NBA Fantasy Legends

Steve Alexander
Kevin Durant is now a Golden State Warrior, changing the landscape of the Western Conference in the NBA

KD: The Ultimate Warrior

Kevin Durant is now a Golden State Warrior, changing the landscape of the Western Conference in the NBA

I helped write a magazine for Beckett Publishing back in 2010 that covered the 50 greatest NBA players of all time. My manager, Brett Vandermark, recently found this website which is kind of a retro fantasy game, in which you use a $15 salary cap to pick five all-time greats to make up the greatest starting five ever assembled. I thought it would be fun to look at my team, as well as a couple others from Rotoworld writers, and break the players down, while you can also go and pick your own team. It’s free, and while there’s not an actual competition, it may be able to kill an otherwise painful or boring 20 minutes while you’re at work.

My Team

PG – Magic Johnson $5

Magic came in at No. 3 in the magazine we published, while his only real competition for greatest point guard of all time is Oscar Robertson (No. 9). Magic is a 3-time NBA MVP, 3-Time NBA Finals MVP, 5-time NBA champion, and entered the Hall of Fame in 2002. He also won the NCAA title in 1979 with the Michigan State Spartans and scored 42 points to go along with 15 rebounds and seven assists in the 1980 Finals-clinching Game 6 when the Lakers beat the Sixers. He was a huge point guard, checking in at 6-9, and had unbelievable court vision and leadership skills. He’s also tied with Tim Duncan for the most double-doubles in the playoffs. His career averages are 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.4 blocks per game.

SG – Michael Jordan $5

Jordan entered the Hall of Fame in 2009, is a 5-time NBA MVP, a 6-time NBA Champion, 6-time Finals MVP, a 13-time All-Star and won an NCAA title with North Carolina in 1982. He came in at No. 1 on our list of the 50 Greatest of All Time and has a career scoring average of 33.4 points in the NBA Playoffs. He retired in his prime to pursue baseball, but returned with the famous “I’m Back” fax, and led the Bulls to a ridiculous 72-10 record and three more titles starting in 1995-96.  His career averages are 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

SF – Kevin Durant $2

With LeBron costing three more bucks than Durant, you’ll notice that Durant appears on all three of our teams. In order to get LeBron on your team, you pretty much have to scoff at Magic Johnson/Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan, which is tough to do. Durant didn’t make our Top 50 list in 2010, which is understandable since he was a pup at that time. But if we were making a list today, you can bet he’d not only be on it, but likely would crack the Top 30, despite the fact he’s yet to win a title. Durant is one of the league’s all-time best pure scorers and is getting better and better every year. He holds career averages of 27.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks, and at $2, is possibly the best value of all the available players.

PF – Dirk Nowitzki $2

Dirk came in at No. 48 on our 2010 list and was the league MVP in 2006-07, a year after they lost in the Finals. They won a title in 2011 and he’s the all-time leading scorer for the Mavs. He’s led them to the playoffs 13 times, is a 12-time All-Star and sits at No. 10 on the all-time NBA scoring list. I would have rather had Tim Duncan at power forward, but the salary cap makes it tough to use him. Dirk holds career averages of 22.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks.

C – Hakeem Olajuwon $1

Hakeem “The Dream” came in at No. 12 on our 2010 list and he is the league’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 3,830, which is 1,100 more than Shaquille O’Neal. Hakeem is a 2-time NBA champion, a 12-time All-Star, won the 1998 Olympic Gold Medal, entered the Hall of Fame in 2008, and is one of the few guys I have ever witnessed throwing down a quadruple-double (David Robinson, Alvin Robertson and Nate Thurmond are the other three). He holds career averages of 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.75 steals and 3.1 blocks per game. 

Mike Gallagher’s Team

PG Oscar Robertson $4 – Career Stats: 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists.

SG Michael Jordan $5 – See above.

SF Kevin Durant $2 – See above.

PF Kevin Garnett $1 – 18.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.5 blocks.

C Wilt Chamberlain $3 – 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists (averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds in 1961-62 season!).

Ryan Knaus’ Team

PG Oscar Robertson $4 – See above.

SG Michael Jordan $5 – See above.

SF Kevin Durant $2 – See above.

PF Tim Duncan $3 – 19.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.2 blocks

C Hakeem Olajuwon $1 – See above.


Since it’s the fantasy offseason, I thought I’d take a minute to hype one of my favorite musicians of all time. His name is Chuck Cleaver, and he used to be the lead singer of one of my all-time favorite bands, the Ass Ponys. He now fronts Wussy after the Ponys called it quits in 2005, and Wussy has a new record out, which Pitchfork loved. 

He’s got a Michael Stipe/R.E.M. feel to his work, which is usually infused with a bit of humor. I remember playing their album, Mr. Superlove, as the dinner music on the night I got married in 1992, which was a controversial move on my part. Wussy is fantastic and the new record is great. Check ‘em out and go see them on their current tour, which is crossing most of the country starting now. 

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