Draymond Green is a player on top of the world right now since he is still rejoicing after winning his 4th NBA championship following the 2023 NBA season. But quite recently, Draymond Green mentioned his greatest starting five that he believed would defeat anybody. Green mentioned his unbeatable lineup a couple of days ago, which featured Stephen Curry as the point guard, Michael Jordan as shooting guard, LeBron James on the wing, Tim Duncan at power forward, and 3-time Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal down low. While this lineup features some of the best players ever and certainly looks unbeatable, there might be one squad that can challenge them. In truth, there is one squad that could actually defeat Draymond’s all-time great starting five.
While a lineup of MJ, Steph, and LeBron looks unstoppable on offense with the size of Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan too much to handle, there might be a lineup built around Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and Larry Bird that can take down Draymond’s starting five. It is very hard to find any weakness in this lineup, but the only way to challenge them is by fighting fire with fire. Here is the Hall of Fame lineup that can challenge Draymond Green’s all-time starting five.
Magic Johnson vs. Stephen Curry
Magic Johnson is 6'9" and might be the best passer we have ever seen. He has the size to back down Curry in the post to score and can be the guy hauling rebounds and running on the break while showcasing his tremendous leadership skills. Magic's ability to control the pace of the game and dictate where the ball goes will be the first step in taking down Draymond’s superteam.
Stephen Curry is a handful on offense and might be the most unstoppable offensive point guard over the last two decades. The man is lightning quick, has supreme handles, and can finish at the rim when he isn’t swishing three-pointer after three-pointer. Built as tough as they come, Curry was every defender's nightmare. But if one man can make an impact on the game at the point guard position and find a way to neutralize Steph and actually gain an advantage, it's the great Magic Johnson.
Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan
Kobe Bryant is widely regarded as the second-best shooting guard of all time, and as a result, he is the best option to challenge his only equal in Michael Jordan. To manage Michael Jordan in a game, you have to throw the best player you got, and that is Kobe Bryant. The 5-time NBA champion is one of the best scorers ever and can hold his own defensively as well. When trying to deal with Jordan, you must have a guard who can defend at an All-NBA level and also fight fire with fire.
Jordan is one of the best perimeter defenders in the modern era and might be the best shot-blocking shooting guard ever. Kobe will get his points, but Jordan will obviously get his on the other end as well. Jordan’s scoring will keep Bryant working on defense which won't allow him to shoot the ball efficiently as well. Michael is the best player in the series and the star of Green’s superteam, which means this matchup will be the highlight.
Larry Bird vs. LeBron James
LeBron James starts in Draymond’s unbeatable lineup alongside Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry. No surprise here, LeBron is probably the most common inclusion in any all-time list because he is simply the most multi-faceted star in the modern NBA. James will be a force on offense, and it will take a valiant effort on the part of any team to manage that. LeBron is also an elite passer and will actually be the main point guard in the series.
The player that will be tasked with equalling LeBron’s impact is the great Larry Bird. While Bird isn't a defensive stopper on the level of Jordan, for example, his impact on the game is on a legendary level. He might be the best pure shooter on the floor outside of Steph and has the best rebounding ability of any perimeter player as well. But the key to Bird's inclusion is his overall impact and competitiveness. Bird loved trash talking more than anything, and that sort of attitude is absolutely essential to not getting completely outmatched by the talent and killer will of Draymond’s unbeatable starting five.
Hakeem Olajuwon vs. Tim Duncan
Hakeem Olajuwon has been the best NBA player over the past few decades in terms of scoring in the paint through unstoppable footwork. Of course, he had tremendous success and dominance as a superstar center in the game. His scoring ability, size, and unselfishness on the court mean his impact on Team FW is almost irreplaceable. Of course, his job will be to neutralize Tim Duncan as much as possible because he is the only choice in this position to do so.
Tim Duncan might be the scariest power forward ever because he could literally shoot over players and nail his bank jumper and yet also had the defensive skills to defend the rim. Duncan can also hold his own defensively, and he has had success against other elite big men in other matchups before. This matchup will be an intriguing one, to say the least, and whoever wins this matchup ultimately could have a major decision on how games go throughout the series.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Shaquille O’Neal
At the center position, countering the impact and size of Shaquille O'Neal is a daunting task. He is regarded as one of the 5 best centers ever, and there was no doubt that O'Neal would include himself alongside LeBron James in the front court. The only man that can measure up to Shaq's impact in terms of all-around play has to be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kareem is arguably the most accomplished basketball player in NBA history, and he brings that level of dominance to help the likes of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson take it to Draymond Green's all-time starting five. Of course, Kareem’s sky-hook shot will be the key to getting buckets while the likes of Kobe, Bird, and Hakeem get theirs.
Shaq can bully every NBA player that we have seen in the post, but Kareem can hold his own. He is a tremendous defensive player and a basketball genius who can bother Shaq and not allow him to get easy points. But The Diesel will try to impose his will on the court as much as possible, and he is still the biggest player on the court even when surrounded by other bigs, including Hakeem and Duncan.
