Here's a look at Richard Deitsch's complete roster and the writer's analysis of his team, including his preferred starting lineup, his pick in the coaches' draft and his assessment of how these players would come together on the court.
Four titles; All-NBA/All-Defensive team in first 13 years
MVP, Finals MVP, DPY in '93-94; quadruple-double in '90
Six championships in '50s/'60s; 10-time All-NBA first team
One each: title, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year
No. 8 in assists; All-Defensive first team nine years in row
'01 MVP; four scoring titles; No. 6 all time with 26.7 ppg
Second to former teammate Bill Russell with 10 titles
ABA/NBA All-Star; Hall of Famer despite short career
Eight-time All-Star in '70s/'80s; 20.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg
10 straight All-Star Games ('61-70); 20+ ppg eight times
'67 Rookie of the Year; '68 scoring king; '76 All-Star MVP
11-time All-Defensive (two in ABA); '83 Sixth Man Award
COACH: Gregg Popovich, the fifth pick (out of 10) in the coaches' draft. I drafted a defense-first team so I needed a no-nonsense, defensive-minded coach. Popovich will keep Allen Iverson in check and demand excellence every night. Only five NBA coaches have won four or more championships and Popovich is one of them.
STYLE OF PLAY: Rebound and defend. That's our motto. This roster, from top to bottom, is loaded with players who have won Defensive Player of the Year awards and been named to All-Defensive teams. A starting frontcourt of Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon has the length and smarts to demoralize penetrators (KG is versatile enough to defend swingmen). Those three will be complemented on the perimeter by the instinctual Bob Cousy and Gary Payton, a terrific on-the-ball defender. Playing stout defense and taking care of the glass will trigger opportunities on the break, where high-scoring reserve Iverson will be at his best.
BIGGEST CONCERNS: I'm concerned that we won't have enough tickets for everyone who wants to see us. Beyond that, we lack perimeter shooting. Will there be enough space for Olajuwon, Duncan and Garnett to operate together offensively in the starting lineup? Also, Connie Hawkins is an X factor; the fact that he was barred from the league for so many years (he didn't make his NBA debut until 1969, when he was 27) has made him more legend than fact, but the talent is breathtaking.
MY GAME-ON-THE-LINE PLAY: Cousy is going to have plenty of options with Greer and Garnett on the wing and Olajuwon in the post. I trust my point guard so he can make the call: go inside to Hakeem for a Dream Shake or drive and kick to Greer, one of the NBA's premier clutch shooters. If there's a rebound, I like my chances with Duncan, Garnett or Olajuwon. But given Hakeem's quickness advantage over most centers, he's the first option.
SCARIEST RIVAL: Any team with Michael Jordan is a threat, so that makes Alex Wolff formidable. Joe Posnanski has Wilt Chamberlain, who will cause matchup issues, though I like my front line's chances against him. I love Jack McCallum's first three picks of Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor and Scottie Pippen. But we'll compete with all and fear no one. (We'll also predict blowouts of Ian Thomsen's and Chris Mannix's teams.)
WHY MY TEAM IS THE BEST: A high-flying offense is great for selling tickets and getting your games on ESPN and TNT, but defense -- my biggest strength -- will make a difference in a matchup of the greatest versus the greatest. My last five picks, though unseen to many younger viewers, would give any team in history trouble. This is deep and unselfish team that will play hard every night.