LeBron James has repeatedly said that Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever play the game. If this were true, then it’s safe to say LeBron would have joined a different team than MJ did during his career. Who knows? Maybe he would’ve even become an NBA champion! With his allegiance in question, let’s imagine what life may be like for LeBron if he had never played with Jordan and decided to join one of those teams
The “golden state warriors location” is a hypothetical question that asks what would happen if every NBA superstar joined the team he couldn’t beat. Michael Jordan would join the Pistons, LeBron James would join the Warriors.
Superteams have been increasingly common in recent years, as great players have realized that collaborating with one another increases their chances of winning NBA championships. Of course, skill wins games, and some of the greatest teams in league history have dominated their respective periods. More precisely, superstars are no longer ready to devote their whole careers to a single brand since sharing the riches by teaming up with other celebrities makes achieving championships simpler. There are outliers, such as Giannis Antetokounmpo with the Milwaukee Bucks last season, but in today’s game, the bulk of players desire to play together.
Kevin Durant’s 2017 performance was unusual in that he joined the team that had defeated him the year before. In the 2016 Western Conference Finals, with the Oklahoma City Thunder up 3-1 against the Golden State Warriors, Durant (and Russell Westbrook) were unable to lead his club to the Finals for the first time since 2012. Durant established the precedent that joining a team that a player “should not” join was a thing of the past, since he went on to win two consecutive titles and two consecutive Finals MVP awards as a result of his choice.
But what if former superstars followed in Durant’s footsteps and joined unbeatable teams? That implies a few of clubs might come close to matching the Golden State Warriors’ 73-9 record with an invincible 82-0 record. These scenarios would have produced some of the best teams in history, and it would have been incredible to see these superstars compete against opponents who had defeated them in the playoffs.
Michael Jordan was a member of the Detroit Pistons in 1990-91.
Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, and Bill Laimbeer are the starters.
Micahel Jordan joining the “Bad Boy” Pistons is the best example of a superstar joining a team that he lost against. Jordan was being beaten up by Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons before becoming a 6-time NBA champion and dominating the game for years. The Pistons were a filthy squad who took pride in it.
If Michael Jordan, one of sports’ hardest rivals, had joined the Pistons, the team would have annihilated the league’s competition for many years. Jordan retired as a 10-time scoring champion and a six-time Finals MVP, demonstrating his status as the greatest player of all time. Because the Pistons are the only team in NBA history to win championships without having an MVP, having the best scorer ever on the club implies the organization would have an MVP-caliber player.
With Jordan on the team, the Pistons would win at least six championships, and the NBA’s history would be altered forever. Jordan finally beat the Pistons against the odds, but joining them would have given Jordan and Detroit an unprecedented number of titles.
1993-94 Charles Barkley, Chicago Bulls
B.J. Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, and Horace Grant are the starters.
The 1993 Chicago Bulls won it all owing to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s brilliance, but imagine if they were to sign Charles Barkley. Barkley, the league’s MVP and unstoppable force, was an offensive powerhouse in 1993, finishing first in the MVP race with 25.6 points per game and 12.2 rebounds per game in the regular season, and 26.6 points per game and 13.6 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
Barkley led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, thanks to his unstoppable low-post game. The Suns were unable to overcome Jordan (41.0 PPG) and were defeated in six games. With Jordan, Pippen, and Barkley, the Nulls would have an unbeatable Big Three the next season if Barkley had made his way into Chicago.
In 1994, Charles was 30 years old and still competing at a high level. While Phil Jackson manages the egos in the locker room by making it known that Jordan is the team’s leader, Chicago’s three would be the ideal combination of defense and attack. To be honest, this club would win at least 70 games every season and challenge Golden State for the greatest record in franchise history.
1995-96 Shaquille O’Neal, Houston Rockets
Kenny Smith, Vernon Maxwell, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O’Neal are the starters.
The 1995 Houston Rockets were a team that played together because Hakeem Olajuwon required role players to come up in crucial games to help him lead them to victory. That’s exactly what occurred in the NBA Finals, when a peak Shaquille O’Neal was unable to lead the Orlando Magic over the Houston Rockets.
