Allen Iverson recently named his all-time starting five, claiming his side would be unbeatable against any team. There might be some surprises in Iverson’s list, although it is hard to argue against them considering the totality of the lineup. In the backcourt, Iverson chose a dynamic duo of Stephen Curry and Michael Jordan to lead the line.
Iverson also picked Kobe Bryant, one of his greatest rivals and friends on the basketball court. There is no doubt that The Answer respected Bryant and they played against each other multiple times when both stars were in their prime. In the frontcourt, Iverson’s team consists of LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, two of the most dominant players of their eras.
Obviously, this lineup looks unbeatable and it will be hard for any team to come close to what they can do on both ends of the floor. But there might be a team that has a shot, and it consists of 5 superstar players that match up well with Iverson’s all-time lineup.
Fadeaway World's All-Time Squad: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon
Allen Iverson's All-Time Squad: Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal
Here is what a best-of-7 series would look like between them.
Magic Johnson vs. Stephen Curry
Magic Johnson will be chosen at the point because he has the size to punish the smaller Stephen Curry in the paint and also shield him off when he finds his superstar teammates. Magic does everything on the floor very well, and he will be the undisputed leader of his team.
Meanwhile, Steph will move around picks to get open to try to find good looks on the court. Curry is the best pure shooter on the floor and his impact will be bolstered by the presence of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James playing the wings.
Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan
It will be hard to choose a shooting guard that cab match up with Michael Jordan, especially since Kobe Bryant was also taken by Iverson. But Larry Bird is the next-best choice because he is a smart defender with an excellent ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter and get scrappy against the greatest talent ever.
Michael is the best player on the court in this series, but he will not dominate the series by himself thanks to the presence of Bird. Jordan will have to work harder to score against Bird, but that will not stop him from being the leading scorer in the series.
Kevin Durant vs. Kobe Bryant
Kevin Durant is an easy choice at small forward because he is one of the top-5 scoring talents of all time. Against a team that has Steph, Michael, Kobe, and LeBron; superstar offense is needed and Durant fits the bill. He will have no issues getting his shots up over a shorter Bryant.
Meanwhile, Iverson’s team has one of the most fierce competitors ever in Kobe Bryant and also a player who will raise his game alongside MJ. Bryant and MJ cannot be beaten theoretically, but will that opinion manifest itself in the series? After all, there is only one basketball on the court.
Tim Duncan vs. LeBron James
Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward ever, and he will be one of the first choices on the chosen lineup to compete with LeBron James. Duncan is a natural post player and will use his physicality and basketball IQ to run the floor inside.
Meanwhile, LeBron will handle playmaking duties to allow Steph to come off screens. James is very unselfish and will not mind taking a backseat offensively in favor of 3 other elite scorers. Of course, he also has Shaq inside and will still be able to average 10 RPG in the series.
Hakeem Olajuwon vs. Shaquille O’Neal
There are some good choices to match up with Shaq inside, but Hakeem Olajuwon has to be the best option. The Dream is the greatest post scorer ever because he had every move down low, Not to mention, Shaq tends to struggle against dynamic scorers who have elite athleticism and quickness as a big man.
O’Neal will have his hands full with Hakeem, but he will still dominate the court. He is the biggest player on the floor, standing 7’’1” and weighing 320 lbs. With LeBron and the guards feeding him throughout the series, O’Neal will have a big series.
Team Fadeaway World Advantage
The chosen team to compete with Iverson’s all-time great squad has elite scorers and defenders at their natural positions. Magic is the best at his position and also the best floor general and leader on the court. He will have a great series, putting up near triple-double statistics.
Team Fadeaway World also has the greatest power forward ever at his natural position and 3 other players who thrive in their roles. Unlike Team Iverson which has 2 players playing unnatural positions, Team Fadeaway World will not have games where their players need to find their rhythm.
Team Iverson Advantage
Team Iverson will have an unstoppable offense. It will be impossible to stop them when they are going because Curry can singlehandedly win games by himself. Winning games is what MJ is known for, and not even Larry Bird’s scrappiness on defense can stop Jordan from going off.
Kobe can win games by himself and so can LeBron James. Of course, Shaquille O’Neal is the most dominant physical specimen of all time. Iverson was a natural scorer himself, and by picking a group of 5 offensive superstars, his team could very well be unbeatable.
Who Wins A Best-Of-7 Series?
Game 1 is a blowout victory for Team Iverson. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James all have incredible games by combining for 87 points. There is simply no stopping the trio, as they take over and blitz Team Fadeaway World on both ends of the court. The hunger is in their eyes, and they win the game by a convincing margin, 112-83.
The second game is much closer, as Team Iverson bounce back thanks to a spectacular showing from Kevin Durant and Hakeem Olajuwon. The duo combine for 45 points and 20 rebounds, dominating the game from the perimeter and the interior. The game is tied 99-99 with 15 seconds left, giving Team FW the chance to hold the ball for the last possession. Durant attacks, and with two defenders on him, finds Magic for an easy hook shot to win the game.
Game 3 is neither a blowout nor a tight game, but Team Iverson comes out on top rather convincingly with a 110-91 victory. Again, the trio of Jordan, Bryant, and LeBron dominate but the main factor is Shaquille O’Neal. The big man goes off for 39 points, and the pace of the game is manipulated by him. The series is now 2-1 for Team Iverson.
Game 4 goes to Team FW, thanks to a spectacular game-winner at the hands of Larry Bird. Bird drops 40 points, including 6-10 from three, giving his team a massive boost when no one else truly find their offense. In a rather low-scoring game, Bird is the brightest spot and keeps the series alive by draining a mid-range fadeaway over the outstretched arms of LeBron James.
LeBron James answers in Game 5, dropping 32 points, 15 rebounds, and 14 assists. The King is at his efficient best, shooting 51% from the field and 80% from the free-throw line. With James nailing 8-10 free throws, there is little Team FW can do to stop The King and have to accept a 120-100 loss. Magic Johnson has his worst game of the series and needs to find an answer in Game 6.
As expected, the greatest point guard ever puts forward a tremendous Game 6 performance. He holds Curry to 12 points, getting the smaller guard into foul trouble by taking him into the post and cutting his screen action short. Bird contributes 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Duncan has 5 blocks in the game. Team Iverson struggle to find a rhythm on the floor, mainly because Bryant and Jordan only shoot a combined 43% from the field.
It comes down to Game 7, where either team can win the game and the series. The difference has to come to the fine details, something Team Iverson cannot seem to do in this game. Curry, Jordan, Bryant, O’Neal, and LeBron are all superstars who need the ball in their hands; and that comes against them. There is no flow on the offense, leading to shot attempts at the end of the shot-clock. Upon misses, Magic is unstoppable on the fast-break and Larry Bird once again comes to life with 30 points. Duncan and Hakeem have their best game of the series, holding Shaq to 18 points and also combining for 30 rebounds. With their natural post presence and Magic’s playmaking, Team FW sneak an unlikely victory with Game 7 ending 110-106.
Game Result: Team Fadeaway World vs. Team Iverson 4-3
Finals MVP: Magic Johnson