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All-Time Red Superteam vs. All-Time Gold Superteam: Who Would Win A 7-Game Series?

All-Time Red Superteam vs. All-Time Gold Superteam: Who Would Win A 7-Game Series?

Which team would win a best-of-7 series between the All-Time Reds and All-Time Gold? The Reds have had some elite superstar players play for “red” franchises including the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, and Houston Rockets. With red color in their jerseys, we have seen a ton of superstar players play for the reds including Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, LeBron James, and Hakeem Olajuwon.

For Team Gold, we will focus on the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors. Bith franchises have yielded some of the all-time greats in Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Stephen Curry. Those five names have a combined 23 NBA titles to their names, an incredible fact to imagine. Both superstars on Team Red and Team Gold have all experienced championship success over their careers and will form dynamic five-man rotations to battle in an iconic series. Who wins a best-of-7 series? It is time to find out.

James Harden vs. Magic Johnson

James Harden vs. Magic Johnson

James Harden is one of the most complete offensive players in NBA history because of his ability to score at will and also create shots for his teammates. A man capable of singlehandedly destroying defenses with ball-handling skills and shooting ability, The Beard will go down in NBA lore as one of the greatest isolation scorers we have ever seen. Against a pass-first player in Magic Johnson, Harden will need to put forth intense pressure on him to give his team an edge whenever possible.

Magic never had the offensive skill that Harden has in terms of shooting and shot-creation, but there is no doubt he is a better passer and the greatest floor general in NBA history. Even if Johnson will not be able to match Harden’s scoring in the series, his passing will allow his teammates to get good looks on the floor while the large point guard also crashes the boards with the intention of spearheading the fast break. Overall, this is a very interesting matchup.

Dwyane Wade vs. Stephen Curry

Dwyane Wade vs. Stephen Curry

Dwyane Wade and Stephen Curry are two of the greatest guards to have ever played the game. For the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors respectively, each legend might be the best to ever wear the jerseys. Of course, both players are first-ballot Hall of Famers with some of the greatest offensive skills we have seen. Wade, a top-5 shooting guard of all time, is an elite slasher and also has the skill to take the smaller Curry in the post. Thanks to his elite offensive IQ, Wade will punish Steph on one-on-one occasions.

Meanwhile, Stephen Curry is responsible for changing the NBA game to what it is today, thanks to his elite marksmanship. With 3 NBA titles to his name, it is only natural that Curry will look to create space for himself in the series against an elite defensive guard in Wade. Steph will benefit from the greatness of Magic Johnson and will spot up for open shots whenever they are on the break. Team Gold has the best shooter in NBA history on their team, and that is a major advantage over Team Red.

Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant

This matchup is about pure will and skill, and this will be the most exciting matchup by far. As great as the other players in this series are, they don't have that killer will that both these guys have and that is what will make or break this matchup. Jordan is recognized as an obsessed winner and an ultra competitor, while Kobe Bryant followed in his footsteps in the same way. Kobe wanted to eliminate all competition and wanted to be as close to MJ as possible in terms of being the best player on the floor. Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest ever for a reason.

MJ and Kobe will go like for like in terms of offensive production, without much to separate them. MJ has the efficiency and patience on offense, while Kobe Bryant can make any shot anywhere on the court. MJ might be the slightly better player thanks to his efficiency, but Kobe Bryant will not go down without a fight and this matchup will be almost even due to slight differences. The only reason a minor edge goes to Jordan slightly is that he is slightly larger than Kobe and will be able to get a few extra defensive stops which will be critical in the series.

LeBron James vs. Shaquille O’Neal

LeBron James vs. Shaquille O’Neal

LeBron James is the greatest small forward ever and will play more of a “Magic Johnson” role for Team Red. A gifted passer and tremendous all-around talent, The King will be able to haul rebounds on the court and also create shots for his teammates. LeBron is also capable of scoring, except he will have to handle an awkward matchup against Shaquille O’Neal. James will not be able to guard Shaq down low but will take advantage whenever the fast break presents itself. Even in an awkward matchup, LeBron will average a near triple-double.

Shaquille O’Neal will always do what he does best: get into a strong position in the post and score at will. Even if Shaq is playing alongside another paint-dominant center in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he will not accept anything except getting the ball in his favorite positions. The Diesel is bigger and stronger than LeBron and will score at will when not double-teamed. Defensively, O’Neal will not be able to handle James which creates one of the most strange matchups on both ends of the court.

Hakeem Olajuwon vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Hakeem Olajuwon vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

In the marquee matchup other than the Jordan-Kobe battle, Hakeem Olajuwon will take on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a paint battle. Hakeem is a top-5 center of all time with the greatest footwork known to basketball. The superstar player won two NBA championships with the Houston Rockets, carrying them on his back at times and also locking up the paint defensively. With LeBron James and James Harden acting as playmakers, Hakeem will get the ball in strong positions and will go to work against Kareem throughout the series.

Kareem does not have the footwork of Hakeem, but he has the single most unstoppable shot in NBA history in the sky hook. Even against a Defensive Player of the Year performer in Olajuwon, Kareem will be able to let his shot loose with ease and there isn’t much anyone can do about it. On defense, Kareem is also an elite shot-blocker and will try to prevent Olajuwon from getting into a rhythm throughout the matchup. Both superstar centers will perform at an exceptional level, and there will be little to split them when looking at the stat sheet and all-around impact.

