Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 J.N.

The Greatest NBA Team of All Time Criteria

We went through the NBA MVP Criteria and the GOAT player criteria. Those were easy to do, but this is the toughest to sift through. What are the greatest teams ever assembled besides the 1992 Olympic Dream Team? Where do we start? I am pretty sure that this has been done before by other writers and analysts, but I will keep it simple without the discussion devolving in to “playing era” talk. Punching numbers in to a system to calculate outcomes between great teams do not work. And basketball videogames are not the answer either.

Michael Jordan recently posed the question when promoting NBA 2K12.
I strongly disagree about his thoughts on the Greatest Player of All Time stuff because it is not stupid. It starts with one player as the foundation. Dismissing it is completely stupid although I do agree on the team stuff. It is hard to configure without the first step. What is the first step?
The team has to have a championship. They are nothing without it. If your team does not have it then do not come here because it will get rejected in to the cheap seats. If you have a warm fuzzy feeling for lovable losers then you should probably change your underwear.
  • Championship
  • Win 58 or more games in the regular season
  • Being a part of a dynasty elevates status
Going up the ladder among other great teams
  • Team does not need a superstar, but having one helps strengthen their position
  • Done something notable such as having great defense, running through playoffs with ease, winning most playoff games on the road, etc.
  • Point differential in regular season and playoffs
Era talks are welcomed. Bring it. This is where things get messy so I will have to break it down and clean it up to one thing – QUALITY OF OPPONENT.
Without sounding like an informercial, “What is Quality of Opponent?”
  • Win percentage of opposing team in regular season
  • Who was on the team?
  • Point differential
People will chime in and bring up if team x from one era played against team y from another era. Cool. Go ahead. It is irrelevant and cannot be proven because they will never play against each other. We will never see it, but go ahead and debate. Some things might come up in the discussion that might shed new light. That’s it. Like the other criterias before it, the numbers stay true. Memories become vague and foggy. Old timer bias kick in. The statistics stay the same. If your memory gets foggy then you can check the records.  Nothing is touched.
For example, Jordan’s Bulls versus Shaq’s Lakers. Who is the better team? They are not actually going to play each other for us to see. The Lakers would have to be a championship team instead of the team that was young and did not win anything yet. The 2001-2002 Lakers will never play against the 1997-1998 Bulls.
This is the foundation. It is arbitrary, but read it again. It is fair. Book mark it.
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