The debate of all-time anything in sports is always a conversation that can carry on forever. No matter what sport you’re a fan of, there is usually an argument to be had over who the greatest of all time is in that sport.
Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. Iverson shared his list of greats in his top five all-time starting lineup. The Answer’s five looks like this:
- Stephen Curry
- Michael Jordan
- Kobe Bryant
- LeBron James
- Shaquille O’Neal
Whether you look at these five as an all-time starting five or top five of all-time, it’s one hell of a collection of NBA greatness. This might be the most unbeatable starting five ever were they able to play together. You have Curry’s shooting, Jordan’s will to win, Bryant’s Mamba mentality, James’ leadership and all-around game, and Shaq’s dominance. Tough to see this squad losing too many games.
Some might argue in favor of replacing Curry with Magic Johnson or maybe Kobe with Tim Duncan moving Lebron to the small forward position. Most of Iverson’s list is players from his era of the NBA. Except for Curry, really. Jordan and Iverson had a few matchups, but that was very early in AI’s career for the most part. Iverson got the better of Jordan, with this famous crossover. Bryant, Shaq, and even James were around for most if not all of Iverson’s career, so I can see why he chose these guys in his starting lineup. If not for Kobe and Shaq, Iverson might have an NBA title on his resume.
Iverson himself would likely make an all-time scorer’s top 5 or starting lineup. He’s seventh in all-time scoring average at 26.66ppg. Over four of Iverson’s 14 seasons in the league, he averaged 30 points or more per game. Only Jordan (8), Wilt Chamberlain (7), and Oscar Robertson (6) did it more times. Iverson did it in what is likely the most defensive era of the NBA of the late 90s through the mid-2000s. Sure, he was a high-volume shooter, but look back at some of those 76ers teams he was part of. For many years in Philly, AI was the first, second, and sometimes third option. This term gets thrown around far too much today, but Iverson was the true definition of a bucket. When his team needed it, he went and got it.