Lakers & Celtics, All-Time Rosters

I’ve been having a hard time waiting a week between Lakers’ games, especially stoked to renew one of the greatest rivalries.

I thought this was blogworthy and potentially interactive, Sports Illustrated’s All-Time Lakers Team and All-Time Celtics Team.

I have to differ from the “experts” just a bit and solicit your input, particularly if it’s as wise as mine.

The NBA allows you to dress 12 players per game. If I was constructing an all-time 7 game series between the two teams, these would be my rosters.


C – Lew Alcindor
F – Wilt Chamberlain
F – Kobe Bryant
G – Jerry West
G – Magic Johnson

C – Shaq
C – George Mikan
F – Elgin Baylor
F – James Worthy
F – Vern Mikkelson
G – Michael Cooper
G – Gail Goodrich

Coach – Pat Riley

Commentary: I know Wilt’s a center and Kobe’s a 2-guard, but how could you pass up having Wilt on the floor with Lew (his momma named him ‘Clay,’ I’m gonna call him, ‘Clay’)? I love “Big Game James” Worthy, but I’d hate to bench Kobe for him. I know Phil Jackson’s won 9 rings and Pat Riley only 5, but I gotta go with my gut here, especially since Riley won more Lakers’ rings than Phil.


C – Bill Russell
F – Larry Bird
F – Kevin Garnett
G – John Havlicek
G – Bob Cousy

C – Robert Parrish
F – Kevin McHale
F – Paul Pierce
F – Don Nelson
G – Dennis Johnson
G – Sam Jones
G – KC Jones

Coach – Red Auerbach

Commentary: Admittedly, I know less about the Celtics, but these household names make it somewhat easier. It hurts to sit Kevin McHale in favor of Kevin Garnett, since McHale was so vital to the Celtics for so long and this is Garnett’s 1st Celtic season. Still, given one series, I gotta go that route. In a pinch, McHale might have to play some minutes at center for me.

Prediction for that series? The Mighty Lakers in 7, of course.

Your thoughts?


About Eric "Gunny" Hartman

Gunny is pastor of Providence Church in Plano, TX, and has taught at Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has completed coursework for a PhD in Rhetoric at University of Texas at Arlington and tries to be a good father to his 4 kiddos, exhibited by coaching a girls soccer team.


16 thoughts on “Lakers & Celtics, All-Time Rosters

  1. >Tiny Archibald probably should get the nod, even if just by cool nickname.Ainge & Rambis seem a package deal to me; if you have one, you need the other.Celtics in 7 is hard to argue with at this point. If we can get to 2-2 or even 3-2 in favor of the (seemingly not so) Mighty Lakers, then I might switch the roles.;-)

    Posted by GUNNY | June 10, 2008, 9:23 pm
  2. >Tiny Archibald instead of DJ. Danny Ainge somehow sneaks in…ball boy maybe–gets into a fight with Jack Nickelson.

    Posted by ChiefsSuperfan | June 10, 2008, 9:13 pm
  3. >I love your selections on both the Lakers and the Celts! As good as West was, I think that I might have placed Cooper on there just for his defensive presence alone.Also I have to say amen to you placing both Kareem and Wilt above Shaq. A second amen goes for placing Riley before the Zen Master. My prediction would have been Lakers 4, Celts 3…However since I have just now read your post and the Lakers are down by 2, Ill have to say Celts 4 and the Lakers 3.

    Posted by mi familia | June 10, 2008, 8:36 pm
  4. >There is one good thing about Vlade…we never would have gotten Kobe without him.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | June 6, 2008, 4:23 am
  5. >I think we need to give some love to Derek Fisher. Think about where we would’ve been without him. And he’s the all-time leader in playoff 3pt fg %.I guess I’ll let you guys put those so-so centers over Vlade. :)On a serious note, what about Gail Goodrich? Where does a guy like Robery Horry fit?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | June 6, 2008, 12:41 am
  6. >Okay, that makes sense. I didn’t pick up on the name change. Hmmm, so you’ve got Kareem and Chamberlain both starting on the floor. I will concede and put Worthy back on the bench. Good picks! Have fun watching the game tonight! I’ve got a prayer meeting, but the game will be waiting for me when I get home on DVR.

