Sunday , Jul , 15 , 2007 Oly Sandor

LL Cool J’s All-Time NBA Starting Five: Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, & Magic Johnson

The self-proclaimed greatest of all-time has picked his all-time NBA starting five … Rapper LL Cool J selected an impressive opening line-up, but there’s room for debate … Click here for this story, some analysis, and then drop your own starting five …

Richard Deitsch of reports on LL Cool J’s all-time starting five NBA team:

When it comes to pro athletes, LL Cool J says he’s a fan of rugged individualism and mavericks. "I thought Michael Jordan was like that," he says. "But he was a rugged individualist who was so great that he made everyone around him better, even as he excelled as an individual."

Though his favorite sport is boxing, Cool J says, "I’m pretty passionate about basketball. I really wanted to see LeBron James win this year. I know he wasn’t ready yet, but I thought it would have been a great Cinderella story."

With basketball fresh on his mind, asked Cool J to pick his all-time NBA starting five. His squad:

1. C:

2. F:

3. F:

4. G: Michael Jordan

5. G: Magic Johnson

Says Cool J: "I’m putting Shaq in his prime at center and Tim Duncan at one of the forwards. Then I’m putting Kobe at the other forward. Obviously, I’m picking Michael Jordan as one of the guards. At the end of the day, he refused to lose. And my point guard is Magic. All I know this team is not losing. It is definitely not losing!

My Quick Take: I like LL’s picks. But choosing Hall of Fame players for an all-time team is like splitting hairs. You can’t wrong. But you can go in a slightly different direction:

1. C: Bill Russell

 2. F: Tim Duncan

 3. F: Larry Bird

 4. G: Michael Jordan

 5. G: Magic Johnson

Bryant is the most talented individual player ever. But he’s not a natural three-man. Bird made his teammates better and he could dominate games without taking a single shot. He’s my  starting small-forward.

Bryant can challenge Jordan at the two-spot. But His Airness still gets the nod.

O’Neal and Chamberlain have to be considered the two most dominant players of all time. Yet, Bill Russell could  contain Mr. 2.2 a day and played on some great Celtic teams. Russell edges out Shaq and Wilt as my starting center.

Get at us in the comment box below with your all-time starting five. Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.