If someone asked you “Who would be in your all time starting five?” during a basketball discussion, someone of the obvious names would come up. Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan would be the likely first choices for the guard positions with one of the forward positions including Tim Duncan (especially if you’re a San Antonio Spurs fan). That would likely be true unless you’re Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah.
In a recent interview for “Off The Court”, Noah was asked by host Rick Fox who would be in his starting five and there will be two answers that might leave you scratching your head in confusion. His starting five is as follows:
Point Guard: Magic Johnson
Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan
Small Forward: Corey Brewer
Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki
Center: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
(H/T Beyond the Buzzer)
Noah’s choice to include Dirk Nowitzki over Tim Duncan is a controversial one, especially when Duncan is considered “the greatest power forward of all time”. Duncan’s achievements so far in his career include four NBA championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007) and three Finals MVP trophies to go along with them while Nowitzki has only won one NBA championship and Finals MVP trophy in the postseason. Duncan’s consistent success and leadership has earned him the moniker of greatest for his position while Nowitzki has never been known to be the best power forward in the league aside from his 2007 regular season trophy.
While leaving Tim Duncan off may be blasphemy for the silver and black faithful, he included his former Florida Gator teammate Corey Brewer in the discussion as his small forward. The NBA journeyman, who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, is averaging 11.7 ppg this season which rivals last season’s career high of 12.1 ppg with the Denver Nuggets. This selection welcomes criticism from basketball fans since Brewer has never had a consistent reputation of being the best small forward on the teams he has played on, let alone in the entire league to be considered an “all time great” on a starting five that you have free range to choose from.
The names that are available for that position (such as Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, and the current most valuable player of the league in Lebron James) makes his entire lineup lose credibility and probably his basketball expertise also. Joakim Noah was being biased and showing support to his friend as he stated in the interview, but does his credibility take a hit if he chooses to be biased to his friends?