Starting all the way back in the 50s/60s up until the 2010s, the All-Decade teams will feature the NBAs best players from each era.
Now picking the best players from each of the ten-year periods is a tricky task. But we will try our best to do exactly that.
Heres a look at the confirmed lineups from the 1980s & 1990s and a few players we think could make the respective squads, you can see the 2000s and 2010s here.
The photo which 2K released to accompany the 1980s squad features some big names, but also, some surprise omissions.
Boston Celtics icons Kevin McHale and Larry Bird, Sixers center Moses Malone, Bulls legend Michael Jordan and Lakers stalwart Magic Johnson all feature.
Whilst you wouldn’t argue with that starting five. Here are three names which could easily have made the cut, and are likely to feature in the squad in some capacity.
Regarded by many as the greatest to ever play the game, Kareem won the NBA title five times in the 80s, winning the series MVP in ’85, whilst also featuring in every All-Star squad that decade.
Kareem averaged 20.6 PPG whilst also putting up 8.9 rebounds per game. Whilst those stats are crazy, his performances improved as his career went on, which is likely the only reason he doesn’t feature in the five for the 80s.
Thomas spent the whole of the 80s in Detroit with the Pistons. The point guard averaged 20.2 PPG during that time and helped the Pistons to the ’89 NBA Championship.
What set Isiah Thomas apart from many of his NBA colleagues was his ability to not only score high, but to provide for his teammates at the same time. Thomas averaged 9.8 assists per game during the 80’s. A surprise omission for sure.
Lakers shooting forward James Worthy featured in seven seasons in the 80s, between 1983-1989.
Somewhat overshadowed by Magic Johnson, James Worthy still played an integral role in three NBA Championship wins, including a Finals MVP ‘88.
It is that 1988 Finals performance which put Worthy down in the history books. With the series with the Pistons tied at three apiece, Worthy showed up with an astonishing triple double, scoring 36 points, providing 10 assists and putting up 16 rebounds as the Lakers wrapped up the title.
Other likely inclusions:
The 80s also featured a wide range of stars, making positions in the squad hard to call. Philadelphia 76ers pair Julius Erving and Charles Barkley may make an appearance, as should Atlanta Hawks shooting forward Dominique Williams.
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon could feature, despite only beginning his NBA career in ’85, whilst Pistons point machine Adrian Dantley warrants an inclusion.
Michael Jordan makes his second All-Decade appearance in the 90s squad alongside Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen, Rockets centre Hakeem ‘The Dream’ Olajuwon and Utah Jazz duo Karl Malone and John Stockton.
Now like the 80s, there are a few players who just missed the cut, namely:
The Spurs centre is probably the most high-profile omission from the five.
The 1990 Rookie of the Year featured in all ten 90’s seasons for the Spurs, averaging 24.4 PPG, including a mind-blowing 71 points against the LA Clippers in ‘94.
Robinson’s 11.5 rebounds per game average meant that the San Antonio man averaged a double-double across the 90’s.
‘93 MVP Charles Barkley is a big miss.
The Suns PG was one of the 90s standout players on both ends of the court. Barkley earned the nickname the ‘Round Mound of the Rebound’ during the period as a result of his outstanding 11.6 RPG average.
Regarded by many as the greatest to never win a Championship, Barkley is a shoe in for a spot on the bench.
Whilst Shaq’s standout era was the 00’s, he was no fool in the 90s.
The Lakers center made his debut in ‘92 and never looked back. Averaging 27.1 PPG, ‘Shaq Attack’ began his free scoring NBA career right from the get go and he will undoubtably make the ‘90s squad.
Other likely inclusions:
Knicks center Patrick Ewing could feature, having led the New York side to nine consecutive play-off appearances in the 90s.
Three-time defensive player of the year Dikembe Mutombo should feature, whilst Alonzo Mourning of the Miami Heat was another defensive great who would be a big addition off the bench.
Finally, Trail Blazers ’95 Champion Clyde Drexler should be in the squad, as should double-double extraordinaire Shawn Kemp.
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