Team FW Advantages
Team FW brings the fire against fire. Magic Johnson is the greatest point guard in the NBA’s history, and his size will be a massive factor against a smaller Stephen Curry. His playmaking is second to none, and he will manage to bring out the best in his superstar teammates, which is terrifying to imagine.
Kobe Bryant and Larry Bird also bring fire against Jordan and LeBron, and it will be hard to find any major differences between them. In the post, Hakeem and Kareem are a scary duo to take on Duncan and Shaq. The key for Team FW is to equal production and hope for the best.
Team Green Advantages
Draymond Green’s all-time starting five has the best player of all time in Michael Jordan, and the GOAT is surrounded by other stars who can defend and also shoot the ball. Curry is unstoppable in a lineup that features Jordan because he will have more open shots on his team.
Not to mention, Shaq is a beast inside the paint, and Duncan is the greatest at his position. Overall, this all-time team has the very best in each position, and they are naturally effective in their roles. Draymond’s team also has LeBron playing point, which also allows Curry and Jordan the freedom to express themselves.
Who Wins A Best-Of-7 Series?
Game 1 goes to Team Draymond, who finds their offense through Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan. Jordan finishes with a game-high 35 points on 11-20 shooting, while Duncan chips in 28 points and 13 rebounds. The duo gets hot in the second quarter and hardly slows down as they lead their team to a comfortable 109-101 victory. With Team FW struggling to find their rhythm by shooting 44% from the field as a team, Team Draymond have their way beyond a late 10-0 run by Team FW.
But Team FW respond well in Game 2, thanks to Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson. Kobe owns Game 2, dropping 40 points on 45% shooting and also adding in 10 rebounds. Despite the presence of LeBron James on the other end, Magic Johnson controls the offense in an effort to not fall into a 0-2 hole. Team Draymond finds their primary scorer again through Michael Jordan, but Team FW takes over in the second half thanks to Kobe Bryant’s 25-point second half. This game ends with a similar result, except it goes the other way: 108-100 for Team FW.
Game 3 is all about the bigs, as Kareem and Shaq go toe-to-toe. Kareem finishes with 32 points and 12 rebounds, while Shaq drops 30 and 13 of his own. With the game tied at 100 with a minute remaining in the 4th quarter, Magic Johnson has the ball and calls a play for the legendary center down low. Kareem receives the ball, takes a dribble, and releases a sky hook at the 24-second shot-clock buzzer. Simply, this was an unbelievable play by both Magic and Kareem. Team Draymond tries to answer, but Kobe and Bird blitz Jordan and do not allow the shooting guard to get a good shot off. Instead, Jordan has to pass to Steph, who cannot drain the shot.
LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal take over Game 4, with The King finding it useful to feed his big. Shaq struggles on defense, fouling Kareem multiple times and also falling victim to the infamous sky-hook. But Shaq goes ballistic in the fourth, going 6-6 from the field and also coming up with a game-saving block on Magic Johnson when the point guard feints a pass and goes for a floater. Kobe struggles, going 7-21 from the field, and Bird has yet to have a game that looks impressive on the scoring sheet.
Team Draymond tries to take a convincing Game 5 victory, but they fail to do it courtesy of a balanced offense from their opponents. The team shoots 49% as a whole, including 37% from three and 83% from the free-throw line. Bryant and Bird are the stars of the game, and Kobe nails the vital shot in the fourth quarter. Not even a 39-point effort from Michael Jordan would be enough because Team FW find their efficiency throughout the game thanks to their superstar floor general and a vintage Larry Bird performance. The Celtics star scores 20 in the first half and finishes the game with 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Bird’s last assist comes when he drives and kicks to Bryant, who rises over Curry and drains a three-pointer to give his side a 5-point lead that sticks.
The major scorers go at it again, as MJ and Bryant go toe-to-toe in the second half. Jordan finishes with 40 points against Kobe’s 37, but it takes a wild fadeaway jumper from Bryant over LeBron James with 33 seconds remaining to give his side a 2-point margin. LeBron finds Curry for a three with 15 seconds remaining, and MJ manages to strip Kareem on the inbound before calling a timeout. With less than 10 seconds, LeBron inbounds to a cutting Jordan, who ends the game with a late jumper. As a result, Team Draymond ties the series 3-3, heading into a vital Game 7.
Game 7 is one for the ages. The first half starts slow, with both sides ending the second quarter knotted at 55. Shaq and LeBron take over in the third, combining for 20 points and 10 rebounds in the quarter alone. Entering the 4th, the game seems out of reach for Team Draymond as the score is 90-80. Larry Bird and Kobe Bryant drain back-to-back three-pointers, followed by a Hakeem “Dream Shake”, and a Kareem sky-hook to end the third. Clearly, Team Draymond needs to make up for the horrid end to the quarter. Jordan takes over, scoring 15 in the fourth quarter. But nobody else has a good quarter, and once again, Bird and Kobe continue their scoring dominance as they combine for 12 in the quarter. Thanks to that late spurt at the end of the third quarter, Team FW ultimately escapes with a 4-point victory despite a valiant effort from Jordan. Thanks to his clutch scoring, Kobe Bryant earns Finals MVP honors.
Final Result: Team FW vs. Team Green 4-3
Finals MVP: Kobe Bryant