers.

In the end, the IQ of Magic and LeBron was too much to handle as their raw size made life difficult for Curry and Durant. Kobe leads his team in scoring with 31 PPG, while Michael drops 34 PPG on 52% shooting for his side. The Lakers might have the greatest assembly of players ever, and this series victory could prove that.

Series Result: Team Lakers vs. Team Non-Lakers 4-3

Finals MVP: Kobe Bryant 


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