McCallum, Jack
October 1992
Sports Illustrated;10/22/92, Vol. 77 Issue 17, p28
One of the timeless arguments in sports is this: Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain? For my alltime NBA Dream Team, I choose Russell as the first-team center, Chamberlain for the second team and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the best 11th or 12th man in the history of the planet. Russell's game began with defense, so there would never be a question of his getting in the way here. In the way of whom? Elgin Baylor. He was the Julius Erving of his time, a showstopping acrobatic, high-scoring (career average: 27.4) forward who also averaged double figures in rebounds in 11 of his first 12 seasons. Larry Bird. It's impossible to compare Bird to anyone because there never has been and probably never will be, as versatile a forward. Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. It would take one mean backcourt combo to put the Big O, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West on the pine, and this is it. Jordan can do everything West could do--including, most important, producing in the clutch--while Magic's leadership and unselfishness give him the edge over Robertson. And I wish, finally, that there was room for two coaches, but given the egos of my two candidates, it would not be possible. Though Arnold (Red) Auerbach has to be considered in any discussion of alltime coaches, I choose Pat Riley.


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