If you could build a team using some of the best players from the last three decades, what would that team look like?
That's the question we're trying to answer on this edition of Blind Resume.
Each day this week, I'm going to give three members of our NBA.com Global Staff a player comparison from Basketball-Reference that is made up of one superstar from the 1990s, one from the 2000s, one from the 2010s and one wildcard. I'll start by providing each player's raw numbers from one particular season. Then I'll reveal their shooting percentages to give everyone an opportunity to change their answer as more information becomes available.
We've decided to stick with the last 30 years because "The Last Dance" has us in 1990s mode right now. That's why you won't see the likes of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Oscar Roberston, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Even if some of those legends did play in the 1990s, their peaks came much sooner.
The player at the top of each chart is Player A, followed by Player B, Player C and Player D.
Having already picked a point guard and shooting guard, we're picking the small forward for our post-80s dream team today.
Step 1: The raw stats
Leandro Fernàndez (@FernandezLea): Now that I have Michael Jordan on my team, it would be awesome to pair him with LeBron James. I have a feeling that LeBron is Player A, but I'm going to go in a different direction. I might need more numbers to really make up my mind, but for now, I will go with Player C. Biggest scoring option, good balance of rebounds and assists, and averages the second-fewest turnovers.
Augustín Aboy (@AboyAgustin): Player A. He leads in some categories and isn't last in one of them.
Juan Estévez (@JuanEstevez90): I think I will go with Player A. Good scoring, rebounding, best assists and blocks numbers ... he looks like someone who contributes in every category.
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): If you've seen my last two selections - John Stockton and Dwyane Wade - you know I'm building my team with defence and ball movement in mind. So I'm picking player D here. He gives me the steals I'm looking for and I'm intrigued by his offensive rebounding ability. Not every team has someone willing to do the dirty work, so I'll take D based on that.
Step 2: The shooting percentages
Fernàndez: This is difficult, but I'm changing. I will go with Player B because he is more efficient. Yes, I'm losing some assists, but I'm pairing them with two playmakers in Steve Nash and Jordan.
Aboy: Nope, not changing my mind. Player A's shooting numbers are fine with me.
Estévez: Player A's 3-point shooting isn't the best, but he's still a very efficient player and gets to the line more than the rest while also having the second best field goal percentage. I will stick with Player A.
Gay: We'll stick with Player D here, but we're definitely going to discourage him from shooting any 3s.
Who are they?
Player A is LeBron James from the 2008-09 season. This was the season James was named MVP for the first time in his career.
Player B is Kawhi Leonard from the 2016-17 season. This was the season Leonard finished behind Russell Westbrook and James Harden in MVP voting.
Player C is Tracy McGrady from the 2002-03 season. This was the season McGrady led the league in scoring for the first time in his career and finished fourth in MVP voting.
Player D is Scottie Pippen from the 1993-94 season. This was the season Pippen was named All-NBA First Team for the first time in his career.
Why those seasons? I picked each player's best season of the decade based on their PER. It isn't perfect, but it was the best way that I could think of to remove bias and make this fair.
Fernàndez switched from McGrady to Leonard, so he now has Steve Nash at point guard, Michael Jordan at shooting guard and Leonard at small forward on his team.
Aboy stuck with James, so he now has Steve Nash at point guard, Michael Jordan at shooting guard and James at small forward.
Estévez stuck with James, so he now has Chris Paul at point guard, James Harden at shooting guard and James at small forward.
Gay stuck with Pippen, so he now has John Stockton at point guard, Dwyane Wade at shooting guard and Pippen at small forward.
Now that we've gone through the small forwards, check back tomorrow for the power forwards!
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