Earvin “Magic” Johnson, objectively the most crowd-pleasing superstar in NBA history (based on the way the NBA skyrocketed, popularity wise, in the 1980s), was the definition of a “quarterback” on the basketball court, while he was the flashiest, unselfish basketball player of all-time — who could handle the basketball better than anyone and extemporaneously find the open man better than anyone. While he was obviously the greatest fast break basketball player of all-time, his overall versatility on the court was in its own class — being a 6’8/6’9 point guard (who could actually play all 5 positions)
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, were definitely the two most complete wing scorers in NBA history, in addition to being two of the most dedicated perimeter defensive players of all-time.
Larry Bird, (on one end) of the most profound rivalry (between two players) in NBA history, had the greatest array of simple all-around fundamentals of any forward that has ever played the game.
Wilt Chamberlain, the greatest rebounder in NBA history, was also statistically the most dominant scorer in NBA history (even though scoring is not always as essential for a center). He (eventually) proved to be able to “play like Bill Russell,” as effectively (maybe even more effectively than) “Bill Russell could play like Bill Russell” — in terms of being a fast break catalyst — as an imposing defensive presence in the middle and as a swift outlet passer. Him, also being the most dominant center of all-time in the half-court setting, is occasionally important.
Bill Sharman, who defined the modern-day methodology of how to (literally) prepare and condition for a basketball game during his Hall of Fame playing and most innovative Hall of Fame coaching careers, who then masterminded the most game-popularizing NBA dynasty as a GM, drafting the most “magical” player of all-time during that tenure, is obviously the commander and supervisor of my All-Time Basketball Team. Comprehensively, Bill Sharman won an unmatched total of 17 championships in professional basketball (15 of those in the NBA), impacting both sides of the Celtics/Lakers rivalry.
This Bill Sharman-led team will prepare and condition for games as thoroughly as Bill Sharman did (which is the gold standard), they will analytically break down the game as thoroughly as Bill Sharman did (which is the gold standard), and they will “run (any other compilation of any other five man roster, with any other commander and supervisor leading the way) out of the gym.”