Despite Shaq’s 28.0 PPG and 12.5 RPG in the Finals, Hakeem (32.8 PPG and 11.5 RPG) and 11-year veteran Clyde Drexler helped the Rockets defeat a talented Orlando team (21.5 PPG). Shaq would eventually become the league’s dominating force, but in the series, he was up against a superior player in Olajuwon.
The Rockets would have been comically invincible if Shaq had pushed his way to Houston. While three-pointers were becoming more common, O’Neal and Olajuwon would have destroyed every frontcourt in the league on their way to numerous titles. Even Michael Jordan’s Bulls wouldn’t have been able to beat them.
Karl Malone and John Stockton of the Chicago Bulls in 1998-99.
John Stockton, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Karl Malone are the starters.
The Utah Jazz taking on the powerful Chicago Bulls would be one of the most exciting Finals matchups in two years. On the court, John Stockton and Karl Malone were a formidable pair, but they couldn’t keep up with Jordan and Pippen. In the 1998 Finals, MJ would score 33.5 points per game, while Pippen would score 15.7 points per game. Malone was a powerhouse, averaging 25.0 points per game, while Stockton was his regular self, averaging 9.7 points per game and 8.7 assists per game.
The Chicago Bulls would have been unbeatable on offense if Malone and Stockton had given up on Utah and joined the club they had lost to. Jordan and Pippen had already won their sixth championship together, but Malone and Stockton’s additions would have kept the band together for another run. Jordan’s only chance of matching Bill Russell’s 11 championships would be if the Bulls acquired Malone and Stockton, since the Bulls would have won at least two or three more championships.
2001-02 Allen Iverson, Los Angeles Lakers
Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Rick Fox, Horace Grant, and Shaquille O’Neal are the starters.
When Allen Iverson led the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals to face the Los Angeles Lakers, he came the closest to winning a championship in his career. Iverson was a top-five player at the time and one of the best scorers in the world after earning league MVP in a memorable season.
Philadelphia was far from a great squad, as the club’s second-best player was a 34-year-old Dikembe Mutombo, who lacked the offensive threat of Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal. The 76ers followed Iverson’s lead, despite the fact that the guard was just 6’0″. The 76ers were still a danger against anybody because to Iverson’s tremendous scoring abilities. They demonstrated that when the Lakers lost Game 1 in a stunning way, due to Iverson’s 48-point outburst.
We may be looking at one of the finest teams ever if Iverson had pushed his way into Los Angeles. Kobe never played alongside a powerful perimeter player like Iverson, who could have easily averaged 60 points per game. Shaquille O’Neal is the most dominating player of his generation, and Phil Jackson would have a lot of difficulties if Allen Iverson was on the club. However, he would have figured it out and gone on to win several titles.
2004-05 Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles Lakers
Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O’Neal are the starters.
The 2004 Los Angeles Lakers were disappointed to lose in the NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons in five games. They had already won three crowns in a row and were hoping to do the unfathomable by winning even more. Their chemistry, however, was not up to pace.
In the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers beat MVP Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves in six games, showing their credentials as an all-time great team led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Outside of Latrell Sprewell, it was evident that Garnett didn’t have enough support throughout the series (20.8 PPG).
If Garnett is forced to join the Lakers, the team will not be able to break up the following season. Kevin will very certainly push Karl Malone to stay playing, making a formidable frontcourt with Shaquille O’Neal. Garnett’s adaptability was his strength, and head coach Phil Jackson would have found a way to keep everyone on the same page en route to league supremacy.
Boston Celtics – LeBron James (2008-09)
Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, LeBron James, and Kevin Garnett are the starters.
The Boston Celtics have been a thorn in LeBron James’ side for years. Every year, the King came close with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but couldn’t quite pull it off. In the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in 2008, the Celtics defeated Cleveland, and they would do it again in 2010.
The Celtics were immensely talented, with the Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, as well as a young Rajon Rondo. In the case of LeBron James, he formed his own superteam in Miami, but what if he joined the team that defeated him?
The Celtics would have been unstoppable if LeBron had been at his peak. Instead of just one title, Boston wins several rings, and James is on pace to match or perhaps surpass Michael Jordan’s record of six rings.
Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant, Kevin
Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh are the starters.
