"How the hell are you going to play for the title without Russell?" he answers.
He thinks about it.
he says, "I'll take Russell, Tom Heinsohn and Satch Sanders at forward,
Cousy and Sam Jones at guard, K. C. Jones and Havlicek coming off the
He does not say which of the best NBA teams he is
matching up against, but clearly, in his mind, he is thinking about
"I'll tell you why," he says. "I think Havlicek,
out of everybody, could have done the best job on Jordan. He's just as
big, and he's faster. That would have been something to see, don't you
"I'd like to see that game," Auerbach says.
So we go over the Roster one more time, my all-time team, our all-time team.
At center are Russell, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar.
Guards: Jordan, Magic, Cousy, West, and Robertson.
Forwards: Bird, McHale, Erving, Baylor, Pettit, and Malone.
"Okay," I say, "what's your starting five?"
"I didn't care about starting fives when I coached, and I'm not going to worry about it now."
"Forget starters. Which five guys do you want on the court at the end of the game?"
"Tell me who the other guys are, and then I'll decide how to match up. against them."
that just like the old man? Cagey to the finish. Waiting to see the
other team make the first move. Waiting to light up his victory cigar.
ONE JUMP SHOP TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Jerry West
ONE HOOK SHOT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
ONE SET SHOT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Bill Sharman
ONE BANK SHOT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Sam Jones
ONE BASKET OF ANY KIND TO SAVE YOUR LIFE Michael Jordan
BEST BALL HANDLER OF ALL TIME Pete Maravich
IF YOU COULD SEE ONE LAST DUNK The Young David Thompson
BEST SIXTH MAN OF ALL TIME John Havlicek
WORST FIRST-ROUND DRAFT CHOICE OF ALL TIME Sam Bowie (over Michael Jordan!)
BEST AGENT OF ALL TIME
BEST ALL-TIME AFROS Artis Gilmore Phil Jackson
BEST ALL-TIME NAME CHANGE Lloyd Free to World B. Free
WORST ALL-TIME NAME CHANGE Wally Jones to Wali Jones
(JORDAN-FREE) NBA PICKUP SQUAD I'D SEND UP AGAINST ANYONE Charles
Barkley Hakeem Olajuwon Shawn Kemp John Stockton Penny Hardaway Scottie
Pippen (coming off the bench)
THE ALL-TIME HEAD-CASE TEAM Derrick
Coleman Isaiah Rider Dennis Rodman Vernon Maxwell Spencer Haywood Fly
Williams Marvin Barnes (and anyone else who ever played on the St. Louis
Spirits) Coach: Bill Musselman
MOST UNDERRATED TEAM OF ALL TIME 1982-83 76ers
MOST OVERRATED TEAM OF ALL TIME The Bad-Boy Pistons
THE BEST TEAM TO WATCH, EVER The 1969-73 Knicks
SADDEST WASTE OF TALENT David Thompson
MOST ELECTRIFYING PLAYER IN THE NBA (PRE-JORDAN) Earl Monroe
ALL-TIME OVERRATED TEAM Shaquille O'Neal Elvin Hayes Dominique Wilkins
Sidney Wicks Derrick Coleman Kenny Anderson (I should know--I overrated
him). George McGinnis Dennis Rodman (Chicago Bulls version)
ALL-TIME UNDDERATED TEAM My friend Paul Westphal Walt Frazier Dave
Cowens Nate Thurmond Sidney Moncrief Bob Lanier Adrian Dantley Marques
Johnson Dennis Rodman (Detroit Pistons version
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