If you think about the greatest teams of all time, you should think about the Chicago Bulls or the Los Angeles Lakers. What if these two teams were to follow the trend of creating superteams. The combined histories of these two teams have enough star power that they could compete against any other human being in the world. What if two other legacy teams were merged?
It would be a complete game-changer if the Warriors team up with the Lakers. The Lakers have at most three players in their history that could be considered a basketball Mt. Rushmore. Although the Warriors only have one player, Rushmore is potentially the greatest ever shooter.
What about another great legacy team, the Bulls? Imagine a world in which the Bulls and Rockets were a team. The Bulls were home to the youngest ever MVP and the most recognizable player in the league. Aside from that, the Rockets featured the second-greatest player of the Michael Jordan era as well as one the most natural scorers that we have ever seen. In a game of 5-on-5, which goes to a seven-game series. Who would win?
Point Guard: Stephen Curry vs. Derrick Rose
Rose would have a difficult time defensively against Curry. Curry can sometimes be a master of ball handling, which can allow him to create offense from any position on the court. Curry is also an excellent shot-maker. Curry would be able to pull up from deep if Rose is not careful. We know he is capable of it as he aims to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in three-point field goal attempts.
We assume that this is Derrick Rose’s healthy version. Rose was the one who won the MVP award at age 22. Rose was a high flying athlete who could dribble, jump, and slash at the time. You can see the influence of Michael Jordan’s jumps on Rose’s hang time. Rose’s ability of blowing by opponents would make it difficult to guard Curry in a seven game series.
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan
Imagine the two players at their peak. This is the greatest matchup ever in NBA history. On the one hand, you have the greatest player to ever play the sport. Bryant would be a challenge to Jordan because Bryant was one the best two-way guards in all of the league. He is Jordan’s closest cousin, and may even be the one we see. Bryant can connect with anyone on the floor. Bryant could connect anywhere on the floor. “Kobe”When they threw a paper ball in the trash can.
Jordan holds 10 scoring titles. He was the foundation of the Bulls franchise, which won six championships including two three-peats. Jordan was quick and strong and extremely difficult to guard. Gary Payton was a great defender in league history and had a difficult time protecting Jordan.
Small Forward: Magic Johnson vs. Tracy McGrady
Magic Johnson would be moving to the small forward position due to the smaller team. Curry will be able to play more on the ball and the Lakers-Warriors team will remain dangerous from deep. LeBron is able to play point guard at times, which could provide more opportunities for both of them. LeBron’s 11.1 assists per week career average is a NBA record, so it is possible to switch responsibilities from occasion to occasion.
Tracy McGrady did for a time what James Harden did before he ever joined the league. Harden was dropped from this team due to the backcourt, but McGrady was just a good scorer back then. McGrady was the scoring champion in 2003 and 2004, with an average of 32.1 points per games. McGrady was such an athlete that he would be the main beneficiary to playing alongside Rose or Jordan. He would always be open.
Power Forward: LeBron James vs. Scottie Pippen
Pippen would face a tough defensive battle. We often forget that Pippen was a 10-time All-Defensive Team Winner, including eight times on The First Team. LeBron would face a similar challenge. Pippen was no weakling on offense. He could score about 20 points each night and grab eight rebounds. LeBron is so talented, he could find a way for him to score his points. LeBron is also about 25 pounds bigger than Pippen. Pippen was listed at 6’8 and 225lbs, while LeBron is listed as 6-foot-9 with 250 pounds.
Pippen would be responsible for LeBron James’ defense. Pippen’s offense would likely take a hit, but if he can contain the second-greatest player ever, it would be an even tradeoff. Pippen could score and rebound, pass, and defend so this would be an intense matchup worth keeping an eye on.
Center: Shaquille O’Neal vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
The real question is: Could Olajuwon contain Shaq? Shaq is listed at 7’1″ and 325 pounds. Shaq is the better player due to the difference in weight between them. Shaq was so dominant on the court that he is the last league center to be the leader in scoring. 1999-2000 saw a period of dominant centers, when a center was last in the league scoring.
