On Wednesday, Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell named his all-time NBA starting 5 during an Instagram Live session. Russell's all-time team featured LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry and a tie between Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Durant. While D'Angelo Russell named an illustrious list of players, the former Golden State Warriors did exclude some of the widely considered greats in NBA history.
D’Angelo Russell names his All-Time starting 5: Steph, Kobe, MJ, LeBron and Shaq/KD with a tie for the last spot pic.twitter.com/NKZI7F9pBl— Chris Montano (@gswchris) April 15, 2020
Before we take a look at the omissions, let's have a look at the six players D'Angelo Russell included. Three players who have featured for Los Angeles Lakers were in the list, namely - LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Arguably two of the best players in Lakers history, Shaq and Kobe were instrumental in the Lakers' three-peat from 2000 to 2002. O'Neal won the NBA Finals MVP in each of the three finals before he was traded to Miami Heat. LeBron James is currently in his second season with the Lakers and had forged a strong partnership with strike partner Anthony Davis. A three-time NBA champion, LeBron James is third on the all-time regular-season scoring list.
Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan makes D'Angelo Russell's all-time starting five along with his former Warriors teammate Stephen Curry. Jordan famously won two three-peats with the Bulls and was awarded the NBA Finals MVP in each of the six finals. The 57-year-old is the current owner of Charlotte Hornets and remains associated with the NBA till date.
Although Russell barely got a chance to feature alongside Stephen Curry during his short spell with the Warriors, Curry makes the list, having established himself as one of the best players in Warriors history. The three-time NBA champion has been with the Warriors since 2009 and will key if they to mount a challenge for the top honours in the upcoming season.
The player tied with Shaq on D'Angelo Russell's all-time starting team was Kevin Durant. The Brooklyn Nets star won two NBA championships with the Warriors and is also a former NBA MVP award winner (2014).
D'Angelo Russell unsurprisingly named some of the best players in NBA history. However, the Timberwolves star also omitted other NBA greats like Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.
Point Guard: Steph Curry
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant
Small Forward: Michael Jordan
Power Forward: LeBron James
Center: Shaquille O'Neal or Kevin Durant