    Posted by Ray Fowler | June 5, 2008, 7:42 pm
  7. >Ray, he’s in there … just as Lew Alcindor (i.e., before he adopted his Muslim name of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).;-)I was giving a shout out to “Coming to America” (as seen in the commentary). Perhaps I was being too subtle.But, yeah, I got Kareem starting at center. Talk about longevity and skill.

    Posted by GUNNY | June 5, 2008, 5:50 pm
  8. >Okay, well that explains Nelson instead of Cowens (although I would still go with Cowens myself), but what about Kareem????

    Posted by Ray Fowler | June 5, 2008, 5:00 pm
  9. >Ray, I actually thought quite a bit about Cowens versus Nelson and probably went with emotion there.But that one shot from Don Nelson was a real blow to the Lakers.

    Posted by GUNNY | June 5, 2008, 4:17 pm
  10. >Whoops, I forgot to mention coaches. I too would go with Riley over Jackson – he just seems the best coach for LA. (I noticed SI cheated and chose Riley and Jackson as co-coaches.) And of course Red for the Celtics.

    Posted by Ray Fowler | June 5, 2008, 2:07 pm
  11. >Wow, what a fun post. (I like the purple and green fonts for the respective teams._ I think you have nailed the teams pretty good here. I would just make the following changes.Lakers: I’m sorry, but you have to get Kareem in there. I would remove Mikan from your list, start Wilt at center, start Worthy at forward, and then have Shaq and Kareem as reserve centers.Celtics: You have the perfect starting lineup here – no changes necessary. But you have to get Dave Cowens on the bench. With Bird, Garnett, McHale and Pierce, you don’t really need Don Nelson in there (sorry Don). I say take Nelson out and put Cowens on the bench.What do you think?

    Posted by Ray Fowler | June 5, 2008, 2:04 pm
  12. >Yeah, I thought it was pretty unstable buying a team like the Celtics did this off season.I know Gasol has made an impact on the Mighty Lakers, and so it’s perhaps just a matter of degree, but to me it’s just another reason to root for the purple & gold.

    Posted by GUNNY | June 5, 2008, 12:11 am
  13. >A Timberwolf. It does kinda stink that Garnett, Allen, and Gasol are in their first year with the team. Maybe it’ll get a little more juicy if the Celtics are lucky enough to make it back for a second beating next year.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | June 4, 2008, 10:52 pm
  14. >It’s kind of wierd that they put Garnett on the All-Celtics team when he hasn’t even played a full season for them. If he retired today, would he be remebered as a Celtic or a Timberwolf?

    Posted by Matt | June 4, 2008, 10:35 pm
  15. >That’s a valid concern on changing positions, but I think Wilt could play forward. I don’t think Lew Alcindor could really play at forward.I REALLY would have liked to have been able to complete a 15-man roster, though you can only suit 12.Traveling with the team in street clothes, I would have Byron Scott, AC Green, and Kurt Rambis.Tell you what … if Phil wins this series against the Celtics, I’ll demote Riley to assistant coach.;-)

    Posted by GUNNY | June 4, 2008, 7:51 pm
  16. >Hmmm…changing the positions is kinda cheating but the NBA does it every year for the all-star teams so I guess it’s ok. They’re all so good that you can do whatever you want to the rosters and they’re still awesome.Last night ESPN was showing game 6 of the 1987 series. The Lakers starting lineup was buttery. KareemAC GreenJames WorthyByron ScottMagic JohnsonAnd I’ll add this…Phil Jackson has proven himself to be better than Pat Riley…sorry to the old(er) heads. 🙂

    Posted by J.Wizzle | June 4, 2008, 7:36 pm

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