This would be a great dogfight in the paint. Outside of Jordan, it is clear that Hakeem Olajuwon was the second greatest player in the 90s. The Rockets were the league’s best team after Jordan retired. Olajuwon was the Finals MVP in 1995 and 1994, respectively, as he led the team to the championships. At 7-feet and 255 lbs, Olajuwon was a great double teaming, agile defender. He led the blocks three consecutive times, including 4.6 blocks per games in 1990.
Team Lakers-Warriors Advantages
The Lakers have one of the most skilled point guards in NBA history. Just because Johnson was moved to the small forward position, it’s not going to mean that Johnson won’t run the offense. Johnson is a magician when it comes running the show and it could mean that Curry will find a way for him to open the door. Johnson will find a way, if not Curry to get Bryant or LeBron moving because that is what Johnson does.
The size advantage can’t go unnoticed either. LeBron, Shaq and Olajuwon have a bigger advantage than Pippen or Olajuwon. Both are Hall of Famers, so they’d find a way to do the job at times. However, the paint would be the first to be looked at. LeBron would have the opportunity to go back to his old-fashioned approach and work the post. Bryant and Curry could shoot outside with more opportunities if they had the advantage of size.
Advantages of Team Bulls-Rockets
Rose and Jordan have a strong backcourt advantage, making it difficult for defense to stop them. The Lakers-Warriors would have to devise a defensive plan that could help them on the offensive side, given how explosive they are when they are off of the dribble. Rose would be double-teamed when he entered the lanes, and Jordan the same. They would each get a lot of points at free-throw, considering how many fouls they would draw.
Another secret weapon would be McGrady’s hot shooting hand. McGrady would be able to play on the wings, as Jordan and Rose are being keyed in. McGrady might be able to shoot as well as Curry if he can. The Lakers-Warriors don’t have a great three-point shooting team, outside of Curry. McGrady’s hot hand might be enough for the team to win the series. Olajuwon has the ability to beat Shaq. This is their last secret weapon. In their playing days, Olajuwon beat Shaq in the NBA Finals. We know he can do it again.
Who wins the Best-Of-7 Award?
Game 1 will be a dogfight right from the start as both teams are competing for the title of best Legacy. Both teams have a lot of ego power, which has been considered one of the best. You have the story of Michael Jordan and LeBron James. This would fill an arena to capacity. The Bulls-Rockets would ultimately find a way for the Lakers to be stifled defensively. Curry would have poor shooting and Pippen would lockdown LeBron, forcing them to go back to the drawing boards after a 101-90 win.
The Lakers-Warriors would make adjustments in the next game. Instead of returning to the modern game of a fast offense, the team would play more traditional. They would make use of their size and feed Shaq or LeBron in the post. Both would bring back fond memories of the Twin Towers, scoring 35 points each on their way to a 115-100 victory. Curry’s offense would finally take center stage as the Lakers-Warriors would win Game 3. Curry would outshoot his entire team to score 40 points. Curry’s hot hand is what makes the team win 120-95.
The Lakers-Warriors won their third game in succession with a total team effort victory, scoring 98-91. We never saw LeBron or Kobe together, but this was the game where their greatness would triumph. Shaq would keep Olajuwon down to single digits in point totals, while LeBron or Kobe would be a masterful offensive player. Johnson would end the game with 20 assists, and the team would be just one game away winning the series.
Naturally, when you push a great player’s back to the wall, the best will come out of them. Jordan will not go out quietly. Game 5 will see him take over. In a close 98 to 87 win, Jordan would score 50 points. Olajuwon would record a triple double with blocks, as the two star players from the 1986 draft come to life. Rose, Jordan and McGrady would each score thirty points in Game 6. McGrady, who had been quiet for most of the series would be the difference-maker during a complete blowout. Thanks to McGrady’s outpour, the Bulls-Rockets win 135-90, making the team believe they can pull off the upset.
Jordan would lose his first ever Finals despite his Airness. The Lakers would regroup, and vintage Kobe would take over. It would feel like the passing of the torch given the two’s relationship. Bryant would lead all scorers, scoring 35 points. LeBron would record a triple-double and Johnson would record a double-double of points and assists. Shaq and Olajuwon would battle it out, but Curry’s 25 extra points helped the Lakers-Warriors win 100-91. The Lakers had too many size, more compatible player, and the best shot on the same team, which led them to the series championship.
Final Result: Team Lakers/Warriors vs. Bulls/Rockets 4-3.
Finals MVP: LeBron James