Team Red Avantages

Team Red has a beautiful mix of inside and outside scorers. Unlike Team Gold who will need to sort out their plays and matchups, Team Red can simply go on the floor with every player comfortable in their natural positions. Even as an elite scorer, James Harden is a capable point guard and will do a fantastic job feeding his superstar teammates in their favorite spots. LeBron James, thanks to his versatility, will also share ball-handling duties to organize the offense to confuse Team Gold.

Of course, Team Red has Michael Jordan, a killer with the ball in his hands. Surrounding Jordan with four other offensive threats essentially means that he has the confidence in grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck without the need for pacing himself. Hakeem down low also gives Team Red a valuable go-to option when the perimeter players need a breather. As a whole, Team Red fits together better than Team Gold and that will show in the series.

Team Gold Advantages

Team Gold has an elite size, starting with 6’9” Magic Johnson and ending with the twin-towers pairing of Shaquille O'Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. With Magic handling the ball, Team Gold will be able to create a solid offensive game plan with Curry and Kobe coming off screens, and the bigs waiting for the ball or offensive rebounds. No doubt about it, the size will be tiring to handle on the part of Team Red, because physicality is a major deciding factor on a team’s success.

The fact that Team Gold have Kobe Bryant to throw at Michael Jordan is a big factor in their play. Perhaps the only man who can match what Jordan does in the clutch and on a mental level is Bryant, and they can surround him with the help he needs in terms of size and shooting. Team Gold has the best shooter on the court in Steph Curry and the best bigs in O’Neal and Kareem, meaning they can diversify their offense as needed.

Who Wins A Best-Of-7 Series?

Game 1 is all Team Red, as Jordan and James combine for 54 points. They play lockdown defense on Steph, preventing him from getting hot from three. Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson have a solid game with 30 points and 15 assists respectively, but they also face stifling defensive pressure in the second half mainly. Shooting a combined 41% from the field, Team Gold fail to get good shots and looks lost on the court as their offense goes into shambles whenever Team Red presses them up the floor. Clearly, Team Gold has to write this loss off and focus on Game 2, as the game ends 112-101 in favor of Team Red.

Team Gold respond in Game 2, as Curry and Bryant get hot from three, nailing 10 threes combined. Team Red struggles to handle the perimeter, despite a monster 25-point second-half performance from Michael Jordan. Team Gold gets off to a hot start and never cools off, leaving Team Red coasting the rest of the game because the lead is out of reach. In a similar fashion to Game 2, Team Red is forced to make adjustments on the fly as they lose a double-digit game 107-99.

As expected, Team Red respond in Game 3, winning the game 115-113 thanks to a game-winner from Dwyane Wade. Skipping to the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James go head-to-head, scoring 12 points apiece. It is a hard-fought game for the majority of the game, but Team Red gets the benefit from a game-winning play that was truly a team effort. With the game tied 113-113 with 23 seconds, James inbounds to James Harden who holds onto the ball until the 10-second mark. He makes his move off the pick-and-roll, finding James who rifles a pass to a cutting Wade who backs down Curry and nails the game-winner. With Bryant and Magic blitzing Michael, Wade had the matchup he wanted to give his side a 2-1 series lead.

Game 4 is also about Team Red, once again coming away with a 1-point victory. This time, it is Michael Jordan who wins the game. LeBron James shines brightest with a 28-point triple-double, but Jordan is clutch in the fourth. With Team Red trailing by 8 points in the quarter, MJ scores and assists on 8 straight points in the quarter including a stepback jumper over Kobe Bryant to put them up 3. Somehow, Kobe Bryant nails a tough shot from the perimeter at the buzzer, which seemingly tied the game. But his foot was slightly on the line, making his shot a 2-pointer and ultimately ending the game in favor of Team Red.

Down 3-1, Shaquille O’Neal puts his head down and goes to work. The Diesel makes it known he does not want to be closed out in five games and drops 34 points in dominating fashion. There is simply no answer for Shaq, as he makes sure he forces the ball into the basket. Not even the athleticism of LeBron James or the size of Hakeem Olajuwon would prove to be enough because O’Neal shoots 54% from the field and 70% from the stripe to carry the team on his back. Magic also finishes with a series-high 19 assists while making it clear he will feed the beast down low.

Thanks to Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson’s brilliance, Team Gold forces a pivotal Game 7. The duo controls the game, surviving the onslaught from Michael Jordan in the second half. The Bulls guard has another 25-point second half, giving his side a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. But Bryant finds his range, going 2-2 from three in the fourth and also nailing a one-legged fadeaway over LeBron James to give his side a 4-point lead with 10 seconds left. Game 7 is going to be an iconic matchup, to say the least.

Game 7 does not disappoint, as an overtime period is needed. In a relatively low-scoring game, neither side push the pace much and instead focus on feeding the bigs. Hakeem leads Team Red with 24 points at the end of regulation, while Kareem has 25 for Team Gold. But in overtime, the guards come to life. Curry nails the only three-pointer in the period thanks to a clever Magic Johnson pass to take Team Gold up 3 with 40 seconds left. But Team Red responds through LeBron James, who drives and kicks it to Jordan who nails the mid-range jumper. Kobe is doubled in the following position, forcing him to pass to Shaq who is the only player open. O’Neal is fouled, and he goes 0-2 from the line. With 7 seconds to save the series and stop Team Gold from surviving a 3-1 deficit, Jordan manages to break free from Kobe thanks to a Hakeem pick and rises over Curry to drain a game-winner with 0.4 seconds left. Team Gold tries to lob it into Kareem, but LeBron disrupts the pass giving his side a 1-point victory.

Final Result: Team All-Time Red vs. Team All-Time Gold 4-3

Finals MVP: Michael Jordan


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