Here's a look at Chris Mannix'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.
Five titles; fastest to 25K points; No. 6 all time in scoring
All-time assists/steals leader; playoffs in all 19 seasons
Finals MVP in both N.Y. titles; '70 MVP; 12.9 rpg (No. 11)
11-time All-Star; 20+ points per game 13 straight years
'85 leader with 32.9 ppg; two-time All-NBA first team
'08 Finals MVP; nine-time All-Star; No. 7 active scorer
Six All-Star Games in a row; 20 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 49.3% FG
Five-time All-NBA; '05 playoffs: 29.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg
Two-time All-Star and All-Defensive first team; '08 title
Five-time All-Star; 19 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.7 apg, 53.2% FG
Four straight years of 30+ ppg in '80s; 54% FG, 81.8% FT
'10-11: 53 straight double-doubles, 20.2 ppg, 15.2 rpg
COACH: Chuck Daly, the fourth pick (out of 10) in the coaches' draft. He molded Isiah Thomas, managed Dennis Rodman and massaged the egos of the 1992 Dream Team. And with a big and physical roster, Daly's preference to coach a mean team (what, Bill Laimbeer was nice?) should add just enough nastiness to this skilled group.
STYLE OF PLAY: Balance is a beautiful thing. Benard King and Rajon Rondo, among others, can score in transition; Patrick Ewing and Adrian Dantley can flourish in the post; Kobe Bryant can excel in any system; and there aren't many better at executing in the half court than John Stockton, who will love running pick-and-roll with Amar'e Stoudemire. Any team can be beaten, but there aren't many that are going to outscore mine. And Willis Reed and Kevin Love are available to do the dirty work inside.
BIGGEST CONCERNS: In hindsight, another natural guard might have been a better call than a third center (I took Brad Daughtery in the 10th round after picking Reed and Ewing back-to-back in Rounds 3-4), but I've always been a "best player available" kind of guy. Still, there's not a lot of depth in the backcourt -- Paul Pierce can slide down a position in a pinch -- and for a team predicated on scoring, you need guys who can handle the ball.
MY GAME-ON-THE-LINE PLAY: I'm going with Kobe on the high post with Pierce, Stockton, Ewing and Stoudemire overloading the far side of the floor. Kobe has the green light -- only Michael Jordan is more dangerous from that spot than Bryant -- but if the defense collapses, I like having Pierce (elbow extended) and Ewing (baseline) available in their sweet spots. Stoudemire gets the nod over my other bigs because of his ability to play above the rim, just in case an errant shot becomes one of those 50/50 rebounds.
SCARIEST RIVAL: I've learned long ago not to mess with Michael Jordan, and any team with Chris Paul running pick-and-roll is scary, making Alex Wolff's squad a frightening group. Wolff, clearly, isn't worried about depth issues at guard like I am. Lee Jenkins has an old-school front line with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. Chris Ballard has Bill Russell backstopping a high-octane team paced by LeBron James, and he also can space the floor with Reggie Miller. Bring 'em all on.
WHY MY TEAM IS THE BEST: I'll bully you on the boards and run you off the floor in transition. There is a lot of talent in this league, but I have the horses to build double-digit leads quickly and keep attacking relentlessly.
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