After an outstanding summer, the 2012 Miami Heat were once again packed with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh on the roster. Kevin Durant would have started at small forward for the Heat, while LeBron would have started in the frontcourt with Chris Bosh. Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade, of course, would have completed an outstanding starting five that would have easily upset the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals.
In their present configuration, the Heat were thrashed by the Mavericks in the Finals before dispatching Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami already possessed one of the best trios in the league, but adding offensive dynamo Kevin Durant would have made them unstoppable. Durant averaged 28.0 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game with the Thunder in 2012, with 28.5 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
Durant would be matched up against Kawhi Leonard for the Heat, while LeBron would dominate the Spurs series on way to his second Finals MVP in as many years with the Heat. Miami has the best squad in history with Durant on the roster, and they will win six championships if they remain together. Knowing Durant and his selflessness, he would get along swimmingly with The King on the floor. Of course, James would be the finest possible team captain if he could keep Draymond Green’s anger in check and keep everyone in line.
Paul George, Paul George, Paul George, Paul George, Paul George, Paul George, Paul George, Paul George
Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Paul George, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh are the starters.
After three consecutive Finals appearances, the 2014 Miami Heat were once again packed with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh on the roster. George would have started at small forward for the Heat, with LeBron in the frontcourt alongside Chris Bosh. Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade, of course, would have completed a fantastic starting five that would have easily upset the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals.
In their present configuration, the Heat were thrashed by the Spurs in the Finals by an unprecedented score. With their current roster, they couldn’t keep up with Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, and the addition of two-way superstar Paul George would have made them terrifyingly good. George averaged 21.7 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game with the Pacers in 2014, up to 22.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
While LeBron sweeps the Spurs series on way to his third Finals MVP with the Heat, George will be matched up against Leonard. George and the Indiana Pacers notably battled in the playoffs against the Heat, losing in six games to the eventual champions. With David West and Lance Stephenson, George had some support, but not enough to compete with an all-time great Big Three.
LeBron James, LeBron James, LeBron James, LeBron James, LeBron James, LeBron James
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green are the starters.
LeBron James is one of the all-time greats and the finest player of the decade. What he accomplished as a champion and a leader was genuinely remarkable, and he made dominating the court seem natural whenever he was on it. The Golden State Warriors, on the other hand, have been James’ most formidable adversary and hurdle throughout his career. The Warriors, led by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, were simply superior over The King’s Cavaliers.
It may have been an easy choice for James to join the Golden State Warriors after losing to them in the 2015, 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals. While the status of Kevin Durant remains unknown, LeBron would reunite with Curry, Thompson, and Green to create an invincible squad once again. Other than Durant, Stephen Curry and, to a lesser degree, Klay Thompson may be the finest teammates on the floor.
With the ball in his hands, James flourishes, and he would set up many opportunities for the two greatest shooters of all time. The Warriors would be unstoppably dominating if Durant were also on the roster. James has lost three Finals against the Warriors, and if he had chosen Golden State over Cleveland and ultimately left for Los Angeles, he would have won seven or eight titles.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokoun
Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Pascal Siakam are the starting lineups.
With their latest addition, Kawhi Leonard, the 2019 Toronto Raptors stunned the world by winning the NBA title. The Raptors basically exchanged DeMar DeRozan for Leonard thanks to Masai Ujiri’s brilliance, giving them a top-50 player to develop around. Leonard was able to lead the squad to an unbelievable Finals run with the help of veterans Kyle Lowry and subsequently Marc Gasol. Supporting players Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, on the other hand, were huge contributors on both ends of the floor.
The 2019 Toronto Raptors are often regarded as one of the most improbable teams to win a championship, yet their roster was loaded with skill and leadership. Toronto was a force on the floor because to Lowry, who was one of the finest point guards in the league, and an excellent group built on defense. Their greatest hurdle may have been overcoming Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals, which they did in six games.
What if Giannis Antetokounmpo abandoned his Milwaukee allegiance and joined the Raptors? In the frontcourt, the Greek Freak would have likely started alongside Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard, with Lowry and VanVleet rounding out the lineup. To be honest, owing to defensive leadership and an incredible attack, this team would be almost invincible in all areas of the court. In any case, the Raptors would have been champs in 2019 and the following years, due to the league’s top pair, Leonard and Giannis.
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